“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.”(Aristotle) The importance of education is effectively illustrated in the book Crow Lake by Mary Lawson and also in Alden Nowlan’s poem Warren Pryor. Both Kate’s family and Warren’s family highly value the importance of education and both families expect their children to receive higher education. Both Kate and Warren used education as a tool to escape poverty. However, they differ in their feelings toward education and the life chosen by their parents.
Both Kate Morrison’s family and Warren Pryor’s family believe that education is crucial and they are determined to send their children to receive higher education. Kate’s great grandmother had a passion for education which infected and influenced Kate a lot. “Education was her dream of dreams, a passion so strong it was almost a disease, and she infected not only her children with it but generations of little Morrisons unborn.”( Lawson, 23) She wanted all her offspring to receive education and have a successful life. It was because of her great grandmother’s passion that Kate was send to school to receive proper education. Kate has heard the stories of her great grandmother since very young and “grew up knowing about her dreams and being aware of her gaze.”( Lawson, 27) She was given the responsibility of receiving higher education and fulfill her great grandmother’s dream. Moreover, Matt, being Kate’s brother, also expected Kate to have higher education. When he got accepted by an university, he told Kate that “and then I’ll pay for you to go to university, too.”(Lawson, 187) He also sees education as something indispensible and insist on sending Kate to obtain good education. Warren Pryor’s family, in a way similar to Kate’s, also regards education as critical to one’s success. They struggled to send their child to school despite the fact that the family was poor. ” When every pencil meant a sacrifice, his parents boarded him at school in town.”( Nowlan, Stanza 1) It was because of their value and determination that Warren Pryor obtained higher education and landed on a good job. Both families value education and the effects of education. And because of their determination, Kate and Warren both received proper education.
In addition, Kate and Warren are similar in using education as a tool to escape poverty. They see getting educated as an opportunity to get away from farm life and the poverty they suffered. As being affected by her great grandmother’s thoughts of seeing education as ” the key to escaping the poverty of farming”(Lawson, 187), Kate went to university. She achieved excellent scores in her studies and was being funded for her PHD. She did eventually escape the poverty of farm life, as “if she acquitted herself well in that, jobs would be available, either at the university itself or elsewhere”(Lawson,187) Education enables a new world for her and she thought that “the world was spreading itself out before her”(Lawson, 188) The power of education enabled a lot of opportunities for her and completely changed her life. Comparing to her, Warren Pryor also achieved a wonderful life thanks to the power of education. Instead of plowing the field, he obtained a job as a bank teller and earned a lot more than being a farmer. “They marveled how he wore a milk-white shirt workdays and jeans on Sundays.” (Nowlan, Stanza 3) He escaped poverty and was saved from” their thistle-strewn farm and its red dirt”( Nowlan, Stanza 3) He no longer needs to suffer from the poverty their parents suffered and gained a life that many people dreamed of. Education has had huge impacts on both characters as it helped to change their lives completely. It helped them to have a decent living in the city
However, Kate enjoys getting educated and loves the job education brought her while Warren Pryor dislikes his job. When Kate entered university, she found that she loved studying and was enjoying it. ” I have discovered by then that Great grandmother was more right than she knew the power of education.”(Lawson, 187) She agreed with her great grandmother that education can actually bring happiness. When she graduated, she was also satisfied with her job as a university professor except for the teaching part.” I was genuinely in love with my work.”( Lawson, 188) She loves all the things education brought her. In contrast, Warren Pryor hates the life he is having. He had education just because his parents wanted him to. He did not enjoy studying at all. When he graduated with a teller’s job, he did not feel happy. He “aches with empty strength and throttled rage”(Nowlan, Stanza 4）when he does his job. He did not like the things education brought
him at all.
As a conclusion, both Kate’s and Warren Pryor’s family take education seriously and expect their children to obtain formal education. Both Kate and Warren Pryor became achieved after being educated. Nevertheless Kate loves education and her job while Warren hates them. Although education is indisputably important and powerful, not everyone loves it as well as its effects. Education can really change people’s lives in a good way, but it is people’s own decisions that whether they want the change or not.