David Foster Wallace's Commencement Speech Summary

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A liberal arts education is essential to success and it provides students with a broad spectrum of information enabling them to expand knowledge and to advance society in a positive direction. David Foster Wallace in his commencement speech (May 21, 2005) talks about the meaning and significance of Education. He states that sometimes we don`t see what is in front of us and we only see straight ahead. We can think not only in one way. For example, people tend to fixate on the common use of an object. People on the Titanic overlooked the possibility that the iceberg could have been their lifeboat. Newspapers estimated the size of the iceberg to be between 200-400 feet long and 50-100 feet high. Titanic was controllable for a while and could have pulled aside the iceberg. Many people could have climbed on iceberg and find flat areas…show more content…
Fixated on the fact that icebergs sink ships, people overlooked the idea of climbing on it and it could have saved their lives. This is example of fixated thinking on the standard use of an object. We can break this barrier with the help of creative thinking. Which provides us education . Wallace goes on to talk that “Education isn’t about filling you up with knowledge; it is about “teaching you how to think”(p. 3). In other words, he informs students that in order to be educated and “well-adjusted” and individual must learn to control how and what to think. Further he explains what happens when one can’t overcome close-mindedness that “amounts to an imprisonment”. He called it an imprisonment because this self-centered way of thinking is automatic, it doesn’t have to

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