Mr. Essay, Research Paper
Kafka’s Perspective of the truth in Jim Naureckas’s, “A Conspiracy of Dunces: Right-Wing Distortion Goes Mainstream.”
Kafka’s viewpoint on the truth of Prometheus is of skepticism. The structure of the essay is simple and concise, as it discusses the four legends concerning Prometheus. There is an introductory sentence, which provides the thesis of the story. The introductory sentence ends with a colon, and lists the four legends in chronological order with each legend starting with “according to.”
The syntax and organization of the story suggest that Kafka has a skeptical viewpoint as to which the legends are true or not or whether or not the legends contain any validity about Prometheus. He blatantly informs the reader that there are four legends that he will tell without explaining any background or historical information of how or why the legend originated. This interpretation suggests that Kafka did not believe the legends because he did not validate them with any background information nor suggest he did believe in them. Even more, the words “according to” mentioned in the beginning of every legend, suggest that Kafka does not believe the legends are valid. Yet, he keeps the reader open-minded by giving us the supposed facts so that we may decide for ourselves as to which legend to believe or to believe in any of the legends at all. Using key words as “according to” suggest that the legend, when told and passed on from one person to the next, was interpreted differently from each person’s unique point of view. Thus, the original legend may have been changed of its original meaning, intent, and text, which could possibly account for the various legends formed.
At the conclusion of the story, it mentions an inexplicable mass of rock. This rock is the origin of the four legends of Prometheus. Kafka cannot explain why the rock is there or if that particular rock had any truth about it. Thus, he attempts to explain it by giving us four legends so that we may find the truth about the rock. Kafka, however, does not believe that the rock has any truth or symbol as it “came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.”
Using all the information gained from Kafka’s view of the truth in Prometheus, what we are doing when we are talking about the truth is trying to persuade and convince the reader with statements in order to validate an idea that is imposed. In “A Conspiracy f Dunces,” a slanderous story about the White House being a victim of a right-wing conspiracy was conjured. The story was, in fact, completely false, but the widespread rumor or misrepresentation lead many people to believe that the story was actually true.
In order to find what the truth of reality was in the article, “A Conspiracy of Dunces” was organized to find the falsehood and invalidate the story by recalling how the rumor or misrepresentation began. Using this method of a flashback, it began by saying the “roots of this non-story go back to the dark days of 1995.” This suggests that the story took place in the past, and although not specifically mentioned, many people believed that the White House was a victim of conspiracy.
The media, especially the newspaper coverage, catalyzed and expanded the false story. The “Washington Times, which picked up the Journal’s report and ran wild with it,” had picked up along the lines of this path to what they though was the truth and shared it among the public. As this was a “shocking story” to the public, the media played a strong influence in persuading the public that the story was true. To many people, whatever articles that appears on the newspapers seems to be of total truth and validity due to the feeling that the newspaper is honest, and would lose customers if they intentionally lied, which in turn could lose their credibility and business. Still, here is how the non-story was revealed to a widespread audience with a truth in mind.
Toward the end of the article, it explains how the use of the word conspiracy written by the Washington Post was a distortion. Whether it was meant to confuse of not, the misunderstanding of the term grabbed the media and public’s attention, and persuaded them to believe what they thought was the truth. Finding the actual truth to something with the hard facts and evidence to support the story was inexplicable and not preventable. Toward the end of the article, Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times admitted that he didn’t know whether or not the story was true. Although he was given the information about the White House conspiracy claim to be false, he still has doubts of being deceived by the new information. In both “A Conspiracy of Dunces” and “Prometheus,” the reader is given the choice to find and decide what is true through each article’s statements and interpretations.