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Lessons From A Badger Essay

782 words - 4 pages

Lessons from a Badger
Throughout his lessons with Merlyn, Wart is turned into many animals; a fish, an ant, a hawk, an owl, a goose, and a badger. Perhaps the most important of these is the last animal, the badger. The badger is the most learned of all of the creatures that Wart is turned into, and drives home Merlyn’s point that intelligence and education are more important in a king than being a brave knight, regardless of how many acts of chivalry one may do.
Upon entering the badger’s home, Wart does not know “whether to think of it as a college or as a castle” (White 189). The Great Hall, or Combination Room is most striking with its “paintings of departed badgers…lit from above by ...view middle of the document...

As Merlyn said earlier in the story, learning “is the only thing that never fails…that is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting (White 183).
Merlyn knows that Wart can be and is brave; his stint in the woods overnight when Cull was lost is proof of his bravery. What Merlyn is trying to instill in Arthur is an education, a belief that, while being a knight is all well and good, education is more important and longer-lasting than any act of bravery. In many ways, Wart, like the animals in the badger’s parable, is still in his embryonic state. He is being given an opportunity, through Merlyn, to choose the man he will become, much like the animals in the parable were given the choice as to what they would be. The unfortunate thing is that Man, like Wart, has great potential yet chooses to squander it on waging war and threatening the land he is supposed to have dominion over.
This is the lesson that Wart is supposed to learn and does not quite...

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