This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life Setting & Symbolism

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Kenyon College

Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college located in Gambier, Ohio. It was founded in 1824. It has a student body population of approximately 1,500 undergraduate students. In May of 2005, author David Foster Wallace delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College’s graduation ceremony. In part, Wallace addresses the value of a liberal arts education as a useful tool in acting against self-centered tendencies inherent in human passivity.

Water

In this speech, Wallace uses the metaphor of water to signify the idea that people often lose sight of life’s most important truths simply because those truths are so ubiquitous. Wallace likens this dynamic to a fish not knowing what water is simply because the water is ubiquitous and taken for granted. Wallace warns that essential truths, such as the value of compassion, often seem like banal platitudes simply because of how ubiquitous that truth is in...

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This section contains 429 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life Study Guide
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