An Essay Disagreeing On John Ruskin's Piece About Giving Precedence To A Soldier Rather Than A Merchant

651 words - 3 pages

In society, a soldier is very much respected and is only reasonable to view him superior to a person such as a merchant. Philosophers on the other hand, contradict this statement and write that a merchant who is a harmonious man should be held in a much higher position than a soldier whose only objective includes killing. John Ruskin, the English critic of art and society, argues that a soldier should be given precedence rather than a merchant or manufacturer. His argument is well written but in essence does not clarify why exactly the merchant is given fewer honors than a soldier.The difference between a soldier and a merchant is illustrated in Ruskin’s passage lines 1-4; he writes that the profession of commerce is held at a low level as compared to the soldier’s. Although he distinguishes the lowness of a merchant’s position, he fails to state why the merchant is put in this level. He only explains the custom that art and society bring to the table when deciding weather a soldier or a merchant should be admired. He disagrees with philosophers stating that “at first sight “it appears unreasonable to place “a peaceable and rational person, whose trade is buying and selling”in fewer honors than “an impeaceable and often irrational person, whose trade is slaying”. He, in contrary to philosopher’s beliefs, agrees with the social respect for soldiers. He says they stand in a higher position and deserve much more for their sacrifice. Ruskin allows us to understand the opinion he holds against most philosophers, but his only argument is line 8 “And this is right”“For the soldier’s trade, verily and essentially, is not slaying but being slain.” Ruskin explains in this excerpt, that a soldier does his job everyday putting his life at stake. He isn’t there to kill in essence, but to wait to be...

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