Analysis Of Adam Gopnik's 'Why Teach English'

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Oh the Humanities!
In the text, "Why Teach English?", Gopnik attempts to assert this main argument, that teaching English is a worthwhile venture. Gopnik begins by essentially discounting previous arguments that had been made in the defense of the English department. He provides several of his own arguments that he believe are more adequate. In these arguments, Gopnik discusses concepts like making literature available to all, pursuing a major out of joy for the subject, and needing the "humanities because we 're human." I agree with Gopnik 's argument that we need the humanities, however I find his justification to be lacking and would need more of an explanation.
Gopnik makes several key arguments for the English teaching profession.
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While I sympathize with the idea that a knowledge of literature is important, Gopnik 's reasoning would only justify teaching the subject if the individual were interested in it already. My main contention with Gopnik 's argument is his wholly deficient reasoning in the importance of the humanities. In this reasoning he suggests that the humanities, specifically literature, are important because we are human. Although I agree with the aspect of their importance, I feel that his analysis is incomplete. The reason for this, I believe, is his focus on literature. It is my opinion that the visual arts are a more defendable subject as the are the very foundations of our society. While we do not necessarily need literature to know most of human history, the visual arts are our history. They also encourage creativity and innovation and allow individuals to express themselves through a mode that is easily understood by all. Therefore, the humanities are important because they are the basis for the existence of civilization and without them we probably would not have most of the other

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