Shorris response

After reading the Shorris article available in the "handouts" section, select a quotation from it. Respond to this post with at least two paragraphs explicating why you feel the quotation is important and how it fits into the work as a whole.


"It doesn't mean that rich people are good and poor people are bad. It simply means that rich people know a more effective method for living in this society." This quote holds alot of truth. It isn't that rich people are better or smarter, they simply have more opportunities to succeed. They start life with the best schools and other priveleges and simply grow into better schools later in life. These Ivy League schools set them up for high paying and prestigious jobs and start the cycle all over again. I was once told that it's not what you know, but who you know. This definitely comes into play in the real world. More doors are opened for those who have connections to people in high power.

This quote connects to the work as a whole because it shows that children who are poor miss out on the humanities because they weren't born into families who know how to function successfully in the eyes of society. Society doesn't value an honest day's work, but rather money. A hard working day may not bring alot of money, but playing in a professional sport for a few hours will bring millions. I don't understand why these people are valued much more highly than a man who works two jobs and successfully puts a roof over his family's head.


"Numerous forces--hunger, isolation, illness, landlords, police, abuse, neighbors, drugs, crime, and racism among many others--exert themselves on the poor at all times and enclose them, making up a "surround of force" from which, it seems, they cannot escape. I had come to understand this is what kept the poor from being political and the absence of politics in their lives was what kept them poor." This quote is important because it explains the whole reason for his experiment.

Shorris wanted to find out if the woes of society was too great a barrier to overcome. This experiment led him to understand that the lack politics and reflect are the main components in why the poor stay poor. Putting this to the test he found out that it is never too late to learn how to reflect if you are willing to work hard and go against what is socially expected.


"Rich people learn humanities in private schools and expensive universities, and that's one of the ways in which they learn the political life. I think that is the real difference between the halves and have-nots in this country. If you want real power, legitimate power, the kind that comes from the people and belongs to the people, you must understand politics. The humanities will help." This quote I feel is the most important quote to use. It basically states that since the rich have more money then they can afford to spend it on better schooling and there for get a "better" education. So in-turn they will be better qualified later in life.

If the rich keep getting power and become richer, than in turn the poor loose the power they once had and become poorer. It’s a cycle that can only be slowed down by better education in the poor neighborhoods of our country. The ironic thing is the rich people have to pass the laws to make the change.

Shorris Response

"'Mr. Shorris, I asked myself, 'What would Socrates do?' David Howell reasoned that his co-workers envy was not his problem after all, and he had dropped his rage." This statement is an example of one change that the course in question has changed. Someone has now found a role model, or a mentor who can help with difficult situations. This example is one where the humanities courses have shown a way out of a situation in which both parties can be happy. It is a show that brute force is not the only option.
The most important part of schooling is the social skills learned from human interaction. Without proper schooling, or proper atmosphere, people do not learn the social skills neccisary to succeed in life. I feel that the biggest reason someone succeeds in life is because they can get along with people the best, the key for a good manager. Without proper atmosphere, these skills are not learned.


"Do all rich people, or people who are in the middle, know the humanities? Not a chance. But some do. And it helps. It helps to live better and enjoy life more. Will the humanities make you rich? Yes. Absolutely. But not in terms of money. In terms of life."

This qoute describes two things to me. It tells me both that if you want something really badly you have to go out and find it, and it tells me that being rich doesn't always mean rich with money. You can be rich with joy and happiness in your life. Also that not only the rich exclusively have the opportunities of the humanities, but people of the lower class aswell. Most of the poor stay poor because they don't try to alleviate their situations, they just deal with it the best that they can.

Earlier in the piece he wrote about a woman in prison who was pursuing a college degree. People like that, who have will and determination, are able to change their social status and go against the norm. She was able to overcome the obstacles presented before her and more.

Shorris Quote

The quote that really struck my attention was "The best education for the best is the best education for us all." I feel this quote is very important.
This quote implies that everyone deserves the same education, regardless of their social status. It is not fair to give the best teachers to only the people that have the most money. This quote fits in with the rest of the work because it touches on how people born into lower class families don't receive the same opportunities as people born into families with money.


"They direct the study of the humanities exclusively at those young people who have been raised in comfort and with the expectation of ever increasing comfort", i think this statement holds widely true. I remember reading in Edmunson's article how there are fewer and fewer students willing to take the course and whoever took it they tell others to avoid it. So if the study's being directed at them and they choose to ignore it then doesn't it mean that they don't really know the value of it in life?
I would say that i have been brought up in a very comfortable environment and to me humanities means nothing, i don't even know what it really means, but i am sure if the poor people were to learn it they would find a definition for it. People who have been raised in comfort wouldn't really know exactly what it is all about and even if they did know they wouldn't be able to appreciate it for its true meaning. Anything in this world it's like the more you have of something the less you will come to appreciate it.

Shorris Response

"Thats what Aristotle means by incontinence, when you know what morally right but you dont do it, because you are overcome by your passions." I think this quote is important because it justifies any action we consider because we are still human. Our founding fathers were led through their passion of exploration, discovery, and greed to push back the natives to develope more civilizations through out the country. Sure, it wasn't the morally obvious solution, but we are human, we succumb to such emotions.

The quote plays into the story as a whole because, many of the attendies were the result of the incontinence of other men, more powerful men. These people been given the back hand of society, and live in the most extreme conditions of the city. Poverty, malnutrition, lack of security were all causes of someone overlooking this part of civilization, and their neglect to aid in some way. People set up soup-kitchens, Salvation Army, ect which are only small steps that never answer the root cause.


''Rich people learn the humanities in private schools and expensive universities.'' I believe that this quote is important because it is true. Rich students have many more advantages than poor students. It is much harder for a poor student to get into an exceptional college. The poor student will have a hard time getting into the colleges because they haven't been to the private schools.
I can not imagine a rich student participating in an experiment such as this one. Although the same information was taught about humanities, the rich student would look down upon it because there is no prestige. The poor student is trying to better himself at all costs, while the rich one takes many things for granted.


A quote of the essay that stuck out to me was this "She read every nuance of my ressponse, and answered angerily, 'And they won't be poor no more'". This stuck out to me because it shows how you can underestimate the intelligent of some people. Sometimes you see people who are homeless, or in prison, or poor and assume that they do not have intelligence that equals your own.
This fits in to the work as a whole pretty well also. It shows that just because people do not grow up with the same benefits as we do they are stil capable of intelligent work. He took people who were poor and had all sorts of problems and more then half of the people he helped that graduated went on to a four year college.

This Quote

"The best education for the best is the best education for us all."

I think this quote is a good quote because it really entails a few things in it. I think that it first implies that the best education should be available to everyone and that it shouldn't be limited based on status.

I think the second point here is that one has to really apply themselves to reach a greater stature in a world that is based a lot on status. One must try to be better in order to be the best.


"Numerous forces—hunger, isolation, illness, landlords, police, abuse, neighbors, drugs criminals, and racism, among many others—exert themselves on the poor at all times and enclose them, making up a "surround of force" from which, it seems, they cannot escape (1)." This quote is key to supporting Shorris's theory. All these things listed affect those who are poor.

The poor have a difficult time escaping this vicious cycle. The majority grow up facing these problems on a day-to-day basis, with no proverbial weapon. They use what they have grown up with and witnessed—force, verbal abuse, and violence. These are not the tools used by the rich. Those who are rich, in humanities, have different ways of dealing with these issues. The rich have acquired the knowledge on how to eliminate these unsympathetic obstacles, if they ever encounter them at all.

Shorris (chanor)

"Rich people learn the humanities; you didn't. The humanities are a foundation for getting along in the world, for thinking, for learning to reflect on the world instead of just reacting to whatever force is turned against you. I think the humanities are one of the ways to become political, and I don't mean political in the sense of voting in an election but in the broad sense. I like this quote because of it's brutal honesty. You don't here many completely honest comments about the rich and poor anymore. It seems like when people talk about the issue of the privileges that the rich get over the poor, they seem to sugar coat it. I respect his honesty and the fact he can say it.

Shorris response

“They know how to negotiate instead of using force. They know how to use politics to get along, to get power. It doesn't mean that rich people are good and poor people are bad. It simply means that rich people know a more effective method for living in this society.” I think this is important because it makes people realize that rich people are rich because they learned how to live more efficient lives, not because they were born as smarter human beings.
This tells people that anyone can live a happy and enjoyable life by learning humanities, although it might not lead to a richer life, in terms of money. I like how Shorris says that all people have equal intellectual capabilities and if they have the will to learn humanities, they can also succeed in life.

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