Reading the World
In “The Importance of The Act of Reading” by Paulo Freire, Freire discusses his experience with reading and understanding of what it truly is. He believes that being able to read is a form of critical thinking. Freire also uses his personal experience and philosophy to help the reader define how reading relates to thinking. Freire finds it important because the way we read, we are then able to think critically.
Freire gives us his flashback of memories from his childhood as examples of how reading helped him form his own thoughts. Freire explains how “The texts, the words, the letters of that context were incarnated in a series of things, objects, signs. In perceiving these, I experienced myself, and the more I experience myself, the more my perceptual capacity increased” ( Freire 6 ). This was a form of reading he did in order to understand the world. At a young age Freire came into the world with an open mindset. He began to read the world as his book and started to evaluate it carefully. His experience allowed him to read the world more efficiently and thus expanded his perception.
Freire continues to explain further examples of reliving his childhood and how that shaped his mindset. Vividly describing the home he grew up in, this was Freire’s way of reading the world within things, color, and signs. His childhood was an important part of himself that helped him grow into the individual he is by how he observed the world. Freire gives an example of how he uses his experience to grow into an individual who is able to understand the world better. Freire states “ Recapturing distant childhood as far back as I can trust my memory, trying to understand my act of reading the particular world in which I moved was absolutely significant for me. Surrendering myself to this effort, I re-recreated and re-lived in the text I was writing, the experience I lived at a time when I did not yet read words” ( Freire 7). Freire explains how his childhood consisted of growing up interpreting certains things by his reading with the world. Friere’s childhood experience gave him the knowledge of the world and that helped him with reading the world. Before being able to read words his mind was already learning how to piece things together and formulate thoughts. The purpose of Freire reflecting on his past is to make logical connections within ideas. By using critical thinking Freire explains about how thinking outside of the box allows a greater perspective.
An important individual that inspires Friere of being able to critically read was his Portuguese teacher. His teacher gave him his first-hand experience of being able to critically think about the texts he had read in class....