Pages:4 (1238 words)
Stephen King’s The Outsider: A Persuasive Argument
The Outsider is a well-written book with exiting and unexpected turns and twists. The book has several well-developed themes. In my opinion, however, the central theme of the story is the rational man’s inability to believe that which does not conform to reality – the inability to believe in the supernatural. It is important to note that one of the most celebrated traits of the modern man is rationality. In basic terms, rationality could be conceptualized as the ability to rely on logic or reason in decision making. This effectively means that from a rational perspective, anything that does not conform to reason and logic cannot be accepted. We all start off in life having outrageous beliefs and fantasies. For instance, as kids we believe in the tooth-fairy and regard Father Christmas as a real benevolent person. These are beliefs we outgrow with time. This book questions the rational perspective of life that we embrace as adults. In the end, the key lesson is that we must be objective enough to embrace that which falls outside our rational perspectives.
The Outsider is a riveting story of murder, investigation, and deception. One of the most popular and well-regarded citizens of Flint City, Oklahoma has been arrested and charged with the violation and murder of an 11-year-old boy. The lead detective, Ralph Anderson, believes there is sufficient evidence to charge the alleged killer – a teacher by the name Terry Maitland. While the evidence police gather in this case directly connects Maitland to the crime, the teacher has what appears to be an irrefutable alibi. As a matter of fact, when he is arrested, Maitland is bewildered. At the time of his arrest, “he made himself a promise: come fall, maybe even sooner, the man in the front seat, the one he’d considered a friend, was going to be looking for a new job” (King 8). Modern science has been of great relevance in as far as aiding detectives in their work is concerned. This is more so the case when it comes to forensic identification. To a large extent, it is possible to actively utilize trace evidence to identify specific objects. It therefore follows that in crime scenes, detectives can often scout for trace evidence left behind by suspects in a bid to identify the actual perpetrators.
In an attempt to ensure fairness in court procedures…
…is cracked not by scientific ingenuity, but by the objectivity of an individual who is open to all possibilities – including those that do not necessarily align with modern science.
One of the most popular proponents of the rational perspective to life is Charlie Munger – the Vice Chair of Berkshire Hathaway. According to Munger, most of our human misfortunes could be traced to irrational behavior, sheer human folly, and belief in perspectives that have no evidentiary backing. It is, however, important to note that there are many nooks and nannies in the world and nothing can really be ruled out. Just because something has no scientific basis is not sufficient reason to dismiss it. There are a whole lot of things we cannot explain about our world and the universe. For instance, the question regarding the actual size of the universe has eluded scientists for centuries. With all the scientific tools available, scientists cannot wrap their minds around the universe. We know so little. We must resist the desire to ‘box-up’ our minds. While there is nothing wrong with being rational, refusing to accept explanations that are not firmly rooted in sense and reason could do more harm than good. This is…
Kind, Stephen. The Outsider. Simon and Schuster, 2019.