Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Is the whole worth more than the sum of its parts?
I found the quote we were trying to think of in class today. Gandalf comes to Orthanc, and Saruman says that he is Saruman of Many Colours instead of White because White can be broken. Gandalf replies "In which case it is no longer white...And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom," (Fellowship p. 252). What do you all think of this statement? Does deconstructing a thing (a piece of literature for instance) ruin it? I feel like that is what we do all the time when we write essays. We pick out individual pieces of evidence to support our argument. Perhaps Tolkien only meant that we can focus too intently and zoom in too far, making a comprehensive view impossible. How can we then balance the two?