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Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land

by Robert A. Heinlein

Tradition and Customs Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"Mike is utterly civilized, Martian style." (13.101)

Jubal uses civilized here as a relative term defined by culture. It all depends on the definition you give to civilized. Given the right definition and standards, do you think Jubal would think the cast of Jersey Shore is civilized? Maybe? Eh?

Quote #5

"Jubal, if I offered Mike a glass of water, would he go through that lodge routine?" (17.281)

Later in the novel, Duke has a whole bunch of water brothers. Just goes to show you how every custom and tradition has to have a start and an end somewhere.

Quote #6

"But a poor portrayal is as effective as a good one for most people. They don't see defects; they see a symbol which inspires their deepest emotions; it recalls to them the Agony and Sacrifice of God."

"Jubal, I thought you weren't a Christian?"

"Does that make me blind to human emotion? The crummiest plaster crucifix can evoke emotions in the human heart so strong that many have died for them. The artistry with which a symbol is wrought is irrelevant." (30.53-54)

Customs and traditions can give everyday items a huge value, particularly emotional value. This value extends to everything from religious paraphernalia to heirlooms to pop culture. We like 'N Sync and The Power Rangers not because they were good (they weren't), but because we invested so much emotion into them as a kid. The mind is deliciously tricky like that.

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