Quality Control: Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

1035 Words5 Pages
There exists one word that may just be the king of all misused words–the word that, more than any other, is used with complete disregard for and disinterest in its meaning. No, this is not a reference to literally, nor ‘legit,’ however deserving those words are of defense—this word is Quality. Some of the misuse lies in the basic distinction between quality and Quality with a capital ‘Q’, which can be cleared up quite succinctly. Little ‘q’ quality is attached to an object. It is the value of the object from a sum total of the value of the work that was put into it and of its composition. Quality is the interaction which creates meaning and leads to individual self-actualization. Factories have quality control, where products can have poor…show more content…
. It is this respect for the wholeness of life that leads individuals to act with the interest of bettering themselves, to act in the interest of self-actualization and fulfillment—two vague terms in themselves. To better understand these concepts, it is prudent to consider those who act for self-actualization—and just as importantly, those who act with utter lack of the intention of attaining self-actualization. The diverse characters of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach serve just this purpose. Dwight Towers, commander of the U.S.S. Scorpion, fills the role of the archetypal noble hero. Despite clear interest towards him from the young Australian girl, Moira Davidson, and the complete eradication of all resemblances of the United States of America besides his own submarine, Towers remained loyal to his deceased wife and children as well as to the United States. Even at the very end of human existence, as radiation sickness took hold of the last remaining city—Melbourne, Australia—Dwight Towers submerged his submarine one last time, intent to have the ship sink in International waters following standard operating procedure for the United States Navy. . Towers exhibited what would be best described as grace. Even when confronted with the fall of mankind, he chose to live and die with dignity
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