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Prison: A Life Of Privilege Essay

979 words - 4 pages


Philosopher's Name and Brief Background
Mohandas Gandhi was an intensely spiritual man. He used his spirituality to help reform the unfair policies of the world and even businesses focusing on the oppressed people on such a personal level. During his life span he influenced many people and to this day people live by his leadership strategies
Louis Fischer is a renowned journalist who as we know edited the current book we are reading The Essential Gandhi. This consist of some of Gandhi writing that were edited by Fischer and it also explains how Gandhi became ‘Mahatma”.

Author's Central Purpose or Theme in this Chapter or Essay
In chapter 20 Louis Fischer describes Gandhi’s experience while in Yeravda Jail. Through Gandhi’s experience and outlook on being in jail, many themes based around individualistic improvement arise.

Identification of Major Themes, Ideas, and Arguments
Self Improvement – Don’t concentrate on the outside world but better yet the improvement of one’s self
Self-Control – It is best thing for an individual. It is merely training to reach a superior state
The Art of Thinking – One should not indulge in useless thoughts
Correction vs. Punishment – prison should be a place of correction because punishment makes crimes more persistent

Identification and Brief Description of Four to Six Key Passages ( with pp. #’s)
Page 236 – 4th paragraph (Self Improvement):
A point was made that “firemen do not waste any water on [the fire] at all. They only try to save the neighborhood…” (Fischer 236). It is impossible to eliminate the chaos of the world all in one so first we must focus on what is possible and that is improving ourselves. We must not waste any “water”, energy, on improving the world but we must try to save ourselves from that fire through self-improvement. “In appearance it is still burning but we may rest assure that it has been put out” (237) because have removed ourselves from the “fire” to a place where we can be at peace.

Page 238-239 – (Art of Thinking):
We must not indulge in useless thinking because it is waste of time and there’s no purpose for the thoughts developed through useless thinking. With thinking “there [should be] the desire to render service at the back of these [thoughts]” (Fischer 239), these desire give thoughts a purpose and can be made useful in the world of violence.

Page 239 – 3rd & 4th paragraph – (Correction vs. Punishment):
“A prison should be a house of correction and not punishment” because “the more we punish, the more persistent crimes become” (Fischer, 239). We shouldn’t punish “criminals” for their actions because punishment will not improve his/her behavior. Punishment will add fuel to the fire and create even worse behavior. Everyone should learn for their misfortune so that they may improve themselves for the improvement of the...

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