“Two Testaments”

Benj.R. Tucker talks about the wishes of two different men before they die in “Two Testaments.” One man’s wishes is written out in a will and the wishes are theoretical rather than concrete. The other man’s wishes are written in a letter before he dies. These wishes are precise and each one has a reason behind it. Tucker argues the difference in the wants people have. The first man has no material items that he is giving away, while the second man has all material items.
The first word that pops out to me is actually at the end of the article. It is the word Blood. It pops out so much because of how the article is formatted, but it also pops out to me because it is capitalized. At the beginning of the article Tucker quotes the first man’s will, but when that man uses the word it is not capitalized even though they are talking about His most precious blood. I think it really argues the different views people have on religion. It shows the connection between the two totally different documents of wishes. While one does not believe in worldly possession used to better society, while the other one believes that these objects can help change society for the better.

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2 thoughts on ““Two Testaments”

  1. I agree with the idea that the conscious decision to format blood exemplifies how attention can be drawn to language beyond the language itself. The capitalization/format places an obvious sign next to the word, announcing “This is important.” These tricks of formatting add nuance and create paratextual meaning, contributing to our understanding of the work as a whole. Though it was more than possible for you to reach your opinion on the theme without this addition, it had an obvious impact on your perception of the sentence and the piece as a whole. What we see in this is a new way of writing or altering pieces beyond a work itself. As a tool, formatting can increase our understanding of what communication can be in the modern and digital age.

  2. I think your analysis of this is truly helpful. I read this before reading the column, and then read the column, and came back to yours once more. It helped me see the column more clearly. I like how you noticed the word “blood” as that is a huge factor in the first man’s will. Although, I’m not totally sure if it is as important as you may have taken it to be. (But perhaps it is.) I read it as just a phrase. The “Blood of the Lamb” is a common phrase, while “blood of a Savior” is not as common. Therefore, it maybe capitalized just because of the commonality of it. However, I could be totally wrong. Either way, I think it was a very important distinction and helped decipher the two wills. It truly is a play on materialization and where you “have your treasures stored up” I believe (heaven vs. earth), something that has always been, and I think always will be a common debate. Also, just food for thought, what do you think about that last paragraph? It seems a little confusing and I would love to hear what the next person has to say about it. Again, great analysis!

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