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yond the theme defined the theme is not unified in itself, but is unified in a larger whole, which should already have been done in giving its universal. attribute by reference to some larger whole. A definition must unify the theme both in itself and with a larger whole. The former is done by specifying the attribute, or attributes, which unify the theme in itself. And in doing this the mark given must extend through all members of the class defined, but not to a single other object. The definition must be neither too narrow nor too broad. The ultimate test of every definition is whether it unify the theme defined, — unify it both in itself and with a larger whole.
Since this double unity of the class is through its likenesses to and its differences from other classes, the class as a whole is also presented by means of
Comparison and Contrast. — This is a double process of uniting the parts of the class into the whole, and of uniting the class with a larger whole. This process either follows and explains definition, or precedes and prepares the way for the definition. In the order of learning, comparison and contrast precedes definition. Classes can be formed in the mind only by comparing and contrasting the individuals which are to compose it. Comparison and contrast is the initiative process in classification. By it, the likenesses and differences are sifted out, and thus the mind arrives at the unity of the class in itself, and its unity through common attributes with larger wholes.
The law of unity in comparison and contrast requires the choice of only such attributes of the objects compared and contrasted as will exhibit the common attributes of all the individuals of the class. This law would be violated if in comparing and contrasting verbs with prepositions, verbs should be contrasted with prepositions in the fact that some verbs express attributes, while prepositions do not. This violates unity because the verb is thus divided into two classes, and only one part contrasted with prepositions. There would be the same violation of unity in saying that verbs and adverbs are alike in that both express attributes, since only one class of verbs do so. Therefore, whenever two classes are to be compared, the attributes chosen, in respect to which the comparison is made, must be common to all the individuals of the class in which they are found.
It has already been suggested that description and narration are subordinate processes of exposition. They aid definition and comparison and contrast in presenting the content of the class. In this service description and narration present only such attributes of the individual as are common to the class to which the individual belongs. To this extent in exposition these processes are modified, and when thus modified are called
Exemplification. — Exemplification is the process of exposition by which the content of a class is presented through one or more individuals of the class.
The class steamship may be presented by describing the “Great Eastern ”; suspension bridges, by the suspension bridge across the Niagara River; patriotism, by a particular example of the virtue in Lincoln ; the class triangle, by a particular triangle.
This is the point of confluence of description and narration with exposition, and at this point it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. When describing the eyeball, the purpose may be to present only what is true of the class, as is the case in a work on anatomy. Such is exposition by exemplification, and not a description of the individual for the sake of the individual. The process may seem identical with that of the description of the capitol at Washington, but in the first case the process, while it may hold the attention to some particular eyeball, the end sought is knowledge of the class, for only that which is general is given in the particular ; while in the second case, the capitol, with all its peculiar attributes, is presented for its own sake. The capitol is not given as an example of anything, but is itself the thing given.
Exemplification is the most common form of exposition, because it has the advantage of presenting the general and the abstract in the concrete. Much that is usually classed under description and narration is exposition under the guise of these other processes. The novelist seems to be telling the story of a particular character, but he is always expounding general truth. Shakespeare narrates the events in Shylock's conduct only to expound the profoundest law of life. Hawthorne's story, “ The Bosom Serpent,” is to set forth the universal effect of egoism in the human heart. When Aesop tells the story of “ The Fox and the Grapes," he is revealing the universal nature of man. When a particular Australian is described we may expect to learn of an unfamiliar race, but a description of the President of the United States would probably have for its purpose a knowledge of the President.
Thus exemplification presents real or fictitious examples. The fictitious example is made necessary from the fact that no real example is adequate to the ideal content to be presented. The real content or nature of a thing or person is hampered in the thing or person, and to present the real thing or person would necessarily fail to present the ideal and potential nature of the class to be expounded. The real world of individual objects does not adequately reveal the world striving to manifest itself through the individual objects. This thought introduces another and the last process of setting forth the extent of a general idea, — namely, that of
Idealization. — Idealization is the process by which an individual object is made adequate to an ideal content or is harmonized with a universal content. We thus arrive at the peculiar phase of exposition which presents ideal truth as contrasted with matter-of-fact truth. The creative imagination now takes the place of the logical judgment, converting the real into the ideal, thus gratifying man's craving for the perfect, out of which arises poetic truth as distinguished from scientific truth. The poet's truth is created by the imagination from what is shadowed forth imperfectly in the real. The imagination in its passion for the perfect penetrates the object, and satisfies itself by adding, subtracting, and rearranging the elements until it contemplates the perfect, thus realizing the truest truth. Let no one be disturbed by the statement that fiction is truer than truth, i.e. matter-of-fact truth. Let it be emphasized that the only thing fictitious in fiction or poetry is the individual in which the universal truth is embodied, and that in this process the content or meaning becomes more real because there is a closer approach to the essential truth. Poetic truth is not to be considered airy, fanciful, and unreal, while scientific truth is solid and substantial.
Hence the poet idealizes to give his theme greater reality, intensity, and power. First he does this by omissions. For instance, patriotism, an emotion suitable for poetic purposes, when found in the individual, has elements which conflict with our idea of patriotism. To idealize is to omit them, and thus form a truer and a more pleasing idea. Love, a choice theme of the poet, does not receive a truthful, in the sense of true to the real, handling; whatever sensuous elements are found in the individual are omitted or toned down. The real pleasures of life have their alloy, but the poet strips them of their disenchanting element and we revel in the full fruition. We hold the poet responsible for high ideals: his power as a poet is largely measured by his power to idealize. Each of the emotions may have an element which clashes with our ideal of that emotion, as in the case of love with its gross and carnal element. Some poets use the carnal side, but in doing so sin against the laws of poetry and fine art in general. Each of the emotions arises by degrees out of the instinctive sensuous emotions, and carries to some degree the lower