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Loss Of Creature

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The Loss of Creature

During this essay written by Walker Percy, it is clear that his overall opinion of experiencing new things is in the eye of the beholder and/or the hands of those around them and their social status. Percy uses many examples in his writing including that of an explorer, tourist, and local all seeing things for the first time either literally or in a new different light. In this essay, I will play on both sides of regaining experiences, seeing things on a different level then before or the first time. Regaining experiences is a valid argument brought up by Percy as it is achievable. While criticizing each side of the argument, I will also answer questions as to the validity of Percy's argument, sovereignty, what is important in Percy's literature, and my own experiences that contradict my opinion now as well as others that support it. Regaining and experiencing new things includes taking what you expect and putting that aside while you soak up the true environment you are in. To accomplish a sovereign state of mind, you must let those around you influence you only in a way that helps you grasp/control the situation even farther.

Percy's argument begins with him describing the beautiful site involved in experiencing a new vision or experience for the first time. Explorers seeing their New found land for the first time would be the ultimate first experience. Is Percy correct to relate an experience to that of which he has not experienced? I believe he is at fault for bringing up an experience he is completely foreign to in an effort to explain a different sensation in which he has. At this point, he has dropped himself from that of a distinguished learner/writer to an everyday individual with no exceptional feats or accomplishments. Percy does a good job of following that up with more realistic examples that could have happened to him such as the Grand Canyon experience. This relates to experiencing a site that you have previous knowledge of but have never actually seen it in person. He relates this to tourists coming to see the Grand Canyon for the first time after only seeing postcards and hearing secondhand stories. They have a preconceived expectation of this which ultimately completely rules out having a sovereign experience with such a place comparing to the ultimate discovery of a place.

When you have background information provided to you, you form an opinion or idea in your head of how that place will be and if it doesn't live up to that then you are let down by that experience. A great example of this happened to me when I went to visit Cooperstown, NY to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. I hadn't seen any previous pictures of the town but had built up images in my head prior to getting there. I was 12 years old and had never traveled to NY. My parents had never driven there either, and were lost most of the trip. This was accompanied by a steady rainstorm as well as 10 hours of riding in the wrong direction. When we finally arrived in Cooperstown, there was not much to see. It was a small time consisting of a few restaurants, one road in and out, a baseball field, a large lake, 1 golf course, and the Baseball Hall of Fame which did not look so special from the outside. The gloomy weather kept up for the full week I was there. I thought Cooperstown could possibly be the most boring place on the planet. There are many different elements that can ruin a person's sovereign experience. One could be the weather or the timing of the event, or a devastating event happening during such as a death in the family. Any of elements such as these will affect your experience as well as your final perception of the trip in this case. Percy would describe this example as letting the elements or distractions persuade your behavior or thought patterns while there leading you to not enjoy the situation. He gives an example of a man who sees through or above the tourists who experience through photographs. "Our complex friend stands behind his fellow tourists at the Bright Angel Lodge and sees the canon through them and their predicament, their picture taking and busy disregard. In a sense, he exploits his fellow tourists; he stands on their shoulders to see the canyon." (470) This is the ultimate sovereign state according to Percy, taking others flaws and living out a situation vicariously through them.

Regaining experiences is a very simple thing yet somewhat hard to achieve. This man that Percy shows as an example lives in the city his whole life before truly deciding to visit the Statue of Liberty. While he is there, he notices how tourists never really truly grasp the situation to the point of having sole ownership of the moment making it a sovereign one. After visiting this monument for almost everyday of his life, he finally realizes something deep down inside of him that had never risen up in him before. This is a good example in which Percy describes as taking "the most beaten track of all." He describes it as such because he is not only attempting to have an experience unlike any other he has had with this certain place, but he its



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