The Captive Mind Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What significance is there in the fact that Murti-Bing comes in pill form?

The significance of Murti-Bing in pill form is that the people who take it don't have to exert themselves, change themselves, or even think. The metaphysical change that comes over them costs no effort. This makes Murti-Bing much more terrifying than if the people had wrestled with metaphysical questions and come to these answers.

2. The pill takes away man's metaphysical concerns--why is this significant?

The Murti-Bing pill takes away man's metaphysical concerns because those are the root of his struggles. These are the questions relating to human nature, the existence of God, the purpose of art. If these are taken away, man lives in the present, caring only for his physical needs. He has no deeper concerns than do the birds which live outside his window.

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