Neil Gaiman

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Does Neil Gaiman believe ideas can be killed or contained? Explain.

Quick answer:

Neil Gaiman doesn’t believe that ideas can be killed or contained. Gaiman believes that attempts to control or extinguish ideas will only further their dissemination.

Expert Answers

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To figure out if the well-known author Neil Gaiman believes that ideas can be killed or contained, read his “Credo,” which he wrote in the New Statesman. In the first paragraph, Gaiman divulges his opinion about ideas. He says it is “difficult to kill ideas.” According to Gaiman, ideas are “invisible and contagious.” They move quickly, or, in Gaiman’s word, “fast.” Their speed and intangible nature makes them hard to squash or stop.

In the next paragraph, Gaiman goes into graphic detail about how people have to tried to halt ideas. He luridly recounts the ways in which people throughout history have tried to stomp them out. According to Gaiman, countless brutal murders have been enacted with the purpose of defeating or containing ideas. In Gaiman’s mind, no amount of killing can effectively defeat an idea.

In the third paragraph, which is only one sentence, Gaiman notes the regularity of repressing ideas. Such an endeavor is futile. Gaiman is of the opinion that people who try to stop an idea from circulating will only help that idea spread.

In the ensuing parts of his essay, Gaiman makes the case that all kinds of ideas have the right to be pronounced, including ideas that could be called offensive, stupid, or preposterous. Although, as Gaiman points out, just as an idea can’t be killed, no person should be killed because of the ideas that they express.

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