Why Do You Think Solitude is Important in Today’s Culture?

The goal of this blog post is to begin a conversation during the first night of study hall tonight among students in all four of my classes about individuals’ reaction to this year’s community theme. This year’s theme of solitude was launched by the interesting book, Silence: In the Age of Noise, by Erling Kagge. Here’s a fascinating NY Times article where the author tries to find places of silence in New York City. Our school web page published the summer reading list in June and celebrates how “Kagge explores the silence around us, the silence within us, and the silence we must create. By recounting his own experiences and discussing the observations of poets, artists, and explorers, Kagge shows us why silence is essential to sanity and happiness—and how it can open doors to wonder and gratitude.” Above is the TED Talk that he gave at the University of St. Andrews, which he mentions in the book. That TED Talk was one of the things that spurred him on to compose the book.

This year the school is using this definition of solitude to sustain interesting conversations in and outside of class. “Solitude is the state of being alone, especially when this is peaceful and pleasant. It is a time for thinking and rest, an opportunity for contemplation, growth in personal spirituality, and development of self. Solitude is empowering as it reconnects us with ourselves.”

So what’s your take-away regarding importance of solitude?

Directions: Reflect on a moment over the community text and find a passage that resonated with you and our community theme of solitude. How did that passage suggest important values about solitude? Likewise, you can reflect on other books you read this summer or books from previous English classes and respond to this prompt. Once you have articulated your connection between the community theme of solitude and a moment in a specific text, then supply one sentence or phrase from the text that supports your takeaway (your idea, insight, or claim), and compose a 5-7 sentences in Standard English explaining how your quotation explains and supports your takeaway about solitude. Please follow MLA guidelines for citing your page number so that we can look up your passage easily. I suggest that you compose your comment in a Word document first, and then read it out loud to see how you can improve the flow of your ideas. Here’s a great model for help: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ Also recall to italicize titles.


About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
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63 Responses to Why Do You Think Solitude is Important in Today’s Culture?

  1. nicolestjacques says:

    Throughout Silence in the Age of Noise, author Erling Kagge expresses possessed profound thoughts about solitude throughout his exploration of the natural world. When in the Arctic, Kagge was enveloped in a world with no noise, a world where Earth was something it rarely is; it was silent. Being shrouded in such tranquility gave Kagge a way to access his ‘silence within [himself]’. While not everybody has the chance to go on an expedition such as his, the explorer still implores his audience to discover the bits of silence in their everyday lives. Kagge muses that we can find this “standing in the shower, letting the water wash over your head, sitting in front of a crackling fire, swimming across a forest lake or taking a walk over a field: all these can be experiences of perfect stillness too” (26). Kagge emphasizes the importance of silence as it can aid us in a healthy solitude, in which one can be at peace within himself. Despite how busy one’s schedule may be, the small instances in which we are alone are essential to reflect on life as a whole. Erling Kagge’s examples of how solitude can be found in everyday life can inspire his audience to focus more not on the hustle and bustle of the outside world, but instead on the self in these fleeting moments.

    • FKTZ says:

      This comment leaves a great impression on the audience, because it is comprised of two parts. The first part talks about the author’s personal experience in the Arctic, where no one else had an opportunity to explore before. Then the author of the comment connects back to the audience by integrating a quote that shows how silence can be achieved by ordinary people in everyday life. The author breaks the barrier between herself and other people by emphasizing silence is accessible to everyone, if they reflect upon small things in their surroundings.

  2. bsullivan35 says:

    Excellent claim and support from the text with MLA citation format!

  3. Aiden Miller says:

    The passage that impacted to me the most in Erling Kagge’s “Silence in the Age of Noise” was the section where Kagge explains how he uses music to block out other noises which helps him find solitude within himself. Kagge writes, “Sometimes there is so much noise that I turn up the music I’m listening to, not to create more of a disturbance, but in order to shut out other sounds.” This quotation directly relates to the school theme of solitude because solitude is about finding the time for growth amidst a time where there are distractions everywhere. As Kagge describes, he is able to find solitude in a noisy city filled with distractions. At school we are surrounded by these same distractions, in all different forms. To achieve solitude is to be able to contemplate and grow during the school year surrounded by distractions, however that may be. Kagge attains this goal by using music to block out other distractions. While music may be noise itself, Kagge uses it to drown out other things, ultimately finding silence and solitude.

    Kagge, Erling. Silence In the Age of Noise. Silence In the Age of Noise, Pantheon Books, 2017, p.

    • kate and ethan says:

      This comment is particularly striking because it connects the book to the real life here at Suffield Academy. Miller includes a quotation from the book that “directly relates to the school theme of solitude because it is about finding the time for growth amidst a time where there are distractions everywhere. As Kagge describes, he is able to find solitude in a noisy city filled with distractions. At school we are surrounded by these same distractions, in all different forms” (Aiden Miller). It is possible for Kagge to find solitude in noisy and big places by simply turning up the music. There are a few places on campus where there is true silence so it is important that people find ways to find solitude amongst the various distractions and noise. He goes on to explain that solitude helps people develop and grow which is something we strongly agree with. If you are struggling to find a place just simply take a walk without your phone. (Kate and Ethan)

    • Damon and Dylan says:

      The contrast between music and silence emphasizes the point that you can find time for growth and introspection anytime and anywhere. You are doing a great job of proving that silence doesn’t mean silence, just a time where you can think and grow. This is relevant to today’s society, as noise is everywhere, and being able to create your own “silence” is important, even when it is not really silent.

  4. Deke Kemper says:

    One quote that resonated with me was “According to a much-referenced study, we humans are worse at concentrating than a goldfish. Humans today lose their concentration after eight seconds. In the year 2000, it was twelve seconds, while the goldfish averaged nine.” While not completely agreeing with this statement, I do agree that our ability to concentrate on a task has definitely faded. In a time where technology is so prevalent in our culture, it can be very easy to be drawn towards the vast amounts of information that it accesses in an instant. I believe that growing up with this has unintentionally conditioned people to lack the patience and attentiveness that was required of people before smartphones. I do not believe that the lack of attention is a burden to society, because the advancements in technology have allowed us to get information as soon as we require it, not needing the patience that it used to take to get information.

    • Shane Biathrow says:

      Deke states clearly in his passage that the prevalence of technology has taken away from us the qualities of patience and attentiveness. With all the information in the world around us and inside our smartphones, I can agree with Deke that patience often lost when one cannot access their phone. The quotation that Deke utilizes fits perfectly into his response, providing evidence before he dives into his explanation and opinion on the topic. Deke quotes from Kagge’s text that “According to a much-referenced study, we humans are worse at concentrating than a goldfish. Humans today lose their concentration after eight seconds. In the year 2000, it was twelve seconds, while the goldfish averaged nine.” By using this quotation, Deke adds support before he makes his claim that the advancements in technology negatively impacts our ability to be mindful and patient.

  5. kate_tatarkina says:

    In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the wife of Okonkwo has a moment of solitude when she follows the priestess to the cave. Throughout her journey, Ekwefi finally gets a chance to be alone with her thoughts. Back in her hut, she had responsibilities; she had to raise her daughter, make food for her husband, and obey all of his orders. She simply did not have time to sit in solitude. After rushing after her only child, giving it no thought, Ekwefi reevaluates her decision and begins to think “her coming was quite useless” (108). She then thinks about her younger years, when she left her ex-husband and “ran away to Okonkwo” (109). The reader gets to see the inner thoughts of Ekwefi, not just her daily tasks. The passage suggests that being alone gives one an opportunity to reflect on the past and reevaluate one’s decisions, like Ekwefi does in chapter 11.

  6. 19crm says:

    A particular passage that resonated with me from the community text talks about how it’s so easy to wake up and go about your day on autopilot without even realizing it. Without solitude, we so easily fall into a routine; we are unaware of how much we need to just sit down without any distractions. One of the biggest takeaways I got from the community text was the importance of making time to sit down in a room alone and allowing your brain to wonder. Kagge admits his struggle to find the silence within himself, “It’s not easy being idle when nothing else is going on, it is quiet and you are alone. I often chose to do anything else rather than to fill the silence with myself” (36). Most people are either very scared or uncomfortable if silence fills the room. We immediately feel the need to fill that silence. Similarly, even if we are alone and silence fills the room, we feel the need to busy ourselves. I feel we have a fear of getting to know ourselves better; we are afraid to let our minds wonder. Nowadays with technology, it is so difficult for someone to simply stop everything and just think.

  7. Sohi Shah says:

    Erlin Kagge makes many thought provoking and compelling points in his book Silence in the Age of Noise. One passage that resonated with me is one where he reflects on his time spent looking out onto the ice of the North Pole. This passage suggests that one will learn a lot if they take the time to silently reflect on their surroundings. Kagge says, “The landscape seemed to be changing along the route; but I was wrong. My surroundings remained constant; I was the one who changed” (12-13). In silence, the environment around one will begin to shift as one ruminates and begins to see everything much clearer. Kagge looked out onto the horizon and noticed the many details of the ‘flat’ ice he thought surrounded him. By quietly examining the icy terrain, Kagge was able to perceive all the different colors and shapes of snow that actually covered the ground. Kagge said this realization changed him because he recognized how much he learned by silently contemplating his surroundings. Silence allows us to become aware of what surrounds us and fosters a newfound appreciation for it. By simply taking a moment of silence and allowing oneself to think, the mind is able to focus and come to elaborate conclusions that it would not have discovered if it had been distracted by noise.

    • Madi and Courtney says:

      We thought this was a very insightful response. In particular, Sohi says, “Silence allows us to become aware of what surrounds us and fosters a newfound appreciation for it.” She describes the importance of living in the present. Her example from Kagge’s journey to the North Pole illustrates the details of his surroundings after he took a moment of silence. She emphasizes the focus on taking a moment of silence to allow an elaborated thought process.

  8. Gabriella Tosone says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed many of the points made in Erling Kagge’s “Silence in the Age of Noise” as it got me thinking about silence in a way I never have before. I find that I do not have a lot of time for silence in between my rigorous class schedule, athletic commitments, and social life. I am constantly surrounded by some form of noise and when I think of silence, I think of a quiet environment. Kagge pushed me to think about silence as not only quiet but about finding silence within myself. When one has time to find silence within themselves, they are forced to be alone with their thoughts and there “is a fear of getting to know ourselves better” (11). I feel this is something I have experienced myself. If I do not give myself the chance to be alone with my thoughts, I will not have to think about my life as deeply. I tend to surround myself with people or activities which leaves me with no time to overthink. I have always thought this works well for me as when I have enough time to really be alone with my thoughts, I end up getting stressed out or overthinking. Kagge explains that the “next hardest challenge” in life is “to be at peace with yourself” (16). This really resonated with me. In order to be at peace with yourself you need to find the silence within you to think and be alone with yourself which is something I have never really done before. After reading this, I decided to focus on finding time to discover silence within myself, and as I gradually incorporated this more into my life, I realized I started to feel like I understood myself better and felt more intact with myself. I also felt like I was more centered, focused, and connected to myself than I ever had been before. Erling Kagge’s “Silence in the Age of Noise” not only pushed me to think about silence in a new way but it also encouraged me to find myself and connect with my inner self.

  9. jonathanw1718 says:

    The feeling of isolation can either be pleasant or painful, it can either represent time of growth, reflection or contemplation while on the other hand focus on depression and loneliness. However, in Erling Kagge’s Silence in the Age of Noise, it focuses primarily on the aspect of growth. Conveniently, our school theme of solitude shares numerous similarities with Kagge’s work. It is evident in this quotation that “silence goes together with wonder, but it also has a kind of majesty to it, yes, like an ocean, or like an endless snowy expense. And whoever does not stand in wonder at this majesty fears it. And that is most likely why many are afraid of silence (and why there is music everywhere.)” When the word “silence” or “solitude” comes to one’s mind the initial insinuation is that there is something wrong. That is why in society, we avoid utter separation. There is always music playing, people talking and our devices designed specifically to be convenient so we avoid all sense of isolation. However, very few people realize that sitting in solitude, provides us with the perfect opportunity to grow as people. It can be a minute, five minutes or even hours, we can take as long as we want to be remain amongst ourselves. That is the importance of solitude. It gives us the chance to dwell within our mind and ponder about whatever our endless supply of thoughts provides.

    • eres says:

      (Eres and Samaya)
      Jonathan makes a very good point, many people in our society, and especially in high school avoid being alone, but why? Why is our age group and society so afraid of being alone? When one is alone in a quiet setting, many thoughts come to mind, whether they are good or bad. Students in Highschool and College are constantly busy, but it can often be seen that when they are given the opportunity to be alone, they instead make sure they are always doing an activity. Now a days, in the twenty first century, children are taught how use tablets, computers, smartphones before they can even speak. Screen time, starting at such a young age might cause social problems, confidence issues, and educational problems later in life. Technology has taken over a huge part of many people’s life, leaving many to forget what life was like before we had our technology to help escape from the “real word”.

  10. Caroline Walsh says:

    Our community theme of solitude is all about exploring a new way of experiencing life. It is about the power of silence and the effect it can have in our everyday lives. By just taking a moment to sit in silence and reflect, it allows us to think differently and open up our minds. Our community is so wrapped up in technology nowadays, which is why the theme of solitude is so important to our community. We must not look past the value of reflecting and thinking about our days and our lives as a whole because there is a whole lot that we take for granted nowadays. Erling Kagge states in her text, Silence in the Age of Noise, “Silence in itself is rich. It is exclusive and luxurious. A key to unlock new ways of thinking. I don’t regard it as a renunciation or something spiritual, but rather as a practical resource for living a richer life” (35). This quote supports the idea that in our community it is important to not overlook the power of silence and what it can do for us. Additionally, it explains that it can help us open up our minds and see the world differently. Silence can remind us of all the things we have to be grateful for in our lives. As a whole, our community theme of solitude is all about the significance of silence and how it can open up a whole new way of thinking for us.

  11. Madi McCreesh says:

    Throughout Silence in the Age of Noise, the idea of silence is cultivated by stories and small noises, all leading to emphasize the same little moments that make a difference in one’s life, as a result from different perspectives. Reading this book, I was drawn in by many of the sub-stories that coincided in the book, although a certain passage caught my attention. Author Erling Kagge presents the idea of silence in a different way in every story, but the major idea is always the same and is further dissected as she wrote, “Eventually, in complete isolation, I began to notice that nothing was completely flat after all” (12). Kagge allows the reader to assume the silence presented during this passage as left alone in the silence. In order to portray important values of solitude, Kagge emphasizes how silence is not a bad thing, silence allows the discovery of new life and the exploration of oneself and surroundings. This passage explains how solitude is always there. It just depends on which perspective one is looking from and what one is focusing on. Continuing on the same passage, Kagge further explores the importance of solitude to form new discoveries by sharing how the “landscape seemed to be changing along the route” (13), yet then shifting the idea by developing a new perspective as Kagge conveys, “My surroundings remained constant; I was the one who changed” (13). Kagge allows engages the readers by shifting the perspective in order to allow full understanding of what silence is about and how it can be anything, always shifting with perspective. This idea of intense shift by solely perspective is a perfect way to explain silence, it changes based on everything else, but solitude maintains the same.

    • lilyoon says:

      Madi McCreesh eloquently states the significance Suffield Academy’s school theme solitude: “Author Erling Kagge presents the idea of silence in a different way in every story, but the major idea is always the same and is further dissected,” as she observes, “Eventually, in complete isolation, I began to notice that nothing was completely flat after all” (12). She first structured her writing to clearly state Kagge’s main point on silence, and McCreesh highlights the importance of silence that people sometimes disregard. As Kagge presents 33 different sections in his book, Madi emphasizes how Kagge gradually develops the idea that people benefit from intentionally separating from the noise and putting themselves in a self-reflective moment with active silence. McCreesh strongly states that Kagge’s writing allows the readers to thoughtfully evolve their perspective and find a path to their inner peace.

    • Matty Keenan says:

      MATTHEW BURKE KEENAN And Jessi MALLEY: We thought this was some elite writing by this anonymous blogger “In order to portray important values of solitude, Kagge emphasizes how silence is not a bad thing, silence allows the discovery of new life and the exploration of oneself and surroundings. This passage explains how solitude is always there. It just depends on which perspective one is looking from and what one is focusing on” (McCReesh 1) It explains how silence is always there and very relevant in our society today. This comment captures one of Kagge’s main points he hopes the audience will obtain from the reading on how silence acts as a device into self exploration as well as peace of mind.

  12. Tyler Sylvester says:

    Within “Silence in the Age of Noise,” author Erling Kagge aluminates abstract thoughts on solitude in his journey discovering the world. Kagge absolutely nailed that our brain is in a constant state of chaos. Kagge expresses his thoughts on sitting still in a silent room “It is difficult only to sit there. Multiple temptations surface.” (36). The author repeatedly states in this short passage that when you are often alone you would do just about anything rather than sit in silence for yourself. This passage allows the reader to better understand human’s problems often originate from the inability to sit in silence alone. There consistently is something else humans would rather do such as watching television or playing video games. Humans tend to be in an autopilot mode in which seems to keep the brain at a low level of chaos; however, when humans fall short of this routine the brains inherent chaos grows to an unsteady level. Living in a constant state of chaos is normal considering everyone lives in the age of noise where silence is barely tolerable. Ultimately, Kagge’s vast understanding of the chaotic brain clearly resonates with my outlook on how the brain works on a day to day basis.

  13. 19fk says:

    In the novel Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, Kagge finds solitude in the vast blandness of nature. However, in modern everyday life, we are enslaved by technology, and when we unplug ourselves from the monitor, we register the “nothingness” as boredom. Instead of letting nothingness envelope our thoughts, we accustom ourselves to do everything to avoid it.
    Kagge states that “I believe it’s possible for everyone to discover this silence within themselves. It is there all the time, even when we are surrounded by constant noise. Deep down in the ocean, below the waves and ripples, you can find your internal silence. Standing in the shower, letting the water wash over your head, sitting in front of a crackling fire, swimming across a forest lake or taking a walk over a field: all these can be experiences of perfect stillness too. I love that.” (22). Solitude doesn’t have to be found somewhere special like an exploration but rather can be found all around us. While we may be tempted to “plugin”, the author encourages everyone to find small moments to reflect upon ourselves, because it doesn’t take much effort to find a small moment of solitude. In practicing to embrace, “nothingness”, we practice to find ourselves and nurture the mind.

  14. Matty Keenan says:

    In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe I was drawn to a particular section of the book that discusses silence. IT talks of the silence of the night and darkness and I believe silence and darkness at night is extremely important in our everyday lives. It says, “night was very quiet…silence returned to the world, a vibrant silence made more intense by the universal trill of a million million forest insects,” (Achebe 10). This discusses the immense silence in terms of a lack of changing and different noises but also the silence of the stimulation of your eyes, nothing is visible and nothing is seen. The night is here and should be in all of our lives today a place and a time of audible and visual silence.

  15. daisy says:

    A quote that resonated with me throughout Erling Kagge’s “Silence in the Age of Noise” was, “At home I only enjoyed ‘big bites.’ Down here I am learning to value minuscule joys.” What I took away from this quote is that while we are living our normal day to day lives, there is so much around us, especially in the world we live in today that is filled with technology, that we tend to miss. We live fast paced lives and when there is silence it forces us to stop and listen to think. When you are taking things slower, you begin to realize that there is so much you missed around you and so much about silence that you have missed. There are so many distractions and since we are used to distracting ourselves when we are alone and have the opportunity to be silence, we are only enjoying ‘big bites’ of what is happening around us. When we are simply forced to experience silence at first it can be frightening but eventually you truly pickup every miniscule detail around you.

  16. lilyoon says:

    Some people may argue that silence is a sign of boredom and tediousness; however, Erling Kagge, the author of Silence in the Age of Noise, strongly claims that silence is something that people should be more inclined to have around them because it helps them to reflect and corroborate free-flowing thoughts in their daily lives. For instance, Kagge bolsters his powerful argument on silence by citing the following from Blaise Pascal, a renown philosopher and boredom theorist: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” (37). The theme of Suffield Academy Solitude heavily affects the students to ponder about their behavior and words they will use during this new school year. Furthermore, Kagge’s Silence in the Age of Noise is an apparatus that allows the students to learn different ways to attain silence when it may seem like it’s impossible. By actively attempting to have silence around them, the students will be able to focus well on the tasks that are given to be completed and will help them to build a new asset that they can utilize to heal and encourage themselves to consistently work harder. Also, Kagge strongly suggests that “noises made by anyone other than the person being disturbed by them, secondary sounds, set the foundation for great disparities in society” (67). Suffield Academy believes in a harmonious and supportive community, and the theme solitude will play a major role to create the supportive environment that the students desire.

  17. Cailey McNamara says:

    “find a passage that resonated with you and our community theme of solitude. How did that passage suggest important values about solitude?”

    In his novel, “In the Age of Noise” Erling Kagge eloquently conveys the importance of solitude and certain values that can be attained during times of silence and self-reflection. He writes, “at home there’s always a car passing, a telephone ringing, pinging or buzzing… There are so many noises that we barely hear them all… The quieter I became, the more I heard” (Kagge 13-14). This pertains directly to what I am doing on my bed in my dorm room at this very moment. I am not in solitude, for I can hear the clicking of my keyboard, cars racing by, and crickets chirping. It is important to find a time slot and dedicate it to self-reflection so that one can gage inner peace and comfort with themselves in a vulnerable place of silence. Wisdom and knowledge is often gained when a person is able to truly know themselves, and the greatest way to do so is spend time in solitude.

  18. ERS says:

    In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the theme of solitude presents itself when Okonkwo sits in his hut during the aftermath of the death of his espoused son Ikemefuna. As he sits in his hut contemplating the events that have transpired, he is hit with an unusual pang of sadness and regret. Okonkwo thinks to himself “you, who are known in all the nine villages for your valor in war? How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number?” (65) This shows the importance of solitude because in the moment Okonkwo showed no regret or sadness during the act of killing Ikemefuna. However, during his time alone he is able to see the flaws in his traditions and see the events with a new perspective. He is torn to pieces by the guilt and sadness of his actions. It displays the retrospective quality that solitude possess and it enables a person to reflect and question and wonder.

  19. vivianriegel says:

    Throughout his book Silence in the Age of Noise, Erling Kagge spotlights the importance of silence and solitude in the lives of all humans due to the never-ending noise that we have created for ourselves. What I interpreted from Kagge’s writing was that humans need a constant distraction, a constant sound, a constant action in order to feel comfortable. We live each day constantly surrounded by sounds and people, and therefore feel discomfort when we are by ourselves or just enveloped in silence. It is a complete juxtaposition to the rest of our lives and the idea of there being nothing but our own thoughts is frightening to us. Kagge further explains that there is a certain amount of self-control that is necessary to be silent. The willpower it takes to trap yourself within your own mind is quite possibly one the hardest tasks a person can do. Kagge tells of a time he was journeying with his friend Børge Ousland, “I was about to devour my food when Børge suggested we shouldn’t begin eating at once but rather pause for a moment. In silence. We should slowly count to ten internally and only then begin eating, he said. Show collective restraint…Waiting felt strange. But I have never felt as rich as I did in that moment silence” (28-29). Kagge implies that solitude is one of the most difficult things to do for a person, but once you figure out how to properly be alone it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

    • suffkate1718 says:

      Kate and Raymond:
      In her response, Vivian argues that because we live our lives with constant noise and distractions, it can be uncomfortable and even difficult to be “enveloped in silence” because “It is a complete juxtaposition to the rest of our lives and the idea of there being nothing but our own thoughts is frightening to us.” Deke and I agreed that the claims Vivian conveys allows the reader to take a minute to reflect, and realize that simply being alone with your own thoughts can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Although it may seem difficult and frightening at first, sitting in solitude allows for reflection and self growth in an individual.

  20. Niko Flevotomos says:

    Throughout the book Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge there were many sections that deeply impacted me, but the one that did so the most was close to the beginning. Kagge says, “As a child I was fascinated by the snail that was able to carry its house wherever it went. During my Antarctic expedition, my admiration for the snail increased. I pulled all the food, gear and fuel I needed on a sledge and never opened my mouth. I shut up.” (13) Here, the author explains how as a child, he admired the snail, but when he went on his exploration, he had become that snail. Nowadays, people are used to having others do things for them. An exhausted child comes home to a pre-made bed after school or a hardworking businessman picks up take-out food after a long day. When Kagge was alone out in Antarctica, he had to do everything on his own. These are the most important values of solitude. Being with nobody except yourself and nature, you are opened up to a new world. And although he doesn’t ask us to find our own perfect solitude, he later says, “At home there is always a car passing, a telephone ringing, or someone talking. Here it was different. Nature spoke to me in the guise of silence.” (13, 14) It’s difficult to create solitude. Most times you have to find it, whether that is in Antarctica or in your home.

  21. beccaaaaab says:

    I often think about life from my parents perspective. It’s a natural action to make, to see life through the eyes of a parent, to question how they view their children, to understand how see the world. No matter how much time I spend thinking about how my parents interpret the world, I am always in awe when I get a glimpse of how they feel about subjects. A topic they feel very passionate about is mindfulness. They believe that having time alone to sit and be with your thoughts is what drives creative energy. When I began reading Silence: in the age of noise, by Erling Kagge I was not expecting to have this same feeling of awe. But, after the chapters unfolded and I sat with the words for a while, I began to smile. Reading the lines “Being accessible can be a good thing. We are unable to function alone. Yet it’s important to be able to turn off your phone, sit down, not say anything, shut your eyes, breathe deeply a couple of times and attempt to think about something other than what you are normally thinking about”(Kagge,77). Kagge writes exactly what my parents think. Humans need contact with other humans, whether that’s through technology or face to face. Without it, humans feel isolated and it leads to sadness and unproductivity. But what Kagge suggests is that we must allow our brains to take a break from the repetitive schedule. We must allow our minds to wonder and be free to roam. This free time to let oneself sit and be alone with one’s thoughts is where creativity builds. It is the foundation to great ideas, and to great people.

    • syd and carter says:

      Becca’s post looks at the school theme of solitude through the eyes of a parent instead of a child. She examines the importance to sit down without your phone, not say anything, and take deep breaths. Becca thinks that free time is necessary to let oneself sit and be alone with one’s thoughts to allow creativity to build. Becca states silence “ is the foundation to great ideas, and to great people” which is great advice for people who are not always creative. Everyone should now go outside, without their phones, and appreciate the silence around them.

  22. Vartika says:

    This year’s community theme has to do with the significance of solitude and how it can help one find peace within oneself. In the community text Silence in the Age of Noise, author Erling Kagge showcases his philosophies of the nature of silence and how many people are afraid of the boredom that may come with silence. Instead of embracing the absence of noise and what silent pleasures it may hold, most people tend to evade boredom. In hopes of fulfilling a lack of activities, they take part in a profusion of activities. Kagge claims, “The idea that boredom can be avoided by constantly pursuing something new, being available around the clock, sending messages and clicking further, watching something you haven’t yet seen, is naïve. The more you try to avoid boredom, the most bored you become” (63). This passage is truly relevant in the lives of people today because in this day and age, technology is a constant escape that prompts people to believe in the mindset that boredom is something that must be fulfilled by other forms of distraction. Kagge displays the idea that it is healthy to reflect on oneself and constant diversions are not necessary and even obstructive to one’s wellbeing. In life, one should be comfortable with oneself and the silence that may surround one from time to time because it is the small, important things that will make one feel true happiness.

  23. syd says:

    In the novel “Silence in the Age of Noise” by Erling Kagge, the author tells us how he flies to Denmark in order to disconnect from not only the world around him but also his own self. In Denmark, where people sit cross-leg in silence for fifty minutes, “the goal is for them to be reminded, over time, that life is about deep love between people, and to enable them to practice a common empathy” (Kagge 70). They disconnect with their old stressful self and think about the reconnection of love between one another and even within themselves. This time in silence is for people to think about one another and everything they do for each other. This form of solitude reconnects people back to their self and reminds them that the love in the world from each other is what people need. The peaceful silence makes people think about others and their own love to each other. Kagge experiences solitude through his discovery by seeing people disconnect from their selves who are sitting down in silence to then freshly reconnecting through love between one’s self and everyone else.
    Kagge, Erling, and Becky L. Crook. Silence: in the Age of Noise. Pantheon Books, 2017.

  24. 19dss says:

    The importance of silence has ever changing meanings, as Kagge describes in Silence in the Age of Noise. When he comments on his evolved understanding on the role of silence, he realized that “The landscape seemed to be changing along the route; but I was wrong. My surroundings remained constant; I was the one who changed” (13). This passage stuck with me, as it highlighted my evolved understanding and comprehension of the role of silence. I once looked at silence as a punishment, as if being alone with my thoughts was a bad thing that needed to be avoided at all costs. After my reading of Kagge’s experiences, I came to cherish and value the few times I have to be alone with my thoughts, and I now cherish them for what they really are: moments of introspection and self growth that are just as precious and valuable as eating and sleeping. Kagge highlighted and expanded my understanding of the importance of silence, and his lessons coincide well with Suffield Academy’s views on the importance of finding silence and introspection in a life filled with distractions and noise.

  25. 19mkm says:

    Since ninth grade my favorite book has always been Into The Wild. Our community theme is solitude, and Into The Wild is a great example of that. In Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild, Christopher McCandless hitchhiked to alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. Solitude is prominent when Chris is alone in the woods and says “I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country” (169). The quote resonated with me because he’s correct. Sometimes in order to be happy you need a quiet and secluded space to be alone with your own thoughts. At the end, though Chris dies alone in the Alaskan woods the entire story shows the readers how solitude is a beautiful and well needed thing.

  26. Samaya Roberts says:

    Today in the 21st century, many are consumed by the technology that has shaped our world for better and for worst. In my own my life I have recognized that I use technology as a wall to ignore my thoughts. In the book Things Fall Apart the author China Achebe reveals that being in solitude can be a frightening experience because when we are not distracted by the constant commotion in our lives we have the time to carefully listen to our own thoughts and analyze our lives. Chinua demonstrates the idea of solitude through the character Ekwefi when she is traveling alone and thinks of “all the terrors of the night” (104) while she walks in the dark and has a powerful recollection of a time in her childhood that frightened her and “although it happened so long ago, her blood still ran cold whenever she remembered that night.” (104) Throughout her life that she she eventually forgot about her fear due to her life that is regularly taking on the task of caring for others instead of herself.

  27. CP says:

    According to the definition in Dictionary.com, solitude means remoteness from habitations and absence of human activity. Our school theme solitude simply relates to the community text “Silence” on how silence can lead to a personals development. In the book “Silence in the Age of Noise,” author Erling Kagge constantly reminds the reader that silence and being alone by yourself can help more rather than being implied too much. Erling Kagge also implies that being in silence can also be painful or pleasant on how you take in the moment of silence and the solitude that we have to experience during silence. Suffield community does support every single one of students voice but also respects the silence that each one needs if it can develop a personal.

  28. Justin Hern says:

    One passage from Silence in the Age of Noise that resonated with me was a quote very early in the book that I believe sums up one of Erling Kagge’s more interesting points about solitude very well. When Kagge was in Antarctica, he was alone walking in the freezing cold for several hours a day. He claims: “the silence adhered to me. Having no contact with the outside world, isolated and alone, I was forced to ponder the thoughts that I already possessed. And, what’s worse, my feelings” (16). Because he was without human contact for such a long period of time, he does not think about other people and only thinks about himself. Through this constant silence that he is in, he has time to learn more about himself. In our busy society, we spend a lot of time thinking about other people, as we constantly are either talking to them in person or through a screen. We can lose track of ourselves because of the constant noise in our life. However, when there are no interruptions and everything is silent, we can understand ourselves better because we are alone with our own thoughts and have time to interpret them.

  29. Michaela Grace Domino says:

    Jane Austen once said, “Let us have the luxury of silence.” This luxury is most notable when one is immersed in complete silence and solitude. Erling Kagge got to experience a setting and an adventure that very few have ever known that carried a sense of near complete solitude and silence. By traveling the South Pole, he takes the readers of his book, Silence in the Age of Noise, through his internal journey, a journey to find this silence within the solitude. What Kagge discovered about this luxury is that “The silence around us may contain a lot, but the most interesting kind of silence is the one that lies within” (25). In order to achieve one, the other is essential. One section that truly resonated with me was when Kagge starts to talk about birthday parties, both those of teenagers and others later in life. With birthdays, for some, comes a sense of morbidity. Throughout the years, I personally have found myself in a category of fearing death and whatever comes after, but I thought about it in a new way when Kagge suggests, “Yes, we fear death to varying degrees, but the fear of not having lived is even stronger” (52). Once one finds this recommended solitude within themselves, they can appreciate the bigger moments in life that result in actually living. Although this silence and solitude is more intense during an earthshattering 50-day long expedition to the South Pole, it can also be found in other places surrounding one’s daily activities. Clearly, the silence within can be found anywhere in the world; on a crowded train, in the faces of people on their walk to work, in the kitchen washing the dishes or in the middle of nowhere. What the true luxury is, is finding this silence within oneself.

    Kagge, Erling. Silence In the Age of Noise. Silence In the Age of Noise, Pantheon Books, 2017

    • 19mkm says:

      “Clearly, the silence within can be found anywhere in the world; on a crowded train, in the faces of people on their walk to work, in the kitchen washing the dishes or in the middle of nowhere. What the true luxury is, is finding this silence within oneself.” It is fascinating that she pointed out there is no limitation for silence. It does not only occur when you are alone because it is within you. What we reap from solitude is a philosophical thinking process about our culture and self-evaluation. We now see this this reflection as a treasure.

  30. 19cjb says:

    Today we live in a fast-paced world where there’s no stop. We keep going and going. We don’t take the time to stop and reflecy. In the Novel, “Silence in the Age of Noise” written by Erling Kagge, the author stresses the importance that the time is now to slow down, stop what you’re doing and just think. Kagge says it perfectly, “there is a fear of getting to know ourselves better.” (11) Throughout the story he makes sure to get this point across that we can’t let go of our electronics because then we are left alone. We tend to not have the patience of being able to sit in silence. In today’s society, we always have to be doing something. There is no such thing as reflecting in silence. We are afraid to put our phones down and find out about the person you truly are. The theme of solitude is perfect for this upcoming year at Suffield Academy. If you walk around campus you can usually spot a few kids with headphones on which really defeats the purpose of being in complete silence and reflecting on one’s day. But if we all take off those headphones we learn more about ourselves and eventually learn more about other and Suffield Academy. Having solitude helps strengthen the soul, mind and body.

    • Cody Ikemoto says:

      We thought Chris Burke’s comment was exceptional in conveying the point that silence allows self-reflection and growth. The qualities of solitude are mentioned in his comment, as he expresses the need for solitude to “strengthen the soul, mind and body.” The connection to the community theme of solitude is clear as he stresses the lack of motivation to get to know ourselves better in our everyday lives. With the implementation of solitude in mind, he concludes that students can know about themselves better.

  31. KL says:

    Solitude is important because being quiet and not worrying about anything is good for you. It makes you calmer, quieter, and helps you be less madd. You can focus on your own thoughts. Silence is hard but everyone should try silence and thinking. It makes less stress. “I believe it’s possible for everyone to discover this silence within themselves. It is there all the time, even when we are surrounded by constant noise. Deep down in the ocean, below the waves and ripples, you can find your internal silence. Standing in the shower, letting the water wash over your head, sitting in front of a crackling fire, swimming across a forest lake or taking a walk over a field: all these can be experiences of perfect stillness too. I love that.”(26) We live in a world that is noisy and distracting, and quiet is getting harder and harder at this time. In order to be able to do these things ourselves, we must use our distractions to rest ourselves and avoid ourselves from focusing on the superficial things. The quiet state allows us to get away from unconsciously busy and enter the opportunities to rethink ourselves.

  32. Sam says:

    Solitude is important in today’s culture because everyone is so consumed in the technological world. Society relies on technology too much these days, and it has started to take over their lives. Everyone needs to be able to take some time during the day to be silent and conscious of their thoughts. In the novel “Silence in the Age of Noise,” author Erling Kagge reveals that it is necessary to take a few minutes of silence just to be with one’s thoughts, and to reflect on life. Finding one’s silence will ultimately help find oneself, while also discovering who one truly is as a person. Another reason why solitude is necessary in society is because of how busy one’s days are. Everyone feels like they need to be doing something at all times, cramming their schedules with different activities; but it is crucial that they make time for themselves. If people in our community start to think about solitude more often, and actually using it to better themselves, the world would be a less hectic and friendlier place.

  33. Hailey Williams says:

    Throughout the entirety of “Silence in the Age of Noise”, Erling Kagge focuses on the importance of silence in his journey through the Arctic. When we are able to experience solitude, the distractions or “noise” seem to fade away and hold no importance to us when we are in that world. However, when we reenter the world we live in today, it is nearly impossible to distance ourselves and live our lives without the weight of distractions. We chalk everything up to be more important than it truly is. We let unimportant things become our main focus while more important things we pay no attention to. One thing that resonated with me was when Kagge pointed out many people can be extremely wealthy, but they do not live rich lives. He said, “Some of the worlds wealthiest people live, materially speaking, moderate lives, while others choose to bathe in luxury. My experience is that all those who bathe in luxury know one thing that others do not: luxury can only provide the short-lived pleasure of materialistic things, live their lives moderately because they are lacking the luxury of silence.” (66-67) This quote is important because it illustrates how we spend way too much time focused on the insignificant aspects of life when we should be spending our time focusing on reality, and on ourselves.

    • DC says:

      Hailey talks about two different worlds and and what happens when we reenter the one that we live in today. It is impossible to focus on what’s truly important. This quote is different from most quotes because it’s not focusing specifically on silence and she connects to the importance of Solitude. “ We chalk everything up to be more important than it truly is.” This is a strong and powerful quote and couldn’t be more spot on. The materialistic items are the noise that we can’t tune out in today’s world.

  34. Dylan Aitken says:

    A Suffield Academy this year the school theme is solitude. Solitude is the state of loneliness where you are alone with your own thoughts and nothing else. This years community text features solitude as the over arching theme and discussion of the book. A quote from this book is as follows, “Silence in itself is rich. It is exclusive and luxurious. A key to unlock new ways of thinking. I don’t regard it as a renunciation or something spiritual, but rather as a practical resource for living a richer life” (35). Solitude in this sense it used as a tool to build yourself into a better person. Using alone time to reflect on your own character can be beneficial towards yourself. Suffield wants its students to take the time to self-reflect and in turn hopes to make in positive influence on everybody by making this the community text.

    • jonathanw1718 says:

      Dylan’s comment expertly tied in the use of solitude as a resource in ones everyday life, and the encouragement to self reflect as this year’s school theme. Dylan illuminated that solitude can be used as an engine for personal reflection and benefit, and that it is a tool and less of a state of being. “I don’t regard it as a renunciation or something spiritual, but rather a practical resource for living a richer life.” (Kagge,35). Kagge speaks to the notion that most associate solitude with spirituality or meditation, however, in Kagge’s case, solitude is a “practical resource.”

  35. zzq says:

    In the novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua illustrates the effect of solitude by stating that “Even in his first year in exile he had begun to plan for his return” (Chinua 71). Okonkwo accidentally killed a man of his own clan, which was such a big crime that he had to escape to his mother’s clan for seven years. He felt deeply isolated in this new clan, and always held different opinions with the citizens of Mbanta, who he considered less manly than people of Umuofia. The feeling of solitude always gives people enough time and private space to think about what they truly want to pursue and what their next steps are in order to achieve their goals. With the lack of belongingness outside home, Okonkwo soon got motivation after being depressed for a period of time, and started to plan early for his comeback. Thus, solitude serves as a good way to help people reflect on themselves from mistakes, and prepare for the restart ahead of time.

  36. eres says:

    In the book, Silence in the Age of Noise, solitude is a major theme. Solitude is being alone, or spending time with one’s self. In the beginning of the book while the author is talking about his explorations, he says “The world disappears when you go into it” (Kagge,14). When one is really diving into the world and the nature around them, everything seems to go away, besides the details of the nature one is focusing on. Solitude helps people understand the world, nature, and themselves better. Everyone should take their time, stop worrying about what stressing them out, and focus on what makes them happy, and dive into themselves.

  37. suffkate1718 says:

    Solitude is an aspect that can be seen through a myriad of different lenses. On the one hand, it can be viewed as unpleasant, lonely, and lackluster. However, on the other hand, it can be seen as an opportunity for self discovery and self-improvement. Solitude permits people to reflect on aspects that may not seem as important in the daily bustle of life. In the book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, the main character, Okonkwo, is forced into exile for seven years away from his village of Umuofia. In the course of his expulsion, Okonkwo had a great deal of time to reflect on how he ended up where he was and what he was going to do when his sentence was completed. In the eyes of Okonkwo, solitude was seen in both lights. He was frustrated over the fact that “he had lost the years in which he might have taken the highest titles in the clan” (Achebe 171), but “Even in his first year in exile he had begun to plan for his return” (171). Solitude, although seemingly bleak, allows us to realize what we need to improve within ourselves and what we need to do for our futures.

  38. Ethan Ash says:

    Erling Kagge highly values the quality of solitude and the impact that it can have throughout, “Silence in the Age of Noise.” What is solitude and why does Kagge praise it enough to write a novel on said topic? Solitude and silence is a quality that, personally, I feel is very absent in this day and age. Everyone rushes to voice their opinion and put there two cents in on everyday occurrences. While reading, “Silence In the Age of Noise” Erling Kagge enlightened me and opened my young, narrow-minded self to what it really means to have solitude. A sentence that really resonated with me was when Kagge states, “To speak is precisely what the silence should do (11).” Now this may just seem like any other line or quote that you could hear in this age, but I really sat down and thought about what the author was attempting to say. Words aren’t everything. Not everything can be changed or affected by saying something. Sometimes it is purely silence that can will do all these things.

  39. Sarah Longhi says:

    In Erling Kagge’s “Silence in the Age of Noise” there was a specific section that resonated with me. He says how some experiences in life don’t need words, and that noise can ruin a moment. “Words can destroy the atmosphere. They are unsatisfactory. Yes, it is incredible to share grand experiences with others, but talking about it may distance us from what is happening. At times, I am struck that it is simple pleasures… which are the most difficult to put into words.” (95). While some people could see solitude as negative, Kagge is explaining that silence can make great experiences even more incredible. Some experiences don’t need to be put into words, you just have to be in the moment and enjoy it. My takeaway from this is that not every experience needs to commented on or posted online. Some moments you just have to experience and keep for yourself.

    Kagge, Erling. Silence in the Age of Noise, Pantheon Books, 2017, pg. 95

    • Jessi says:

      “You must create your own” (Kagge 11), is a quotation that resonated with me from Silence in the Age of Noise because the quotation individualizes the act of silence. In addition, it deems silence as unique and personal. I interpret the quotation as silence is an individual practice or activity that is to be incorporated into our lives uniquely. I found the theme of the novel relative to a book I read this summer. The theme of silence correlates in the novel We Were Liars because of the pure innocence and disconnect that causes the mind to wonder. I believe that silence is pure and wholesome and so I agree with the quotation from Silence in the Age of Noise.

  40. Cody Ikemoto says:

    Solitude is key to self control and contemplation. In Silence in the Age of Noise, author Erling Kagge argues that solitude provides time for people to ponder and meditate while shutting off other noises. Thus with silence, one can appreciate life more. Throughout the novel, he discusses these themes through anecdotes and input of other philosophers. For instance, Kagge says that silence “itself is rich…a key to unlock new ways of think. I do not regard it as a renunciation or something spiritual, but rather as a practical resource for living a richer life” (Kagge 35). Kagge states the “richness” of silence is evident as it contributes to living a better life. Silence is a resource to stir new thinking and reflect life. The community theme of solitude focuses on these positive aspects silence as it provides an outlet to achieve peace in oneself, reflect important values, and grow. Having the ability to enter true solitude helps the development of one’s characters, thus Kagges conveys important values of solitude that this community can act upon. Students can find time to reflect on social, athletic, and academic problems, affecting the overall growth of this wonderful community.

  41. Colter says:

    “Silence is about rediscovering, through pausing, the things that bring us joy.” (Kagge, 75) Silence and pause often go hand in hand. Silence is the pause of noice, alternatively, while when one is pausing, they tend to be silent. Silence allows one to fully clear their mind, and according to Kagge, rediscover passions and pastimes. In partial agreement with Kagge, it is difficult to organize ones thoughts without a silent pause or a silent environment. However, Kagge has omitted the notion that silent pauses can do a lot more for the body and mind than just help rediscover “happy” things. Silence can also be bad or sad, the oxymoron “deafening silence” is often used to describe awkward pauses or eerie scenarios, there is a reason why people take moments of silence for those who have passed away.

  42. ID says:

    Erling Kregge’s ‘Silence in the Age of Noise’ brought up important and interesting points regarding silence. The quote that resonated with me the most was, “Whenever I am unable to walk, climb or sail away from the world, I have learned to shut it out”(1). This quotation is very relevant to the society we live in today. We are always surrounded by buzzing cell phones, busy streets, and people talking. Noise has become nearly impossible to escape, so we need to be able to shut it out. Kregge states that “The world’s secrets are hidden silence,”(1) this is because in silence our minds are left to wonder and explore our curiosities. These can expand to bright ideas, and pursuits The aspect of wonder gets lost as we age, with our smartphones being able to answer these questions that arise in our mids before our brains get put to the test. Most people cannot go on solitude expedition to achieve the beauty if silence, so the advice Kregge has given, learning to shut out noise, is a realistic way to achieve silence. By beginning the book with this idea, it initiates the process of wonder for the reader, by encouraging them to find silence within and around them.

    • Solitude is something that many people fear. Although it is good to separate yourself from the world sometimes, most humans feel trapped when surrounded by their thoughts. In order to escape out truths, many people distract themselves from the silence. In Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, Kagge describes this fear of solitude when reflecting on himself saying, “Instead, I busy myself with this or that, avoiding the silence, living through the new task at hand. I send text messages, put on some music, listen to the radio or allow my thoughts to flit about, rather than holding still and shutting out the world for a single moment” (11). Kagge describes how difficult it is for people to be alone and how we often try to ignore ourselves. We do all that we can in order to escape solitude because once we accept it, we are forced to confront silent. Ignorance is bliss so we ignore the silence in order to avoid facing our problems and awareness. In order to fully understand ourselves and the world around us, silence and solitude is necessary.

      • Srlonghi2001 says:

        Akira’s comment shows that she understands human nature and has a realistic outlook on the world. “Although it is good to separate yourself from the world sometimes, most humans feel trapped when surrounded by their thoughts.” (Akira). This line is very true for many people in today’s society because of the advancements of technology. People spend so much time on social media or other apps, that they cannot find the time to just sit and think. This comment stuck out because she is able to connect her entire explanation from the intro, to the quotation, to the closing. Overall, this comment flows and is very polished.

  43. millieg1718 says:

    There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested. (19. 12)

    Adna regained the ability to judge and to have critical thinking after she spending time pondering alone. Some may say this results a tragic ending for her, but I find it to be a beneficial for her to realize the harsh condition of the society she was in. Ending her live is the only way she could free her spirit.
    I used to be afraid of solitude and would always surround myself with friends. As I grow up, no matter how overwhelm my homework is, I would give myself some contemplation about the analysis of everything I said and did each day. After a period of time, I became aware that I have more knowledge of myself and my motive of all my behavior. I started to appreciate the significance of thought not only on behalf of myself but also for human in general.

  44. AnuDaramola says:

    In Erlin Kagge’s book Silence in the Age of Noise, the author describes the importance of silence in comparison to noise. In his work, Kagge recalls having to explain to his children why he chose to write about silence as opposed to noise. He believes that it is, “more difficult to value silence than noise” and that because, “Noise in the form of anticipating a screen or keyboard is addictive… that is why we need silence” (Kagge 46). This passage resonates with the community theme of solitude by suggesting that sometimes it is alright to take a step back and enjoy silence. In this day and age, being busy and having a hectic schedule is the norm. According to Kagge, the more overwhelmed people are, the more they wish to be preoccupied. He stresses that one must be able to shut out the world around them and create their own silence in the midst of the noise of everyday life.

  45. Claudia says:

    Nowadays, society is overwhelmed with technology that constantly monitors everyone’s every move. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing at each moment. Living in such a community requires one to take a moment or two a day simply to collect one’s thoughts in solitude. “Silence: In the Age of Noise” by Erling Kagge is a book dedicated to communicating the significance of stillness in a world filled with distractions. He stresses the importance of finding a time to be completely alone with one’s thoughts in order to truly find peace in oneself. Kagge experienced the power of silence while on his expedition in Antarctica when hiked in solitude to the South Pole for several weeks. Explaining his voyage, he wrote in the aforementioned novel, “I became more and more attentive to the world of which I was a part. I was neither bored nor interrupted. I was alone with my thoughts and ideas,” (Kagge 14). Kagge discovered the beauty and clarity that the quiet could provide if one allowed oneself to detached from the outside world. In society filled with noise, whether its technology, work, or spending time with friends, it is crucial that people take time away from the crowd so that one may be able to listen to the silence and learn from the stillness. Silence allows one to truly find and understand one’s true self.

  46. The entire book Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge is packed full of quotable passages and anecdotes; however, one of the passages that resonated with me the most was at the begging of chapter 27. It describes how one performance artist, Marina Abramović, sat in complete silence in the museum of modern art for 736 hours straight to immerse herself in silence and venture into the unknown. The passage details how she perceived the passing of time during those 736 hours, and as she became more and more accustomed to her own silence, she became more aware of the world around her. By the end of her short stint, she could perceive noises in her surroundings in an outside of the museum that normal people could not. This is obviously an extreme example of solitude but I think it is especially important in this day and age as we become increasingly bombarded by the noise pollution in our surroundings and increasingly captivated by the fast-moving world of technology. This passage suggests that the more we tune out the world as we know it, the more we will hear from the world that we have yet to discover.

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