The Boy Monologues

The Genius (The Boy)

The Boy says

It isn’t that, with me. I can’t write…. I had one splendid teacher. He used to talk about things right in class. He said that most educated people think that intellect is a matter of making fine distinctions -of seeing as two separate points what the unintelligent would believe was one point; but that this idea was finicky. He wanted us to see that intelligence might also be a matter of seeing the connection between two things so far apart that most people would think they were always separate. I like that. It made education mean something, because it made it depend on imagination instead of grubbing. And then he told us about the history of our subject -grammar. How it began as poetry, when every word was an original creation; and then became philosophy, as people had to arrange speech with thought; and then science, with more or less exact, laws. I could see it -the thing became alive. And he said all knowledge passed through the same stages, and there isn’t anything that can’t eventually be made scientific. That made me think a good deal. I wondered if somebody couldn’t work out a way of preventing anybody from being poor. It seems so unnecessary, with so much work being done. That’s what I want to do. Thanks to you, I –

The Genius (The Boy)

The Boy says

Well, maybe I’m wrong, but whenever I think of the Old Testament I see an old man under a tree -A man who has lived it all through, you know, and found out something real about it; and he sits there calm and strong, something like a tree himself; and every once in a while somebody comes along -a boy, you know, the boy talks to him all about himself, just as we imagine we’d like to with our fathers, if they weren’t so busy, or our teachers, if they didn’t depend so much upon books, or our ministers, if we thought they would really understand, the old man doesn’t say much maybe, but the boy goes away much stronger and happier….What I can’t understand is how nowadays people seem more grown up and competent than those men were, in a way, and we do such wonderful things -skyscrapers and aeroplanes -and yet we aren’t half so wonderful as they were in the Old Testament with their jugs and their wooden plows. I mean, we aren’t near so big as the things we do, while those old fellows were so much bigger. We smile at them, but if some day one of our machines fell over on us what would we do about it?