This point leads on to another knowledge claim, but which supports Bennett’s statement: Before discoveries are made, emotions are needed to drive scientists to knowledge. Just last year, NASA found ice in the soil of Mars, suggesting how there could be water on the planet, possibly even extraterrestrial life. If scientists were not driven by passion, curiosity and hope emotions, they would surely not spend enormous sums of money and time on Mars explorations. Without the powerful urge to know if there is life beyond our planet, we would not hear of so many investigations of this kind in the outer space.
In a similar fashion, for my extended essay, I would not have investigated the calorific values in crisps if I were not genuinely interested and curious about the topic-especially considering the length of the essay efforts put together. Finally, I will use the third area of knowledge, art, to explain why emotions are highly relevant in “owning” knowledge. A counter claim for this is that new ideas-a form of knowledge-for characters in literature can arrive without emotion. J. K. Rowling mentioned how Harry Potter suddenly came to her mind out of the blue.
Therefore, it is reasonable to say that this knowledge of the character is gained before emotions come into play. Yet Rowling must attach emotional significance to Harry before he can be truly counted as a character, and be put to paper. From my own experience, I often see in my mind fleeting images of a boy, girl or creature with a certain appearance and personality. Yet only a few of them genuinely arouse me emotionally, interest me, and only these few count as real characters that I actually create in my stories.
In fact, here is a very convincing supporting knowledge claim for Bennett: You cannot really learn and understand theories in art without emotion. When you see a painting with “harmonious” colours, if you do not try to feel how the colours merge gently into one another, you would probably not appreciate the smooth tranquility of the picture. In the same vein, when writing English essays, our teachers advise us to make the words “flow” and use “compelling” language. I used to wonder in vain what “flow” and “compelling” really mean. Are there any specific rules, sentence structures or words that will help me attain this?
That was precisely my mistake. To really grasp and understand word “flow” and “compelling” language, I must rely on my emotional experience when I read and write. If I am reasonably happy with my stream of words, and if the language on the whole effectively evokes my emotions, then the essay is “flowing” and “compelling”. If not, it isn’t. Still, the most convincing supporting claim, is that we need emotions to truly appreciate the beauty in art, like in literature. When I read Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, there was a part where Anne and her lover Captain Wentworth are finally left alone to reveal to each other their undead love.
Instead of explicitly stating they are “secretly happy”, Austen describes “smiles reined in, spirits danced in private rapture. ” If I were emotionless, I would simply think this is a more elaborate, fancy way of saying the same thing: metaphors therefore being a waste of ink. Fortunately I do have emotions. By empathizing with them and imagining their exquisite joy and titillating tenderness, I can appreciate Austen’s craft of conveying this deeper emotional meaning to the reader with vivid imagery. Likewise, emotions help us understand the beauty and effect of music.
In “Somewhere” by Within Temptation, the voices are long drawn calls; the music floods the ears with a resonating, languid richness. The music instantly stirs me with a deep, moving poignancy. Yet I would not be able to understand the alternating moments of soul-deep sorrow and lingering hope, if I could not feel emotions. Instead, I would probably say dispassionately that “Somewhere” is simply a specific combination and interaction of notes, rhythms, melodies and voices-nothing to fuss about at all.
Therefore, despite some counter claims that are reasonable to an extent, there are far more supporting claims, all strengthened by evidence that propose Arnold Bennett’s claim. Thus, essentially, knowledge will not be “ours” until we have felt the emotional “impact” of it.
Word Count: 1489 (not including title)