As part of one’s campaign to educate, inform, and elucidate, one tries to be both approachable and kindly. Which occasionally causes one to make silly decisions. In a foolish moment, one allowed oneself to be persuaded that answering questions from students would be a good idea. Which it probably isn’t. However, one’s word is one’s bond. So. Have at you…
I am puzzled. Very puzzled.
Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Oh Claire, Claire. Do not attempt to be clever at the expense of your teacher. One is not the Mad Hatter, and your name is Claire, not Alice. However, one will answer your question seriously.
It is a matter of symbols.
A raven? An ugly black bird?
A writing desk? Just a piece of furniture?
Err. No. In order to unriddle the unanswerable riddle, it is necessary for your masterful tutor to break down the barriers in your tiny mind and introduce you to the borderless and boundless world of possibilities that symbolic understanding can open to you.
A raven can be seen as the harbinger of evil, or as the bringer of knowledge and thought to the small minds of the little people who walk the earth beneath them.
A writing desk, of course, symbolises the earthbound woodenness of humanity and our struggle to rise above the limitations of our tiny lives.
Oho, Claire, one sees your puzzled little face. And hears your pathetic cry.
“How are such symbols helping? The raven and the writing desk are complete opposites.”
But they are not. They are opposite ends of the same spectrum of human endeavour. The raven is achievement and the writing desk is that place from which we seek to achieve.
Therefore a raven is like a writing desk because the one leads to the achievement symbolised by the other.
Without the writing desk the raven is pointless and without the raven, the writing desk cannot exist.
And now Claire, write one hundred times.
‘I must not attempt to be facetious, it is unbecoming in youth and unworthy in age.’
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