Walter Miller, in the novel A Canticle For Leibowitz, mocks the way we are as humans, particularly in those ways that lead to regressive thinking.  The novel pokes fun at the attention to impractical details, such as to the spent copying the Leibowitz blueprints.  Miller also mocks humans by describing the inordinate amount of attention and energy given to a spiritual being such as Leibowitz, as today’s society worships God.  Finally, the most absurd way Miller mocks today’s society occurs when he describes how they do not give something very important the considered attention that it deserves.  These are three examples how Walter Miller mocks and shows today’s society their faults. Miller mocks the way we are as humans when Francis gives too much attention to impractical details to the Leibowitz blueprints.  Brother Francis spends many years copying the blueprints of the circuit design.

Francis copies the design so carefully he mistakenly believes the color of the paper is important to the design of the circuit.  Francis is set on mindlessly copying the blueprint he does not realize what the circuit design is for, and what is does.  Brother Francis thinks regressively.  The monks copy out the blueprints, and then do nothing with them.  As a society we do the same thing today.  In school students copy notes off the blackboard blindly, they do not know what they are copying.  Therefore, they do not understand the content. Not only does Miller also poke fun at impractical details, Miller also pokes fun at the way today’s society revolves is the importance of a spiritual being such as Leibowitz.  Today’s society is strongly set on the existence of God. Today’s society is mocked due to the importance of a spiritual being, like Leibowitz.

The monks do not really know who Leibowitz is. All of the information about Leibowitz are only rumors.  No concrete evidence surfaced to prove that Leibowitz exists.  It is the same in today’s society with the belief of God.  No proof that God physically exists is evident today.  Most people still believe in God spiritually on the other hand.  In comparison to the book’s society, Leibowitz is their God.  When Brother Francis accidently stumbles upon possible genuine evidence of the existence of Leibowitz, they ignore it.  The Monks concentrate on the most illogical things.  The only thing that they believe is important is a  mysterious pilgrim spotted in the desert.  The Monks believe that the pilgrim is Leibowitz himself.  The Monks are looking past concrete evidence wondering if it is Leibowitz who is seen desert.  It seems that the monks do not concentrate on what is really important.  They concentrate on the most absurd things.  If we discover a fallout shelter in the desert that housed Jesus, we would not brush it off like the monks did.  We would protect, and display it in a museum for years to come.

The monks did not protect these documents when they sent Brother Francis to New Rome with sacred documents.  The Monks, and sadly, Brother Francis has to suffer to this misfortune. Finally Miller mocks the monks’ regressive way of thinking when they send Brother Francis to New Rome with the Leibowitz designs.  The monks did not think ahead in sending Francis to New Rome without protection.  The fact that they failed to provide protection for Brother Francis is absurd.  Francis is transporting the most important documents ever found half way across the country all by himself without protection.  Many dangers are apparent on the way to New Rome, including robbers, and the monks failed to think ahead to see this. Today’s society is the same.  Our society sometimes rushes to judgments when we get excited.  We fail to look ahead at the consequences.  A good example is the deterioration of the environment from pollution.  During economic highs factories were pumping pollution into the air at an enormous rate.  Today’s society is left to fix the problem that we were not responsible for.  The factories only thought of money and failed to think ahead of what the pollution would do to the air.

Reading the book, A Canticle For Leibowitz, it is apparent that today’s society is an image of the monks society.  We copy things out mindlessly without thinking, an example is homework, and we do not really know what we are really doing.  The monks also copy mindlessly when Francis copies the blueprints. Today’s society is also dependent on a spiritual being that could or could not exist.  The monks gave too much attention to canonizing Leibowitz.  We fail to look past these things, like the Monks, and wonder if they really exist.  We also realize our society thinks too regressively and is very short sighted in our decision making process.  Instead we let the spur of the moment determine our decisions in most cases.  The monks also did this when the failed to offer adequate protection for Brother Francis.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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