The Moral Point of View

Lamott believes every piece has a moral point of view. For her, there is no neutral stance, all writing has a moral standing in it even if there is no specific message to be preached. Since writing is a reflection of life, both in human society and individual people, it doesn’t have the luxury of an amoral “above good and evil” standing. She says that themes from life enhance writing, or more accurately are essential to it. Without a reflection of the world, writing is ultimately meaningless to Lamott, and life and morality go hand in hand.

In this section, two essays come to mind.  First, Joseph Harris’s “The Idea of Community in this Study of Writing” which discusses the importance of community and society around you. Harris believes that rather than feeling like an “insider” or “outsider” when writing for a specific discourse community, students should be taught to create their own voice using their own cultural and moral background. Second is Fan Shen’s “The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identify as a Key to Learning English Composition.” In this, Shen discusses his journey immigrating to America from China. Not only did he have to adjust to the cultural differences in everyday life, but how those same cultural and moral nuances affected composition. This mirrors Lamott’s point that life/culture and moral ideals come together, especially in writing.


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