The Harvard Mentality as Moral Emblem

by John Holbo on February 20, 2010

Following up on Henry’s post …

I have just been reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Moral Emblems (history of comics is everywhere, you know), and I think he pegs this ‘Harvard Mentality’ with a simple but elegant woodcut and associated poem.

Mark, printed on the opposing page,
The unfortunate effects of rage.
A man (who might be you or me)
Hurls another into the sea.
Poor soul, his unreflecting act
His future joys will much contract,
And he will spoil his evening toddy
By dwelling on that mangled body.

Or, as Michael Bérubé puts it: “I’ll show YOU what’s liberal about the liberal arts!”