The Perfectibility of Man Ah heaven, what a dreary theme The perfectibility of the Fordcar The perfectibility of which man? I am many men. Which of them are you going toperfect? I am not a mechanical contrivance.Education Which of the various me's do you propose to educate, and which do youpropose to suppress?Anyhow I defy you. I defy you, oh society, to educate me or to suppress me, according toyour dummy standards.The ideal man And which is he, if you please? Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln? Theideal man Roosevelt or Porfirio Diaz?There are other men in me, besides this patient ass who sits here in a tweed jacket. Whatam I doing, playing the patient ass in a tweed jacket? Who am I talking to? Who are you, atthe other end of this patience?Who are you? How many selves have you? And which of these selves do you want to be?Is Yale College going to educate the self that is in the dark of you, or Harvard College?The ideal self Oh, but I have a strange and fugitive self shut out and howling like a wolf or acoyote under the ideal windows. See his red eyes in the dark? This is the self who is cominginto his own.The perfectibility of man, dear God When every man as long as he remains alive is inhimself a multitude of conflicting men. Which of these do you choose to perfect, at theexpense of every other?Old Daddy Franklin will fell you. He'll rig him up for you, the pattern American. Oh, Franklinwas the first downright American. He knew what he was about, the sharp little man. He setup the first dummy American.At the beginning of his career this cunning little Benjamin drew up for himself a creed thatshould "satisfy the professors of every religion, but shock none."Now wasn't that a real American thing to do?"That there is One God, who made all things."(But Benjamin made Him.)"That He governs the world by His Providence."(Benjamin knowing all about Providence.)"That He ought to be worshipped with adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving."(Which cost nothing.)"But-" But me no buts, Benjamin, saith the Lord.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was one of the most important and controversial novelists of the 20th century. His graphic writing about sex and class lead to bans of many of his most famous works, including Lady Chatterley's Lover, the subject of bans in both American and Britain until 1960.