The Mock Sheep Raid Analysis

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Skepticism Writing allows people to communicate and reflect on their thoughts. To write out one’s ideas allows the writer to reflect upon and reinterpret their interpretations. To feel a feeling, to think a thought is only surface level - to really explore the thought or feeling one must write it down and look at it objectively - not as their own as an idea removed. It is like evaluating someone else’s answer to a question. The removal from one’s self allows a writer to be more free. To remove context gives space in between the writer and the writing, which allows the writer to be more honest, or to take on a different perspective. While writing gives a person the opportunity to hone their ideas in a communicable way, it also lets them…show more content…
To not be reminded of the author 's role, allows the reader to view the narrative as fact when in actuality the author’s observation and interpretation separate the reader from the truth. Observation is often taken for granted as an ethnographer 's view and understanding is changed depending on the perspective he uses. Had he placed himself in the story, as he did in Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight, the reader would have a clearer understanding of what information to believe or to question - as they would have insight into the characters recounting the story to him. Posing all information as fact gives the reader a false sense of security that Geertz is both a reliable narrator and has interpreted his observations without bias. While his approach to ethnography provides the reader with a coherent narrative, it neglects to show how the information was gathered or an evaluation of the reliability of the sources. As readers, we must be skeptical of the storyteller’s motives for, as in the nature of storytelling, information is manipulated to convey a certain meaning to the reader; to trust a writer to communicate objectively is dangerous as with explication important information can…show more content…
Unlike other events which are up for interpretation, dialogue has the unique ability to be perceived as verbatim, however, it is subject to manipulation just as any other observation. Cohen, the Jewish protagonist, and the central figure is likely the source Geertz used to construct the narrative. Assuming this, Cohen must have told the dialogue to Geertz as well. In the story, twice Cohen reaches out for help from the government official. In each case he is met with impassivity, the lines “If you get killed, it’s your problem,” and “I can’t do anything about the matter. It’s not my problem”(8-9) assign a disposition to the authority figures thus making them more memorable and concrete. Further, it is unlikely that in the years of retelling the event, the dialogue did not change. Cohen, in reciting the event to Geertz, would try to suggest certain ideas about the French authority and about himself (for instance, that the authority was inflexible while he was helpless). Moreover, Geertz in recounting the story and constructing narrative would try to convey a universal event. The aspects of the story told by Cohen, included or excluded in the narrative were selectively chosen to aid Geertz in his quest to convey a universal event. The contrast between the apathy of the authority figure (as a result of their job not having real-life consequences) to Cohen’s experience (where his action does have consequences) conveys the relationship between an individual and an
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