Being There Essay

Submitted By perreault
Words: 1295
Pages: 6

Being There by Jerzy Kosinski Being There, by Jerzy Kosinski, is a very interesting book about a man named Chance who seems to come into political power even though he appears to have a sort of disability. There is no mention of Chance having a specific disability during any point in the story but he is considered more of a “simple man” because he was not given opportunities in life such as school and interaction with others. Chance’s mother died during his birth and he was never able to meet his real father because his father was never around. Chance was taken in at a very young age by a wealthy man in Washington D.C. who he refers to as “The Old Man.” The old man requires Chance to tend to the garden or stay inside, and therefore, Chance either tends to the garden, eats, or watches the television in his room. He is fed daily meals by the housekeeper and knows little about the outside world other than what he sees on his television. Now a middle aged man, who, has not been to school, had a real job, or really done anything outside the house, is forced to leave because the old man passes away and Chance has no identification or anything stating that he had lived there his entire life. As Chance is walking the streets, well dressed in the rich old mans clothing; he is struck by a limousine and injures his leg. EE, the wife of another rich man (Mr. Rand) who is also an advisor to the president (Mr.
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Warden), gets out of the limo to help him. She ends up taking Chance back to their house to get him healed. On the way to the house when Chance introduces himself as Chance the gardener, she mistakes it for Chauncey Gardiner and believes he is a wealthy businessman. Chance is very quiet for the most part and when he is asked to speak, he either remembers back to television episodes he had watched with similar scenarios, or speaks on what he knows about his garden. During his stay, Mr. Rand finds Chance to be very knowledgeable and wants him to meet the president. When Chance and the president are speaking, the president asks him how he feels about how poorly the economy is doing and Chance, who is very nervous and does not know what the president is talking about, says, “In a garden, growth has its season. There are spring and summer, but there are also fall and winter. And then spring and summer again. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all will be well (p.45).” The president is very satisfied with his answer, as he believes that Chance meant to use the garden as an analogy to the fluctuations in the economy. From here, the president quotes Chance later on that day in his speech and Chance becomes a popular figure in the public eye. He later goes on as a guest to a late night show called “This Evening” and is asked about the president comparing the economy to the garden. Chance says, “I know the garden very well. I have worked in it all of my life. It’s a good garden and a healthy one; its trees are healthy and so are its shrubs and flowers, as long as they are trimmed and watered in the right seasons. The garden needs a lot of care. I do agree with the president: everything in it will grow strong in due course. And there is still plenty of room in it for new trees and new flowers of all kinds (p.55).” Once again, his answer is very pleasing to everyone and the audience
Perreault 3 applauds him. He is given many compliments once he leaves the show. These two scenarios apply greatly to our class especially with regard to giving everyone a chance whether they have a disability or not. Without anyone knowing what Chance is really thinking and the fact that he is not really as bright as they believe he is, Chance is favored and accepted by everyone around him. After his talk with the president and his interview on television, Chance continues to become more and more popular even though no one can come up with any information about his past. At the end of the book during Mr. Rand’s funeral, members