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Final Narratives

In the chapter titled “Final Narratives,” from the Heart of the Humanities, Mark Edmundson describes a “Final Narrative” as follows:

A Final Narrative [. . .] involves the ultimate set of terms that we use to confer value on experience. It’s where our principles are manifest. When someone talks feelingly about the Ten Commandments, or the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, or the innate goodness of human beings [. . .] she has revealed something close to the core of her being. She’s touched on the ultimate terms of commitment, the point beyond which argument and analysis are unlikely to go” (25).

For your second essay, I would like you to describe in detail your own Final Narratives, the values by which you define and attach meaning to your experiences. These values can be religious, secular, philosophical, personal, scientific, political, etc. There is no correct answer to this part of the essay. Just be sure to provide a clear explanation, with concrete examples, of your core values.

Once you have established your Final Narratives, I would like you then to examine their origins: Are these narratives yours? Where did they come from? Did you arrive at these conclusions by your own thinking, or are there parts of your worldview that you have adopted from others—parents, family, friends, religious or secular institutions—unconsciously?

Your essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a strong conclusio