Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to.

Nowhere Man / What Goes On by The Beatles (Single, Pop Rock ...
Image :rateyourmusic.com

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney: Lyrics from Nowhere Man: The Beatles:1965

I would frequently use song lyrics and music in my classes to demonstrate a point. When teaching students how to write an essay, I would explain that they needed a thesis, which simply put, was a point of view. Their point of view needed to be stated clearly and then logically backed up with examples and evidence. I would also take a rectangular block of florists foam, a large nail and a hammer and demonstrate that everything they wrote in the essay needed to hammer home their point of view and that by the time they got to the end of their essay, their reader should be able to see their clear argument.

So back to The Beatles, we would listen to their 1965 hit, Nowhere Man, particularly the line, Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to and I would explain that if their writing did not have a clear point of view, they would be all over the place and not know where they were going to, likewise their readers and marker/s would not either.

We would also do some work on perspectives by looking at scenarios and the different perspectives of the various stakeholders. We would notice that perspectives, or the way we view a situation, or our point of view would often depend on our social and/ or cultural history, our experiences, our interests, or our stake in a particular outcome.

I would explain that the students were entitled to their own point of view, they could say whatever they liked as long as they could support their claims with evidence and examples which were factual and credible.

It is OK for people to express different points of view. We are different people with different stories and different experiences. In fact, to listen and consider a point of view which differs to our own, to acknowledge the perspectives of people differ and to seek to understand rather than criticize is a great step towards personal growth and social harmony. You do not have to agree with my point of view, but I can still, with respect, argue it and with respect I can listen to understand your point of view. But there are those from all stripes of politics, culture, race and religion who have stopped respecting, who have stopped listening and who have stopped seeing.

So it’s back to the Beatles and another line from Nowhere Man;

He’s as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see.

Whoever knew The Beatles knew so much about writing essays!

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