With Age Comes Wisdom - Henry Adam

Essay by babyblue_eyed_angelUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2006

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Henry Adam's was born February 16, 1838, in the United States of America. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all either presidents or congressmen. Adams was a very talented novelist and historian who published many books. Adams also was a professor of history at Harvard. His most famous Pulitzer Prize winning essay called "The Education of Henry Adams" is an autobiography about Adams' education at Harvard College class of 1858. His essay goes on to discredit Harvard's educational system, stating that they graduate men who learned how to regurgitate facts but not how to solve real life problems. He is upset because he wanted to learn how to analyze a situation and not spit up a collection of facts. Adams mentions Harvard in the aspect that "any other education would have required a serious effort, but no one took Harvard College seriously" (32). He also states that "Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts" (42).

I believe that Adams was puerile in his observation of Harvard. He claimed that Harvard was a fact factory instead of a school that taught its pupils how to apply knowledge and how to dissect problems. What our young Adams doesn't realize is that college was not supposed to teach you analytical skills, that is up to the individual to decide how to apply what they learned. There is no set standard of how to teach pupils higher thinking because everyone applies their own intelligence in different ways.

In the Harvard College section of Henry Adams' essay his tone seems puerile. He seems very ambitious and naive. The reason why I say this is because Henry Adams seems to be scrutinizing every aspect of Harvard. One might even construe his...