There exists a wide array of concepts, theories and thoughts on the purpose and value that reading holds on the human mind. This very concept is one that author Harold Bloom attempts to explain using the thoughts of others that have come before him to press upon the reader of his own work precisely why reading holds such high individual and personal values. However, as Bloom informs his audience, it is clear that the reader must become engaged and accepting of the work and the potential values cannot come solely from reading the written words on a page. In order for the act of reading to hold true value for me, I must think critically of the work and ultimately become accepting to experiencing change.
Supporting Paragraph #1
Topic Sentence: The first important step in experiencing value from reading is to be critical of the work in an effort to understand truth, logic and rationale as opposed to taking everything as truth or everything as false opinion.
- Definition of Bloom’s concept “self-trust”
- “Self-trust” can inhibit the reader’s ability to be carefully critical of the ideas being read
- Understanding flawed rationale and logic will help me to not accept incorrect statements as truth
- Understanding strong reasoning and logic will help me become more able to accept the ideas being presented.
- Being critical of a work does not mean attempting to refute it at every turn of the page, but rather identifying the strengths and weaknesses of arguments or ideas being expressed.
Supporting Paragraph #2
Topic Sentence: A key component to understanding the value of reading is being able to place ego aside and being willing to accept new ideas and concepts that are expressed in the words on the written page and analyze how they can apply to my own life and have personal value.
- Problem that must be overcome “Clear your mind of can’t”
- Bloom’s purpose for reading: “weigh and consider the nature it shares with you; its closeness to yourself. I d o not intend this as an idealism, but as a pragmatism” (Bloom 22).
- By accepting’s Bloom’s purpose for reading, I am able to find ways in which the words on the page apply to my own life and hold deeper value.
- I must be able to “read humanly” – example: “phantoms of Shakespeare” (Bloom 28).
- Being accepting of reading can drastically lead to self-improvement and help me to understand the strengths and weaknesses of myself better than I already do.
In a valiant effort, Harold Bloom attempts to convince readers to change the ways in which we read words on a page and consider a deeper value that stories, ideas and concepts can have on an individual, personal level. The ideas of Bloom are definitely outside the norm and can be used as a challenge sent directly to me and anyone else reading his words that we must get out of our own ways and allow reading to do what it is meant to do – engage us in the practice of self-improvement. Through tackling the arduous task of being willing to accept new ideas, I will be able to take the first step in Bloom’s laid out roadmap to help me find greater value in reading than I ever have before.