“Intelligent Geeks – Why Americans Consider Intellectuals Abnormal” English Class Essay
Americans have mixed feelings towards intellectuality. Often you can hear someone talking about their new technology and how great it is, such as the engine in their new car. That same person might talk about someone who is very intelligent as being a nerd or geek upon hearing that they know how to put together a car engine. Americans are ambivalent towards intellectuals because they are usually different from
what we consider normal.
The first reason intellectuals are not considered normal is that they enjoy learning. They get great pleasure out of information and are often good at retaining it. They like knowing more than others. I consider my cousin Joseph an intellectual. He loves to read something that he has never read before. He graduated both undergraduate and graduate school with a 4.0 grade point average. He has probably been called a nerd many times, yet because he is an engineer we look to him to provide us with new advances in technology.
Another reason intellectuals are not considered normal is that they are stereotyped to have few friends. The truth is they may not care about how many friends they have. It may not make a difference to them. They don’t fit in with the common person, because the common person can’t understand them. However, we need them to not be worried about their friends. If the person who invented the car engine had been more interested in making friends and being sociable, we might still be getting around in buggies drawn by horses. Joseph lives alone in California under the roof of a one-bedroom apartment. While I don’t know everything about his personal life, he did not have many friends when he lived here, and he does not talk much about anything other than work when I see him.
The last reason intellectuals are not considered normal is that they seem to be unreachable by the common person. Most of the time intellectuals have a much higher than average standard of living. They often have large vocabularies and can talk like they are reading from a book. At family gatherings Ryan has a tendency to talk to another of my relatives about highly involved physics, which no one else in the family can understand. It has become a kind of joke among the rest of us normal people that we can’t understand what they are talking about. Probably we just wish we understood them though.
Americans have different views of intellectuals because they are different from what is considered normal. Intellectuals are important to society even though they might be looked upon in an unfavorable manner sometimes. They might like to learn. They might have few friends. They might not enjoy doing the same things we do. They are responsible for many of the inventions and ideas that lead us to new and better places. But they are people too, and they are more like us than we think.