The Flaws of the Creature: a Critique on Walker Percy Essay

1708 Words Dec 20th, 2005 7 Pages
In his essay, "The Loss of the Creature," Walker Percy claims that there are two types of "students:" "privileged" and "unprivileged knowers." However, Percy labels his readers by what he feels is appropriate. According to David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky in the introduction to Ways of Reading, it is up to us, the readers, to determine what Percy might mean when he uses key terms and phrases in his essay. Bartholomae and Petrosky believe that "The meaning is forged from reading the essay, to be sure, but it is determined by your account of what Percy might mean when he talks about ‘symbolic packages' or a ‘loss of sovereignty' (8)." Yet Percy only believes in his ideas because of his elitist point of view and feels as though he is …show more content…
Isn't this the most logical answer? All humans have different points of view and ways of looking at certain things. I choose to believe what I want from Percy's argument. For example, I am intrigued about his idea of "privileged" and "unprivileged knowers" but I feel that it is neither a valid nor reasonable idea. It seems as though Percy is implying that he is an "expert" or privileged "knower" while also implying that we are the "students" or unprivileged "knower." Supposedly, Percy is not convinced that those who might be the unprivileged knowers learn best from such experts. So is Percy saying that he himself is not in a position of to teach and share knowledge? I feel as though this is a flaw in Percy's essay because it does not strengthen his argument against "students" having a sovereign experience. This is one of the several weak-points in his essay. Another weak-point derives from Percy's idea of rating the authenticity of an experience by giving it a value P. He then states, "it would be nearer the truth to say that if the place is seen by a million sightseers, a single sightseer does not receive value P but a millionth part of value P" (Percy 469). This idea is another problematic point in his argument because Percy is unable to feel what one feels. If we were to measure the emotions felt when…