Posted by: Ange | April 9, 2010

Critical Analysis of “Don’t you think it’s time to start thinking?” by Northrop Frye

In the piece “Don’t you Think it’s Time to Start Thinking?” Frye uses his own voice. He uses an intellectual tone throughout the piece. I believe that he is writing to people who hide in clichés and try not to think for themselves. He is addressing students by telling them that the power of their ideas lies in the articulation. He is also addressing teachers, stressing that they must inspire their students to want to be able to articulate their thoughts clearly.

I believe that he is trying to get people to stop hiding in the masses by not thinking critically. He is calling for people to learn how to think critically, as well as for people to be taught in school how to think critically. Not only is he saying that people need to be able to think critically but they need to be able to articulate their thoughts. People need to form their thoughts into coherent, understandable sentences. He believes that in order for this to happen that teachers need to step up and help students be able to articulate their thoughts clearly.

His idea is that ‘thinking’ is a loosely used term. People often use the word thinking to describe “worrying, remembering, or daydreaming.” He argues that thinking is not the same. He believes that the only reason our society values literacy is because the masses are literate and it is needed in life to be able to have general understanding of what is going on around us. He defines thinking as “the practice of articulating ideas… in the right words.” He is saying that although everyone has thoughts, they do not become meaningful or appreciated until they can be clearly defined in words.

Frye believes that teachers have a lot to overcome in order to teach their students how to articulate their ideas clearly. “Teachers are faced not simply with a mass of misconceptions and unexamined assumptions. They must engage in a fight to help the student confront and reject the verbal formulas and stock responses, to accept passive acceptance into active, constructive power.” He is saying that getting students and people in general to start thinking critically and articulating their thoughts clearly will be a struggle as there are many misconceptions in our society about literacy. This is something that needs to be overcome to better our society.

I believe that Frye conveyed his ideas well. I think that it is true that people are often unable to clearly articulate their thoughts. I find that our society does not often appreciate the thoughts of those who are able to articulate their ideas either. Frye is correct in saying that those people become targets. Our society, and possibly the media as well just wants everyone to go with the flow and blend in. However it is those who are able to clearly articulate their ideas which better society.



  1. […] this is interesting: WordPress is apparently using this post on Frye to demonstrate the value of student blogs.  It’s nice to know that someone out there […]

  2. This is a great blog. I’m using this entry as an example of student writing for the freshman writing seminar I’m teaching.

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