LET IT GO AT THAT

Ralph is good, but dull, unimaginative, and indecisive.  Piggy has “mind,” but not much else.  He is physically and sensorially inept.  Jack, on the other hand, is physically and mentally alert, resourceful, imaginative, and creative.  He encourages his followers in games and chants, colorful costumes and face paint, ceremonies and a sense of community.  He organizes successful pig hunts and provides his meat-hungry children with torchlight feasts.  Meanwhile, Ralph and his dispirited followers sicken on their unvarying diet of fruit.  What child would not follow Jack?  When Golding makes Jack’s group evil, he reveals the usual  inability in our time to equate the ecstatic with the good.  —George B. Leonard, Education and Ecstasy (partly reprinted in Reading for Rhetoric, Macmillan, Shrodes, Josephson, & Wilson, eds., 4th ed)

Finally Mrs. Purse found what she was looking for.
It was an old college rhetoric textbook with a black cover.
There was an essay in there about ecstasy, how it was important,
To education, to learning, to modern society’s survival.
It was a hopeful essay; Mrs. Purse needed something hopeful,
Not because she was a worried, or a hopless person;
She knew life needed hope to function, and she was tired of
The pessimistic and gloomy; laughs were great, but she wanted
A glimpse into a happy philosophy, a happy belief-system
That would not make her feel guilty, that would make sense.
She recalled reading this essay in college, a long time ago;
It made no impression upon her, then, but now life had taught her
She needed this.  A happy essay that was dead serious.  Happiness
As necessity, happiness as the highest moral thing we could do.
She knew that happiness would be hers if she could believe this
Simple message and forget all the rest, and let it go at that.

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