French writers of the airier, belletristic kind used to enjoy pointing out that Michel de Montaigne, the man who invented the essay, was born Michel Eyquem, in Bordeaux in 1533, and that the family name and estate survive to this day in the name of Château d’Yquem, the greatest of all French sweet wines. The connection feels improbable—as though there were a Falstaff Ale that really dates to Shakespeare’s Stratford—but also apt. Montaigne’s essays can seem like the Yquem of writing: sweet but smart, honeyed but a little acid. And, with wine and writer alike, we often know more about them than we know of them—in the wine’s case because it costs too much money to drink as much as we might desire, in the writer’s because it costs too much time to read as much as we might want.
“Que sais-je?” “What do I know?” was Montaigne’s beloved motto, meaning: What do I really know? And what do we really know about him now? We may vaguely know that he was the first essayist, that he retreated from the world into a tower on the family estate to think and reflect, and that he wrote about cannibals (for them) and about cruelty (against it). He was considered by Claude Lévi-Strauss, no less, to be the first social scientist, and a pioneer of relativism—he thought that those cannibals were just as virtuous as the Europeans they offended, that customs vary equably from place to place. Though some of his aphorisms have stuck, both funny (Doctors “are lucky: the sun shines on their successes and the earth hides their failures”) and profound (“We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn”), he is not really an aphorist. He is, we think, a philosopher, and somehow accounted the father of modern liberalism, though he was aristocratic in self-presentation. We think of him, above all, as we do of Thomas More: a nice guy, an ideal intellect. S. N. Behrman, the American playwright and diarist, began but never finished a heroic play about Montaigne called “The Many Men,” which might have sealed him as the man for all seasons before the other guy got there.
Philippe Desan, in “Montaigne: A Life” (Princeton; translated from the French by Steven Rendall and Lisa Neal), his immense new biography, dryly insists that our “Château d’Yquem” Montaigne, Montaigne the befuddled philosopher and sweet-sharp humanist, is an invention, untrue to the original. Our Montaigne was invented only in the early nineteenth century. The Eyquem family, in their day, made no wine at all. They made their fortune in salted fish—and Desan’s project is to give us a salty rather than a sweet Montaigne, to take the Château d’Yquem out of his life and put the herring back in. Montaigne, to Desan’s dauntingly erudite but sometimes jaundiced eye, was an arriviste rather than an aristocrat, who withdrew into that tower out of fear as much as out of wisdom, having ridden political waves and been knocked down by them in a time, in France, of unimaginable massacre and counter-massacre between Protestants and Catholics. His motto was safety first, not solitude forever. That new form, the essay, is made as much from things that Montaigne prudently chose not to look at or evasively pretended not to know as from an avid, honest appetite for experience. We confuse him with the truly engagé Enlightenment and Romantic writers who came long afterward, as they came to confuse his briny Bordeaux with their winey one.
The idea of a salty rather than a sweet Montaigne follows the contemporary academic rule that all sweet things must be salted—all funny writers shown to be secretly sad, all philosophical reflection shown to be power politics of another kind. Desan has many crudely reductive theories—the most insistent being that Montaigne wrote essays about the world right now because he was covering up the truth that in the past his family were merchants, not lords—but he is a master of the micro-history of sixteenth-century Bordeaux. He lists all the other recipients of the royal necklace that Montaigne was proud to receive in midlife, signifying his elevation to the knightly Order of St. Michael, and no one, we feel assured, will have to go back and inspect those records again. At the same time, Desan suffers some from the curse of the archives, which is to believe that the archives are the place where art is born, instead of where it goes to be buried. The point of the necklaces, for him, is to show that Montaigne rose from a background of bribes and payoffs; he doesn’t see that we care about the necklaces only because one hung on Montaigne.
He establishes convincingly, though, that the Eyquem family had long been in trade—and was quite possibly Jewish in origin on Montaigne’s mother’s side—and that Montaigne’s persistent tone of lordly amusement was self-consciously willed rather than inherited. The family imported herring and woad in large enough quantities to buy an existing estate and win a kind of ersatz ennoblement. That act of ennoblement fooled nobody—the old aristocrats knew the difference and so did your bourgeois neighbors—but it gave you license to start acting aristocratic, which, if continued long enough, began to blend seamlessly with the real thing. “Most of these new nobles preferred to stress their way of living in retirement on their lands, free from any visible commercial activity,” Desan writes. “Family history is usually not mentioned, to the advantage of the present and everyday preoccupations.” The merchant Eyquems, under Michel’s father, Pierre, became noble “Montaignes,” able to use a single name in signature. The son’s retreat to the château and the tower was, on this slightly cynical view, simply another way of advertising and so accelerating the family’s elevation.
But, we learn, the Montaignes, father and son, being the virtuous bourgeois they really were, played an active role in that parlement that the family had bought its way into. Here we begin to enter a more fertile vineyard of implication. The bureaucracies of justice and politics in which Montaigne found himself are, as Desan describes them, instantly familiar to anyone who knows the equivalent in contemporary France. They combined, then as now, a wild bureaucratic adherence to punctilio and procedure with entanglements of cohort and clan that could shortcut the procedure in a moment. Montaigne had to learn to master this system while recognizing its essential mutability or, if you prefer, hypocrisy. The forms had to be followed, even when there was no doubt that the fix was in.
This sense of doubleness—that what is presented as moral logic is usually mere self-sustained ritual—became essential to Montaigne’s view of the world. (Lawyers to this day seem particularly sensitive to the play between form and fact, which makes them good novelists.) “There is but little relation between our actions that are in perpetual mutation and the fixed and immutable laws,” a chagrined Montaigne wrote later. “I believe it were better to have none at all than so infinite a number as we have.” His most emphatic—if perhaps apocryphal—remark on the subject is still applicable. He is reputed to have said that, having seen the law at work, if someone accused him of stealing the towers of Notre-Dame cathedral he would flee the country rather than stand trial.
Montaigne was witnessing the beginning of the parallel paper universe of the French bureaucratic state, where euphemism allows interest, and sometimes evil, to take its course. But in his time these daily tediums were laid over the violently shifting tectonic plates of religious warfare. The struggles between Catholic and Protestant in mid-sixteenth-century France killed more than a million people, either directly or by disease. By the time the wars swept through Bordeaux, the issues had long since been swamped by simple tribalism, of the kind that has afflicted Christianity since the Arian controversy. It was a question not of two sides warring over beliefs but of two sides for whom the war had become the beliefs.
As the battles between those faithful to Henry of Navarre and those opposed to him went on in ever more intricate and absurd factional dances, Montaigne’s place within them was as treacherous as everyone else’s. Smart people got killed, and often. It was dangerous not only because your side might lose but because there were so many factions to keep track of. Early on, he wrote, cautiously, that it was a mistake to look to the fortunes of war for proof of the rightness of either side’s cause: “Our belief hath other sufficient foundations, and need not be authorized by events.” But events were in the saddle. [cartoon id="a20629"]
The first stirrings of Montaigne’s deflecting, double-sided literary style appear in his 1571 eulogy for his closest friend, the philosopher Étienne de La Boétie. Though the eulogy is modelled on classical stoic death scenes reaching back to Plato’s Phaedo, its originality lies in Montaigne’s honest reporting of the comic absurdities of his friend’s passing, and of his own emotional ambivalence at his death. La Boétie, suffering from some kind of ill-defined infection, is shown to be less than admirably resigned. The delirium of his final hours led him to believe that he was back in court, declaiming: “The whole chamber”—that is, his bedroom—“was filled with cries and tears, which did not, however, interrupt in the slightest the series of his speeches, which were rather long.” La Boétie implored Montaigne to guarantee his “place”—meaning, presumably, his social position—to which Montaigne replied, in a black, punning moment out of a Samuel Beckett play, that “since he breathed and spoke, and had a body, he consequently had his place.”
Montaigne’s friendship with La Boétie helped convince him that religious belief is purely customary—that what we believe is what we are told to believe, but that our beliefs are still a duty to our social hierarchy. “Voluntary servitude” is the course that La Boétie recommends: obedience to the state or Church, with the inner understanding that this is a course we’ve chosen from social prudence, not from personal conviction. “We are Christians by the same title as we are either Périgordins or Germans” was Montaigne’s most forceful statement on this point.
Desan scolds both Montaigne and his friend—there is a lot of scolding of subject by author in this book—for thereby recommending or even inventing “the cornerstone of modern liberalism: individual freedom detached from any political or social action.” To say this, though, is surely to underestimate the originality of the position, or its audacity in its time. The assertion of individual freedom is a form of political action. As subsequent generations of intellectuals caught in violent irrational wars or under repressive governments have also learned, learning not to think foolishly is the first step toward sanity. (Live not by the lie, Solzhenitsyn urged his countrymen. Montaigne’s is the same idea, in a warmer climate with better wine.) Your mind belongs to you. Recognizing that everything is customary was not customary. Your body and your allegiance may indeed be given, prudently, to the state. But no one can make your mind follow suit: only a fool fools himself. The first step in dealing with the madness of the political world is not to let it make you crazy. “God keep me from being an honest man, according to the description I daily see made of honor,” Montaigne wrote.
Desan also scolds Montaigne, vis-à-vis La Boétie, on a literary point, complaining that Montaigne, having first been inspired to literary effort by a friend, allows the idea of friendship to dissipate in his later essays, which entail no friend but the reader. The essay becomes an impersonal form of intimacy, betraying a fear of passionate commitment and political engagement. But each written form creates its own reader. A sonnet is addressed to an indifferent object of passion; even if the actual lover warms up, the sonneteer can’t become too easily complacent—a dark lady suddenly sunny produces no one’s idea of a poem. So, too, an essay is always addressed to an intimate unknown. E. B. White, a modern Montaigne, who got there through Thoreau, was deeply attached to his wife, Katharine. But she makes few if any appearances in his essays (though she’s there, hypochondriacally, all over his letters). He wasn’t neglecting her—it’s just that if the essays were even implicitly addressed to a particular intimate they would become too specific. The illusion of confiding in the reader alone is what essayists play on. You’re my best friend, Montaigne, like every subsequent essayist of his type, implies to his readers. By dramatizing an isolation that can be cured only by an unknown reader, the confidences come to belong to all.
Montaigne made several attempts at his essais—the French word means, simply, “tries,” in the sense of experimental effort, though the English word “sketches” comes closer—and the bulk of the work of writing was done in the seven years following La Boétie’s death. Far from being rendered in elegant isolation, we now know, the essays were written while Montaigne took part in Bordeaux politics, travelled to Italy (where the book was briefly confiscated by Church authorities, and he was subjected to a withering examination and a warning), and, eventually, became the mayor of Bordeaux. When Montaigne tells us that his library is where “I pass the greatest part of my live days and wear out most hours of the days,” he was being poetical. The pieces were, it now seems, far more often dictated on the run than written in that tower, dictation being the era’s more aristocratic, less artisanal method of composition. (They still occasionally bear dictation’s marks of run-on breathlessness.)
Montaigne’s “Essais,” in any of their stages—they went through three editions in his lifetime—are one of those classic books that benefit from being read irresponsibly. Sit down to read them thoroughly step by step, even in the great contemporary English translation, of 1603, by John Florio (whose renderings I’ve mostly been using), and you will be disappointed, since the “argument” of the essays is often less than fully baked, and the constant flow of classical tags and quotations is tedious. Open more or less at random, though, and dip in, and you will be stunned by the sudden epiphanies, the utterly modern sentences: “Super-celestial opinions and under-terrestrial manners are things that amongst us I have ever seen to be of singular accord,” he writes, giving as an example a philosopher who always pisses as he runs.
Montaigne accepts, as no other writer had, that our inner lives are double, that all emotions are mixed, and that all conclusions are inconclusive. “In sadness there is some alloy of pleasure,” he writes in the essay called, tellingly, “We Taste Nothing Purely.” “There is some shadow of delicacy and quaintness which smileth and fawneth upon us, even in the lap of melancholy. . . . Painters are of opinion that the motions and wrinkles in the face which serve to weep serve also to laugh. Verily, before one or other be determined to express which, behold the pictures success; you are in doubt toward which one inclineth. And the extremity of laughing intermingles itself with tears.” Having two emotions at once is better than having one emotion repeatedly.
By giving life to this truth, Montaigne animates for the first time an inner human whose contradictions are identical with his conscience. “If I speak diversely of myself, it is because I look diversely upon myself,” he writes, in “On the Inconstancy of Our Actions.” In the writer’s soul, he maintained,
all contrarieties are found . . . according to some turn or removing, and in some fashion or other. Shame-faced, bashful, insolent, chaste, luxurious, peevish, prattling, silent, fond, doting, laborious, nice, delicate, ingenious, slow, dull, forward, humorous, debonair, wise, ignorant, false in words, true speaking, both liberal, covetous, and prodigal. All these I perceive in some measure or other to be in mine, according as I stir or turn myself. . . . We are all framed of flaps and patches, and of so shapeless and diverse a contexture, that every piece and every moment playeth his part.
Lists are the giveaways of writing. What we list is what we love, as with Homer and his ships, or Whitman and his Manhattan trades, or Twain and steamboats. That beautiful and startlingly modern list of mixed emotions suggests a delectation of diversities—he likes not knowing what he feels or who he is, enjoys having “wise” and “ignorant,” insulated by nothing but a comma, anchored together in one soul’s harbor. They bang hulls inside our heads.
Although those epigrammatic sentences can be arresting—“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which a man knoweth least”—Montaigne doesn’t think epigrammatically. What makes him astonishing is a sort of “show all work” ethic that forced thought as it really is, mixed in motive and meanings, onto the page. He seems wise, more than smart or shrewd—wise without being smart or shrewd. He can be embarrassing, as he was often thought to be in his time, in a way that recalls less a polished columnist than a great diarist, like James Boswell or Kenneth Tynan, incapable of being guarded, the way shrewder people are. When he writes about the joys of having sex with cripples, we feel uneasy, nervous, and then enlightened. Whatever he’s telling, he’s telling it, as Howard Cosell used to say, like it is.
Desan, writing only about the French Montaigne, avoids the question that, for an English speaker, is essential: the great question of Montaigne’s relationship to Shakespeare. Although Florio’s 1603 effort was the first English rendering of Montaigne’s essays to appear in book form, they had certainly been circulating in manuscript before that. In an introduction to a new edition of the Florio, Stephen Greenblatt tantalizes us with the suggestion that the relation exists, and shows how richly it can be teased out—and then responsibly retreats from too much assertion with too little positive evidence, willing to mark it down to the common spirit of the time.
Well, essayists can go where scholars dare not tread—a key lesson to take from Montaigne—and this essayist finds it impossible to imagine that Shakespeare had not absorbed Montaigne fully, and decisively, right around 1600. It is evident not in the ideas alone but in a delighted placement of opposites in close relation, even more apparent in Shakespeare’s prose than in his verse. Writing shows its influences by the contagion of rhythm and pacing more often than by exact imitation of ideas. We know that Updike read Nabokov in the nineteen-sixties by the sudden license Updike claims to unsubdue his prose, to make his sentences self-consciously exclamatory, rather than by an onset of chess playing or butterfly collecting. Hamlet says:
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how inﬁnite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so. And the balancing of opposites, the rhythm of assertion and counter-assertion, the sudden questioning turns, all of it seems irresistibly like Florio’s Montaigne, notably in the springy, self-surprised beat:
How often do we pester our spirits with anger or sadness by such shadows and entangle ourselves into fantastical passions which alter both our mind and body? What astonished, flearing, and confused mumps and mows doth this dotage stir up in our visages! What skippings and agitations of members and voice!
It’s not merely in the steady (and modern) use of exclamation points but in the sudden turns and reversals, without the mucilage of extended argument—the turn-on-a-dime movements, the interjections, the tone of a man talking to himself and being startled by what his self says back. The alteration in the inner lives of Shakespeare’s characters around 1600, as evident in “As You Like It” as in “Hamlet,” bears his mark—as in Jaques’s speech on the seven ages of man, which very much resembles Montaigne’s insistence that life-living is role-playing. (“We must play our parts duly, but as the part of a borrowed personage.”)
Indeed, the Frenchman Jaques, even more than Hamlet, and from the same year, is Montaignean man. In this case, a specific relation seems to exist between Montaigne’s great essay “On Cruelty” and the scene in “As You Like It” where Jaques is reported brooding on the death of a deer. Montaigne’s point is that when it comes to cruelty we should subordinate all other “reasoning”—stoic, of degree and dependency—to the essential fact of the stag’s suffering. We can reason our way past another creature’s pain, but, as we do so, such “reason” becomes the indicted evil. Jaques feels the same way. “We are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what’s worse / To fright the animals and kill them up,” he says, while “weeping and commenting upon the sobbing deer.” We are meant to find Jaques’s double occupation of weeping and commenting, feeling and keeping track of his feelings, mildly comic—Shakespeare being always convinced, in his English way, that the French are hypersensitive and overintellectual. But Jaques is not a ridiculous figure. He is conscience speaking through contradiction.
It was in the midst of all this that Montaigne was elevated to mayor of Bordeaux—an achievement, Desan shows, that was rather like getting appointed police commissioner under Tammany Hall. He wasn’t much of a mayor, although it was under his administration that the first protection and “control” of Bordeaux’s cru bourgeois was attempted, wine having crept up to become the city’s most important export, more important even than the salt fish that the family fortune had been built on. (It was a sign of the middle-class affluence that sped along in spite of the wars of faith.) His one attempted intervention in the religious conflict led to his being arrested and held in the Bastille, for a few hours, by extremist Catholics in Paris. He was released only after convincing the jailers of his Catholic bona fides. Fanaticism always seems foolish until it locks you up.
After his mayoralty, combining, as it did, the trivial and the terrifying, Montaigne moved away from political action, and Desan, in the end, is hard on his politics. “Montaigne’s humanism, as it was conceptualized starting in 1585, implies a renunciation of politics,” he declares, and elsewhere he sees in Montaigne a sort of false dawn of liberalism. Montaigne’s retreat was only a rich man’s way of getting off the highway before history ran him over. “Montaigne is supposed to be the best proof of . . . the victory of private judgment over systems or schools of thought,” Desan writes. “Modern liberal thought discerns in Montaigne the starting point of its history . . . but let us make no mistake: most of the strictly philosophical readings of Montaigne are the expression of a form of (unconscious) ideological appropriation that aims to place the universal subject on a pedestal, to the detriment of its purely historical and political dimension.”
This view is deaf to the overtones of Montaigne’s self-removal. To be against violence, frightened of fanaticism, acutely conscious of the customary nature of our most devout attachments—without this foundation in realism, political action always pivots toward puritanical self-righteousness. It is not that Montaigne is placed on a pedestal; it’s that we look up at him only to find that he is already down here with us. His houses are built on sand, rock being too hard for people, who are bound to fall. His moral heroism lies in his resilience in retreat, which allows him to remind us of our capacity to persevere. His essays insist that an honest relation to experience is the first principle of action. As a practical matter, this has been most actively inspirational at times of greatest stress. The German author Stefan Zweig, in flight from Nazism, turned first of all to Montaigne, writing, “Montaigne helps us answer this one question: ‘How to stay free? How to preserve our inborn clear-mindedness in front of all the threats and dangers of fanaticism, how to preserve the humanity of our hearts among the upsurge of bestiality?’ ”
Montaigne is present now in the things he feels and the way he sounds, and that is like a complete human being. He’s funny, he’s touching, he’s strange, he’s inconclusive. Ironic self-mockery, muted egotism, a knowledge of one’s own absurdity that doesn’t diminish the importance of one’s witness, a determinedly anti-heroic stance that remains clearly ethical—all these effects and sounds of the essayist are first heard here. We imitate the sound without even knowing its source. Good critics and scholars can teach us how to listen. Only writers show us how to speak—even when they tell us that it is best to whisper.
Montaigne’s writing has not been taken out of his time. It exists outside of his time. He is not plucked out to become a false father; he is heard, long past his time, as a true friend. He is an emotional, not a contractual, liberal. He didn’t give a damn about democracy, or free speech, or even property rights. Equality before the law he saw as impossible—not even aristocrats could get it. But he had a rich foundational impulse toward the emotions that make a decent relation between man and state possible. Here was a far-reaching skepticism about authority (either the ancients’ or the actual), a compassion toward suffering, a hatred of cruelty that we now imagine as human instinct, though all experience shows us that it must be inculcated. Montaigne, having no access to the abstract concepts that were later laid on this foundation, gives us deeper access to them, because he was the one who laid it. The liberalism that came after humanism may be what keeps his memory alive and draws us to him. The humanism that has to exist before liberalism can even begin is what Montaigne is there to show us still. ♦
“Necessity is the mother of invention”, a well known proverb, implies that when you are left with no other option but to complete a certain task or live through a certain situation you manage to do so by any means.
The proverb, “necessity is the mother of invention” is used commonly as what it states holds true in real life. It implies that when it is really necessary to accomplish a task you actually end up doing it by hook or crook. Here are some Necessity is the Mother of Invention essays of varying lengths to give you further insight into the proverb and help you with the topic in your classroom, exam, etc. You can choose any essay on Necessity is the Mother of Invention according to your need:
Essay on Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Necessity is the Mother of Invention Essay – 1 (200 words)
“Necessity is the mother of invention” means that, each of our necessities, whether big or small, push us to make an effort and work hard to fulfil them. All the discoveries and inventions by the humans were made as he felt the necessity to use them. Man’s necessity and desire to make earth a better place is the driving force behind all the inventions.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Detailed Explanation
Here is a look at how it works:
- Necessity forces people to get into action.
- People try to achieve something wholeheartedly only when it is truly necessary for them.
- Necessity instils passion for achieving one’s goals. Any work that is done passionately is bound to have positive outcome.
The proverb holds true in the real world. Right from the age of the early man until today we can see several examples that prove this proverb right.
It is true that necessity compels the man to use his power and accomplish the tasks he might have felt impossible at some point in time. This also shows how the human beings are capable of achieving just about anything if they work hard and are determined to attain it. All they require is a push.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention Essay – 2 (300 words)
“Necessity is the mother of invention” implies that when something is essential for the survival, the human mind finds some way or the other to attain it. This means that necessity is the main force behind every new invention and discovery.
Origin of the Proverb – Necessity is the Mother of Invention
This proverb has been in use from centuries. It is said that the original author of this old proverb could not be ascertained and thus it is attributed to the famous Greek philosopher, Plato. The idea behind it had however been in use in many of the Latin and English works much before this proverb came into being.
The Latin version of this proverb, “Mater atrium necessitas”, surfaced in the book titled, Vulgaria by author William Horma back in 1519. A similar saying, “Need taught him wit”, appeared in English in the same year. “Necessitie, the inuentour of all goodnesse”, was another similar phase that came out in Roger Ascham’s work in 1545.
The proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention” as it is used in the present day appeared in Richard Franck’s work in the year 1658.
Explanation by Example
An apt example of this old proverb would be that of the early man. It was human necessity that led the early man to find food, build shelter and prepare tools to protect him from the wild animals. He accomplished all these tasks without any prior knowledge about the way these were to be done. Had all these things not been necessary for his survival, he would have never tried inventing any of these.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is true to its word. This shows that no matter how difficult the process is if it is necessary for the man to achieve something he will do it by any means.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention Essay – 3 (500 words)
The meaning of the proverb ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ is not technical; it simply means that requirement or need for a particular thing drives person to create or invent something which satisfies that particular need.
The major and notable inventions have been the result of critical necessities in a human’s life; once the necessity gets satisfied, people achieve a state of happiness; they will live in harmony and thereby making the world a happy and better place to live in. Even though, the original author of this proverb is not known, but this famous quote is in use at most of the places right from the school.
This is a very famous proverb, people have been hearing since years. Necessity means needs and human beings work hard to fulfil their needs. That’s the basic meaning of ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Since the civilisation started, necessity has kept on driving human beings to invent innovative and useful things. It simply ignites the passion in a person to work for self living or invent new things which are beneficial for self and others. Necessity also motivates people to get into action; human beings struggle hard to achieve something only when they need something. For e.g. for survival, people need money and to earn money, they need to work and ultimately they search (invent) an appropriate job for themselves. When a particular need becomes the necessity for survival, people finds a way to achieve the same.
According to history, in the primitive age human beings had no clothes to guard their body against heat and cold, no home to live in, no food for their appetite, etc. This dire need for protection and survival compelled them to invent fire to prepare food, trees bark to cover their body and leaves, etc to build a hut like home for themselves. Further they kept on improving and inventing new and better things.
The world knows; when Thomas Edison felt the necessity of light, he invented bulb in 1879 and thus the entire world got lit up. There are several other inventions such as transport system, television, radio, mobile phones and many more that not only show the brilliance of the respective owners and inventors, but has also made our lives comfortable and complete.
In the medical world too, necessity has revolutionised the industry and several types of medicines, surgical equipment and methods to operate those have been invented. These inventions not only cure critical diseases but also save people’s life in various cases. Organ transplantation is one such invention which has proven to be a medical boon for many who had been struggling to live.
Technology is been advancing at a fast pace and various types of modern weapons such as nuclear bomb, atom bomb, etc are also types of invention. But these are destructive weapons which may destroy the mankind and entire world ultimately. Thus, it is important an invention is such which doesn’t destroy people and the relationships; instead helps self and others.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention Essay – 4 (600 words)
‘Necessity is the mother of Invention’ is a world famous proverb which a child also knows about. The quotation is not technical; instead it’s very simple and uncomplicated to explain its meaning with certain interpretations which makes the proverb highly impactful.
The proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ implies that when we are in a dire need of something and if we cannot be happy or survive without that particular thing, then we find means and ways to satisfy that need which may result into something called invention. If someone is hungry; then in order to satisfy the hunger, food is cooked. So hunger is the necessity and food is the invention. There are several other examples which explain the meaning of this famous proverb. In fact, most of the popular and beneficial things of the world are the result of necessity that made the inventors restless and compelled them to invent the product. Some of such greatest inventions are bulb, radio, television, motor, mobile, aeroplane and many more.
Invention and necessity are co-related and until wants become necessities a person won’t get into action. Anything and everything that we use in our day to day life is the result of need or necessity and human’s desire to fulfil that need. This signifies that even luxury items such as air conditioners, cars, etc have been invented to satisfy specific needs.
Necessity also makes us hard working and ingenuous. If we look at history, especially the primitive age when there was nothing for the mankind to survive; people invented clothes, food, shelter and thus the civilisation started.
Some inventions make our life not only comfortable but also worth living such as electricity. Imagine a life without light; thanks to Thomas Edison, whose desire to remove darkness from his surrounding gave us light and benefitted the entire world.
But some inventions are destructive such guns, bombs, weapons, etc. Even though, these weapons have also been invented out of the necessity for self protection or for protecting the nation; but these are dangerous and there is always a fear to get harmed in some or other ways. It is important that self need doesn’t become the reason of other’s destruction.
Necessity and Inventions are positively inter-related as necessity forces or drives people to action. Human beings, in order to survive need money, which compels them to find a job which will give them salary in the form of money and the money can be further utilised to satisfy all types of need for food, clothing, shelter, etc.
Not only does necessity compels people to invent means of survival but it also drives people to work smarter in order to get promotion and better position in their profession. A desire or will to achieve success in professional life inspire people to do better than others and thus they invent new means and methods to win the competition.
Necessity must be seen as an opportunity to do better and achieve success in life and no destructive inventions should be undertaken to harm others. The proverb has been taught to people since their childhood in positive aspect and the meaning of the proverb must remain so and not in the negative manner.