The two essays from Michal Doris and Joe Keohane have been written to portray an unspoken but also a significant cultural subtext that people easily ignore. The two essays will introduce the concept and the outlook that is hard for the people to identify and know. The Broken Cord by Michael Dorris determines the long-term damage that befalls his adopted son, Adam by being the victim of an alcoholic mother. The story indicates how frustrated Michael is the fact that his son is ravaged with the fetal alcohol syndrome caused by a negligent mother. According to Joe Keohane, his story yet introduces the concept of certainty. He identifies the fact that no one is sure on what it is they are right about. The more one is certain about the opinion, the more it is likely that one is relying on beliefs rather than facts. The two essays introduce an important cultural subtext which is going to be identified in this paper.
In the Joe Keohanes essay on How facts backfires, he identifies how the brains of a human being are at a threat of the democracy. Democracy to people becomes one of the greatest assumptions to the people since the citizens prefer to be well informed than to be uninformed and that would be the most significant assumption (Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists). The issue of religion and race is highly mentioned in the story. Joe claims that if people become more acquainted with facts, then they will think clearer and be better citizens but if the same individuals are ignorant, then facts will enlighten them, and if they are mistaken, the same fact will straighten them since as it turns out, knowledge is the remedy.
He identifies that for a long time the truth has been said to will out, but it has been discovered that human has been noted to encourage the people with faith in the power of information. This implies that fact does not necessary have to have the power of change in the minds of humans but it is the opposite (Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists). Facts would not cure misinformation. Instead, it would act like antibiotics, making the misinformation stronger. Joe states that the political ignorance of the American voters is one of the best document data in political science. (Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists, p. 1).
Democracy prevails because people vote to make decisions about how the country is run. It, therefore, means that the people have already established beliefs and a set of facts have blocked their mind (Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists). Joe claims that the thing that people think they know are objective can be false. In that case, the people are very different from those with no information
The Broken Cord is more of Michal Doriss experience of his alcohol victim child, Adam. The affliction he experiences is more seen when he tries to accept the evidence from Adams affliction. The whole story explains the issue of gender and class. He believed that if there is an explanatory cause to the disease, then there should be an explanatory solution too. He states that What chance has this kid had to develop? I believe in the positive impact of environment and with me, hell catch up (Dorris, The Broken Cord chapter 1, P.10) Although the answers were slow, it indicated that the child was experiencing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The mother was an alcoholic when she was pregnant causing an incomplete life.
The fact that Dorris had started facing the hard knowledge of the fact that his son would never live a full life was so traumatizing. The whole essay involves the frustration of a father in fear of losing his son which he has grown fond of. He portrays great love by loving an adopted child with deformities and a syndrome and still wants to save the child (Dorris, The Broken Cord). The story is so much significant as it indicates the emotions held by a father towards his son and how sad he is to lose the son to a disease that was caused by someone elses ignorance. After marrying his student Louis Erdrich, he wanted to have a family, and they adopted a son and a daughter. After Adams condition, Dorris spends time doing research and attending conferences to learn more about the syndrome and the people affected (Dorris, The Broken Cord). Each time he notices what Adam missed he would think of one wish if someone would have stopped Adams biological mother from drinking.
In a nutshell, the broken cord contemplates on the haunting experiences and the regrets that Dorris has to go through living with Adams condition. The broken cord identifies a cultural concept of moral obligation and responsibilities that mothers lack while pregnant thus bringing the issue of gender that would prevent the women from drinking and cause damages to their children. The fact that mothers drink it is because they are in a particular class. How fact backfires also explore on an important cultural subtext which is faith and belief together with race. It is the belief and faith to information that allows the individuals to decide on the information and knowledge that they possess.
Boghossian, Peter G. A Manual for Creating Atheists. , 2013. Internet resource.
Dorris, Michael. The Broken Cord. New York: HarperPerennial, 1990. Print
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