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Illusion / Woodenheadedness / Absurdity:

The following quotes illustrate the topic's ambiguity.  Use these to establish the scope of your topic--to begin to specify the subtopics that verbalize various differing opinions on the same issue--to begin to develop a guide to your reading.

"There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that has not at some time been said by some philosopher."  Oliver Goldsmith

"The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only."    Thomas Hobbes

"It is the height of absurdity to sow little but weeds in the first half of one's lifetime and expect to harvest a valuable crop in the second half."    Percy Johnston

"In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap."    Napoleon Bonaparte

"Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble."    Samuel Johnson

"The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man almost nothing."    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion if we want to be happy."    Cyril Connolly

"It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull."    Joseph Conrad

"The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes."    Arthur Miller

"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live."    Mark Twain

"The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action."    Oscar Wilde

"It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality."    Virginia Woolf

Arendt, Hannah.  On Violence.  San Diego, CA:  Harcourt, Brace,
Jovanovich, 1970.
_ _ _  The Life of the Mind.  New York:  Harcourt, Brace,
Jovanovich, 1978.
Golding, William.  Lord of the Flies.
Lewis, David.  W. E. B. DuBois:  Biography of a Race.  New York:  Henry, Holt,
and Co., 1993.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Civil Disobedience.  New York:
New American Library, 1980.
Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.