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Thinking as a Hobby by William Golding Discussion Paper

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“Thinking as a hobby” – William Golding

In his essay, Golding presents himself as someone who has a great understanding on the diversity

among people and their way and level of thinking. He finds observing people around him and their way of

communicating their thoughts, opinions and feelings to others as amusing and very interesting he puts it as his

own “hobby.”

Golding writes about his past experiences and observations with his interactions with everyone he

meets and how he learns to differentiate the three different types of thinkers. He classifies them into his so

called “grades” in according to their style of thinking: Grade-three thinkers, which he associated with the

statuette of the damaged Venus of Milo, is the most common in the society which Golding stated that it is

about nine-tenths of the world’s population. Golding describes grade-three thinkers as people who do not

overthink and only think with their feelings and their predetermined prejudices. Golding also states that “that

thought is often full of unconscious prejudice, ignorance, and hypocrisy” (2) which he learned and discovered

after interacting with grade-three thinkers.

Grade-two thinkers are a step higher than grade-three thinkers, which Golding again associated with

one his former headmaster’s statuettes, the leopard. He described grade-two thinking as the detection of

contradictions, and people who likes to point out wrongs with no intention of making them right, excellent for

destroying thoughts and ideologies, but not for building or creating them.

The last type of thinkers are Grade-one thinkers. Golding describes grade-one thinkers as people who

are steps above grade-three and grade-two thinkers. Grade-one thinkers are people who analyzes everything

without taking feelings into consideration in his decision making.

Personally, I agree with Golding’s classification of thinking. And I believe that thinking is something

that progresses and develops gradually from a simple to a very complex form. I think everyone starts at the

Word Count 681

very first grade of thinking and in my opinion are our most natural way of thinking, the grade-three thinking,

where we blindly accept, follow or believe uncritically what we’ve been taught or told. However, once we start

to find certain contradictions on what we believe and accept to be true, started finding wrongs and

contradictions to the crowd and start to stray away from the masses with our eyes and ears open, we start to

progress to grade-two of thinking. Golding describes this as a dangerous and destructive kind



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