The Power of Education and its Economic Impact

After reading “The Worm Against the Word” regarding Jonah’s Gourd Vine, what I found most compelling about the article was how reading and writing were treated as such valuable skills during that period. More specifically, they were used as a way for men to try and “woo” females and show them they are worthy of their attention. When reading the article, there is a powerful quote that reads “Since Lucy is the word of words for John, he fittingly woos her through both reading and writing. John studies his lessons to impress Lucy. And he is pleased to join her in a duet on the last night of school because it will demonstrate his mastery of the text” (123). Evident from this quote, it is clear John intends to try and show Lucy how intelligent he is and use it to his advantage. Although he does it as a way to make connections between Lucy and himself, John also knows that Lucy will be more attracted to him if he shows he is educated and destined for future success.

Seeing this trend in the article makes me draw comparisons to relationships seen in society nowadays. In my opinion, I believe people take the concept of education for granted and look at relationships mainly for physical attraction. Examples can be seen in present-day Hollywood where movies are centered around the physical aspects of relationships rather than traditional romance or love stories. I think that education should be valued now like it was in the article mainly because that is what creates a successful economy. Individuals who are motivated to work hard and achieve their full potential is what in the end will support a well-functioning society.

In conclusion, I found the idea of reading and writing to be the most compelling aspect of this article because it made me reflect on my life as well as the global population. The power of education is undisputed because it allows people to achieve what they want whether that is measured in monetary success or a steady relationship. People are attracted to individuals who work hard and want success, and seeing this trend in the novel is what pushes me to maximize my education to the highest level.

2 thoughts on “The Power of Education and its Economic Impact

  1. Mason, I agree that the elements of education in Jonah’s Gourd Vine are really interesting to consider! After reading the novel I was thinking about Lucy’s character and how education played a role in her life. When John first meets her, he is impressed by her intelligence, and she is described as one of the best spellers in the school. Education plays a large role in their relationship, as they write letters and notes to each other to express their feelings. However, after John and Lucy get married, Lucy is unable to put her knowledge to use in the same ways. She immediately begins having children and spends her time raising them, until she becomes ill and passes away. I found it interesting that education, something that defined Lucy’s character at the beginning of the novel, was pushed aside once her role as a wife and mother began–which is very telling of the gender roles and lack of opportunity for women in this time period.

  2. Excellent work, Mason. Writing is obviously an important theme in this novel, particularly within its historical context. Other posts have talked about the importance of crossing rivers in the story. Can you draw any parallels between entering a new world and writing and how they introduce John to new concepts?

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