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What is the message which author wants to give and how in the essay, "On Saying Please"...

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faizamateen | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 17, 2009 at 1:07 AM via web

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What is the message which author wants to give and how in the essay, "On Saying Please" by A. G. Gardiner.

Elaborate on the following quote:  "AND WHATEVER OUR SYMPATHY WITH THE LIFT MANWE MUST ADMIT THAT THE LAW IS REASONABLE.IT WOULD NEVER DO IF WE WERE AT THE LIBERTY BOX,PEOPLE'S EAR'S BECUASE WE DIN'T LIKE THEIR BEHAVIOUR OR THE TONE OF THE VOICES OR THE SCROWL OF THEIR FACES.OUR FISTS WOULD NEVER BE IDLE AND THE GUTTERS OF THE CITY WOULD RUN WITH BLOOD ALL DAY.

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 17, 2009 at 2:17 AM (Answer #1)

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I will answer the second part of the question first. The quotation refers to the fact that while the law is very definite about how individuals should act, it does not have much to say about the issues of courtesy and kindness/ politeness to others. The law speaks to individuals who have been wronged, whose rights have been taken away at the hands of another. Yet, it cannot legislate manners or civility in acting towards one another. The reality is that while it is not a perfect state, this state of law is a reasonable one because it does not enter the realm of emotions. The quote is suggesting that if the law gave into this level of emotional subjectivity, then individuals would be carrying out acts of violence each time someone demonstrated rudeness to them. Apply this to our own settings:  If the law permitted us to act with violence towards the people who were rude to us on a daily basis, what would the consequences be?  Indeed, they might be a situation where "the gutters of the city would run with blood all day" because of the violent actions towards rude people.

The theme of the essay revolves around the issues of manners and while we might be frustrated with the rudeness around us, individuals can counter it with demonstrating good manners to one another and brightening one another's day.

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