A Summary of David Abram’s Animism and the Alphabet Essay

Words: 2165
Pages: 9

Isaiah Graham
ENG 11-940
A Summary of David Abram’s Animism and the Alphabet
David Abram’s selection, “Animism and the Alphabet” conveys that human’s disconnection from the natural world is partially at fault with the alphabet, it also asserts that alphabet originates from the natural world. Abrams supports his ideas by mentioning several great thinkers throughout history including Plato, Socrates and others. Abram’s also compares modern ways to the customs of indigenous people. The main purpose of Abram’s paper is to convey the idea that people have disconnected from the natural world, and one of the main reasons for this is the alphabet. The alphabet is not portrayed as a bad thing, but as a tool that has both
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The next pages continue to give information however they begin to slowly bring Abram’s discussion to a close. Once again Socrates quote on not being able to learn from nature is mentioned. This starts make the reader think that this point is important. It shows how far people had disconnected with nature even at a point when writing was not common knowledge. This time however, Socrates begins to tell a myth about how the cicadas in the trees above him got there specific noises. He then ponders that maybe these insects are speaking (pg.49). This seems extremely contradictory considering Socrates just said that he could learn nothing from nature. This seems to show that people can learn from the natural world if they actually look. It seems that people refuse to actually look and ponder what they see around them because they are blindsided by the idea that there is nothing there. Throughout history literature has had different effects on the people and the nature of world. Researchers that study how writing has affected the world generally focus on the human communication aspect of the subject. Very few study the ways in which nature has affected the natural world. As Abrams puts it, humans had to communicate on the land to communicate their ideas. These early people had no other choice, but with the implementation of the writing system people had to depend less on the Earth. The way in which people interacted with nature