Canticle For Leibowitz: Walter Miller

Canticle For Leibowitz: Walter Miller
Walter Miller, in the novel A Canticle For Leibowitz, mocks the way we
are as humans, particularly in those ways that lead to regressive thinking. The
novel pokes fun at the attention to impractical details, such as to the spent
copying the Leibowitz blueprints. Miller also mocks humans by describing the
inordinate amount of attention and energy given to a spiritual being such as
Leibowitz, as today’s society worships God. Finally, the most absurd way Miller
mocks today’s society occurs when he describes how they do not give something
very important the considered attention that it deserves. These are three
examples how Walter Miller mocks and shows today’s society their faults.

Miller mocks the way we are as humans when Francis gives too much
attention to impractical details to the Leibowitz blueprints. Brother Francis
spends many years copying the blueprints of the circuit design. Francis copies
the design so carefully he mistakenly believes the color of the paper is
important to the design of the circuit. Francis is set on mindlessly copying
the blueprint he does not realize what the circuit design is for, and what is
does. Brother Francis thinks regressively. The monks copy out the blueprints,
and then do nothing with them. As a society we do the same thing today. In
school students copy notes off the blackboard blindly, they do not know what
they are copying. Therefore, they do not understand the content.

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Not only does Miller also poke fun at impractical details, Miller also
pokes fun at the way today’s society revolves is the importance of a spiritual
being such as Leibowitz. Today’s society is strongly set on the existence of

Today’s society is mocked due to the importance of a spiritual being,
like Leibowitz. The monks do not really know who Leibowitz is. All of the
information about Leibowitz are only rumors. No concrete evidence surfaced to
prove that Leibowitz exists. It is the same in today’s society with the belief
of God. No proof that God physically exists is evident today. Most people
still believe in God spiritually on the other hand. In comparison to the book’s
society, Leibowitz is their God. When Brother Francis accidently stumbles upon
possible genuine evidence of the existence of Leibowitz, they ignore it. The
Monks concentrate on the most illogical things. The only thing that they
believe is important is a mysterious pilgrim spotted in the desert. The Monks
believe that the pilgrim is Leibowitz himself. The Monks are looking past
concrete evidence wondering if it is Leibowitz who is seen desert. It seems
that the monks do not concentrate on what is really important. They concentrate
on the most absurd things. If we discover a fallout shelter in the desert that
housed Jesus, we would not brush it off like the monks did. We would protect,
and display it in a museum for years to come. The monks did not protect these
documents when they sent Brother Francis to New Rome with sacred documents. The
Monks, and sadly, Brother Francis has to suffer to this misfortune.

Finally Miller mocks the monks regressive way of thinking when they send
Brother Francis to New Rome with the Leibowitz designs. The monks did not think
ahead in sending Francis to New Rome without protection. The fact that they
failed to provide protection for Brother Francis is absurd. Francis is
transporting the most important documents ever found half way across the country
all by himself without protection. Many dangers are apparent on the way to New
Rome, including robbers, and the monks failed to think ahead to see this.

Today’s society is the same. Our society sometimes rushes to judgments when we
get excited. We fail to look ahead at the consequences. A good example is the
deterioration of the ozone layer from pollution. During economic highs
factories were pumping pollution into the air at an enormous rate. No one
realized the damage it was doing to the ozone. Today’s society is left to fix
the problem that we were not responsible for. The factories only thought of
money and failed to think ahead of what the pollution would do to the air.

Reading the book, A Canticle For Leibowitz, it is apparent that today’s
society is an image of the monks society. We copy things out mindlessly without
thinking, an example is homework, and we do not really know what we are really
doing. The monks also copy mindlessly when Francis copies the blueprints.

Today’s society is also dependant on a spiritual being that could or could not
exist. The monks gave too much attention to canonizing Leibowitz. We fail to
look past these things, like the Monks, and wonder if they really exist. We
also realize our society thinks too regressively and do not think ahead when we
make a decision. Instead we let the spur of the moment determine our decisions
in most cases. The monks also did this when the failed to offer adequate
protection for Brother Francis.


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