By Delphic 1 Comments
Sometimes in life society (people) will try and hold a person back. There are all sorts of different reasons why this could happen. It could be skin color, gender, or even sexual preference. In my opinion one of the worst things that society can sometimes hold back, is intelligence. Intelligence can be held back for a number of reasons such as jealousy or fear. Sometimes it’s held back because of uniformity, a disbelief in the existence of intelligence. Such as what happened to Adrian Veidt in Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1.
In this issue we see a young Adrian who is a child genius in every meaning of the word. By the time he was four, he had read all twenty-four volumes of his father’s encyclopedias. Then when he entered into the public school system he scored so high on the aptitude test that his parents were called. It wasn’t because Adrian was a genius though. The principal believed he had cheated, and said his scores were impossible. His father persuaded the principal that his son’s score was a fluke, and wouldn’t happen again. Later that night Adrian’s father approaches him, and tells him that he needs to hide his intelligence because he doesn’t need to be thought of as a freak. Adrian’s response is “It’s not fair. Why must I have my light under a bushel?” His father’s answer is: “Life isn’t fair, and all we can do is hope to survive it.”
It’s very true that life isn’t fair. On many things this is true, and what happened to Adrian can happen in real life. Signs of intelligence can be squandered and suffocated. For example, A child loves to read and shows that he can read faster than the other students in his class, he understands what he reads, and his pronunciation is superb. Yet when he finishes a book and stands to go and get another his teacher stops him, and says that he has to slow down and stay with the other students. If he doesn’t he will be sent to the principal’s office, and sent home with a disciplinary notice about how he disobeyed the teacher. Another example could be that another child loves to read, yet her father forces her to sit and watch television because she has to do what the family is doing. The girl sits with the family, but continues to read, so the father rips the book from her hand and throws it in the kitchen trash where the pages are soaked with the residue of rotting scraps.
So how is this handled? Well I think Ozymandias has the best resolution: patience. The pain is insurmountable for anyone going through that situation, but there is always a way to deal with those who try to suffocate an intelligent mind. Those who try to suffocate are bullies, and a bully can come in many forms. It doesn’t always have to be the stereotypical brute. A bully can be an authoritative figure like a teacher, or even a relative. A bully works by putting fear in a person and the one being bullied must face up to that fear, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do it alone. Having a friend can make things easier, but ultimately the only way to stop the suffocation of intelligence is to stop who or whatever is doing the suffocating.