Various comments on Yellen's "The Mystic Presences"

Subject: What some people said
To: filreis103
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 15:29:41 -0400 (EDT)

The problem in society often lies with people like Sanders, who would like to believe that they know what's right, but they aren't empowered to do anything. UNfortunately, when most people think like that, the situation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Know when the bell tolls for you and step up. Fate and destiny are for the insecure.

The role of Sanders is essential. Without the challenges and obstacles he placed before Wentworth, Wentworth would not have followed through at Corbin's as he had. The hoopla created by the event, with the help of newspapers and media, forced the administration to rethink their ancient doctrines. We need more Picks and Wentworths in society to challenge traditional norms. Only by doing this can dialogue be created. And with dialogue, the greater the impact of the community in society.

Institutions once promoting intellectual stimulation of one's mind and the limitless boundaries of knowledge, have now become million dollar businesses composed of facets where image maintenance is partisan to local political machines, and the intricate web between the town and the university administration supports the labyrinth of implicit regulations.

This administrational difficulties are most clearly interfering with the education of the youth in today's society. The best manner to learn is though challenge and controversy, similar to our english class. If we just sit by and observe the system and its mechanisms we are just as guilty as Harry for not supporting Eliot. Professors and faculty throughout the country are forced to give up their ever so important invigoration and finesse in order not to fight against the iron-clad structure. How can we solve this ever so important problem?

As social issues change, the "mystic" human nature that each person attempts to define for themselves must change to fit the change and when "human nature" doesn't, that's when a person and their views become outdated. Yellen's point in ridiculing Harry at the end is to teach that "mystic presences" and "human behavior" can not be used to as reasons to justify actions.

Yellen's story is extremely disconcerting. We're supposed to feel sorry for Sanders, a pathetic manipulator who tries to justify his actions by blaming the mystic presences, the administrators. Eliot, the only character in the story with any strength and conviction, is criticized for his nonchalant and sardonic attitude, for trying to effect changes that are beyond his control. So, according to Yellen, we should accept the fact that some things are completely out of our control and resist the temptation to fight Fate, Destiny, the Norms, Heredity, and any other force that comes our way. The bureaucracy of a university may be unfair and immoral, but there's nothing we can do about it. How incredibly inspriring. Thanks, Yellen.