Image Purpose: To provide you with an image of what Teddy’s crossed eyes might look like, as they are described below, in “Famous Passage from This Week’s Work.” In some Eastern cultures, being cross-eyed is not regarded as a bad thing: it is thought to encourage a person to look within, to be self-reflective. And self-reflection is a key trait of a critical thinker, helping a person to acquire self-knowledge–and thus self-regulation.
Famous Passage from This Week’s Work
This passage from this week’s literary work is presented to you for your enjoyment only; to admirers of this week’s writer, this passage is representational of the writer’s voice. “A writer’s voice is the way his or her personality comes through on the page, via everything from word choice and sentence structure to tone and punctuation” (Schulten).
Teddy turned around at the waist, without changing the vigilant position of his feet on the Gladstone, and gave his father a look of inquiry, whole and pure. His eyes, which were pale brown in color, and not at all large, were slightly crossed–the left eye more than the right. They were not crossed enough to be disfiguring, or even to be necessarily noticeable at first glance. They were crossed just enough to be mentioned, and only in context with the fact that one might have thought long and seriously before wishing them straighter, or deeper, or browner, or wider set. His face, just as it was, carried the impact, however oblique and slow-travelling, of real beauty. (Salinger)
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argue for or against this contention: In J.D. Salinger’s 1953 short story “Teddy,” the 10-year-old title character Teddy is a much more successful critical thinker (and teacher!) than the university professor Bob Nicholson. In the process, detail what you think that the apple is in the story, focusing on this passage from the story:
“Okay,” Teddy said. He was sitting back in his chair, but his head was turned toward Nicholson. “You know that apple Adam ate in the Garden of Eden, referred to in the Bible?” he asked. “You know what was in that apple? Logic. Logic and intellectual stuff. That was all that was in it. So–this is my point–what you have to do is vomit it up if you want to see things as they really are. I mean if you vomit it up, then you won’t have any more trouble with blocks of wood and stuff. You won’t see everything stopping off all the time. And you’ll know what your arm really is, if you’re interested. Do you know what I mean? Do you follow me?” (Salinger)
Additionally, cite passages from the story in which Teddy and Prof. Nicholson succeed and/or fail to practice these characteristics of a critical thinker:
• Is aware of biases (preconceptions about people and things).
• Does not try to stop emotional responses to people and things, but controls emotional reactions, so that emotions do not override logos.
• Distinguishes between fact and opinion.
• Harbors no preconceptions, maintaining an open mind.
• Researches all aspects of a topic before coming to a conclusion regarding the topic.
• Ponders all aspects of a situation carefully before reacting.
• Engages in self-reflection.
• Understands that appearance (how someone or something appears to be) and reality (how someone or something actually functions, or acts) can be different.