People Meet Nature By Knut Rasmussen

1663 Words7 Pages
In the book People Meet Nature, Knut Rasmussen, a Danish explorer, tells the story of his meeting with an Eskimo named Sealdog. Throughout the time they spent together Sealdog told Knut multiple stories, all of which contained morals. However, one of the stories stood out to Knut, due to its lack of a larger lesson. When he asked Sealdog for the meaning behind the story, Sealdog mentioned that not all stories needed to have morals to be meaningful. Sometimes stories can be told for the sake of humor or enjoyment (Isberg, 2007). Often people feel the need to attribute a greater significance to everything and disregard what they perceive as useless. In this paper, I will be looking at whether or not there is a requirement in society for art and literature to be useful. The utility of diverse art forms stems from an individual’s unique perspective which many differ from the societal conceptions and the need one has to express one’s opinions. According to dictionary.com, the definition of useful is “being of use or service; serving some purpose” (Useful). To be useful, something needs to be able to be applied. In regards to this paper, for a work of art and literature to be useful means that it needs to be applicable in society. In her passage, Freeland states Kant’s way of thinking which is that “something beautiful has ‘purposiveness without a purpose’” (2001). Having purposiveness with purpose means that in life many things can end up having a purpose without the

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