Essay Me And Dave And Mount Olympus

1229 words - 5 pages

Can one experience alter a person´s view on human equality? According to the successful and prominent author Michael Faber it can. In 2006 he wrote a personal essay named “Me and Dave and Mount Olympus”, in which he depicts a specific and life-changing incident with a homeless person, which changed many aspects of his own life. Until the meeting in the homeless shelter, Michael Faber is in an ivory tower and sees himself as “on top of Mount Olympus” looking down on the human race. His arrogance disappears after the intense meeting, where Michael Faber discovers, that both of them are equals in the eyes of the universe. Michael Faber´s reliability is strengthened by the fact that this is an ...view middle of the document...

186). The home-away-home structure is a way to explicitly show a personal development; in this case his transformation from being an arrogant snob to a person who takes care of others. In addition to that the structure and the descriptions of his state of mind before the experience appeal to people in the same situation as him: People who are in an ivory tower and cannot realize that the world does not revolve around them. Michael Faber wants to enlighten these people and convince them, that there are other ways to visualise the world.

The language emphasizes Michael Faber´s personality. He manages to imply a lot of foreign words, “sphere”, “monastically”, “genteel”, “accumulated” and “existential”, and he also packs every sentence with adjectives, “I’d stood in dole queues with them, sat in dingy laundromats with them, done the same dead-end jobs”, (li. 158-159). Besides that the personal essay has foreign expressions such as, “terra incognita” (li. 60), “Aussie naïveté” (li. 57) and metaphors, animations, comparisons and personifications, “demoralizing afternoon” (li. 52), “back into the arms of easy work” (li. 67) and “Polluted sea of humanity (li. 42). All this indicates and stresses that Michael Faber is self-satisfied and arrogant. Furthermore Michael Faber actually writes a remark, “Both of us were writers, misfits, snobs” (li. 38), which directly states that their neighbours in Australia saw them as snobs. One might ask why Michael Faber still uses unnecessarily many adjectives, metaphors and foreign words, when he knows that some people – for example Dave from the homeless shelter – would not have the vocabulary to understand it. This could in fact suggest, that he is still arrogant and feels more valuable than other human beings. On the other hand it could be a way for him to aim for a specific target group: A group of people who have a similar personality to the one Michael Faber had before the incident in the homeless shelter. He writes, “in my colossal arrogance, I’d seen the world as an artists’ playground, a hive of creative industry (li. 160-161), which points out, that he is very much aware of his former arrogance. As a result of that he intentionally aims after this specific target group. He does that by using intellectual language and metaphors to reach their level, so he can persuade them to make the same personal change. The last part of the personal essay confirms this claim,...

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