In the story the Tortoise and the Hare which was adapted from the fable originally written by As eop through Carolyn Quattrocki, we have a story that involves two conflicting personalities. On one hand, we have a vain rabbit named Hare who is so in love with himself, this causes him to misses the important events in life. Secondly, we have a tortoise that goes by the same name, who seems slow and prodding, but who in reality takes time to enjoy life. In the story, Tortoise challenges Hare to a race to prove his point that slow and steady wins the race while speed will not necessarily prove the victor. Tortoise, in his slow and determined way, wins the race, because he realizes that haste makes waste. While Tortoise headed steadily towards the finish line, Hare slows down to take a “snooze” and on waking, realizes he has lost the race.
Tortoise is aware of the fact that reality is not always what it seems and can many times deceive a person into a wrong sense of security. Hare is a very vain rabbit. He likes to live in the “fast lane.” In his vanity, he considers himself very important. He primps in front of his mirror and continues his love affair with himself. “Hare was sure that he was the smartest, the fastest, most hansom animal in the whole forest.” (Quattrocki 172).
In our sped up society, many people act like the rabbit, they rush their lives to no avail.
Some quit before they receive their high school diploma and end up living a life on a lower level than they had envisioned. In the process, people lose out on an honorable position and end up on the night shift making “small change.” Although the real tragedy is that they lose their self respect and all that goes with it. When the Hare lost the race to an “inferior”, he lost his self respect, and “woke up” with a jolt, realizing that all the primping and fast living had deceived him. He had been made a fool of. He should have known Tortoise’s dictum that “haste makes waste.” Hare, in his great haste, had realized that he is far ahead in the race. He decides to slow down and relax.
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When the relaxation is over, so is the race, he has lost. Many people today suffer from this same malady. They fast track their career and later think that slowing down in their specific area will cause them no harm. When the slow-down is over, the realization is that, especially in today’s society, technology has outstripped his now meager knowledge. Hare sees that he has lost out, due to a mental slowdown. Conversely, tortoise lives in the ‘low lane’.
He enjoys life, enjoys his painting and being low key. “Every afternoon, when the weather was nice, tortoise would gather up his paints and brushes, and goes out into the woods.” (Quattrocki 170).
Yet it is Tortoise who wins the race, because of his determination to win when it counts. This character knows that determination and consistency wins out over the proud and profane.
The Hare finally learns what Tortoise knows. It is simply that “appearances deceive and are not always based on reality.” Hare thought that his speed and zip would carry him through life. “Tortoise was about to win the race, Hare could not believe it, Tortoise was crossing the finish line.” (Quattrocki 183).
To the contrary, speed slowed down his progress. The tortoise, in his seemingly lethargic way, perseveres and finally wins this most important race. Even today, people in their haste, overlook the obvious truths of reality and end up losing some important races.
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In school, some students rush through their work and therefore fail because they did not check their work. These students need to borrow a page from their counterparts, those that are methodical in their work, they check their answers and prove them to be right. Being slow, sometimes, is far better than being speedy and wrong. This is a major lesson that Hare has to learn. The Tortoise teaches Hare some important lessons. Tortoise leans that haste causes waste which in his case is a total “snooze”! He is in such a hurry that fatigue probably causes a serious slow down which allows the more even- keeled Tortoise to win.
Hare also learns that to avoid a burnout, you have to slow down long enough to enjoy life. Finally, he learns that reality can be quite jarring: that the appearance of a speedy rabbit is not always superior to slow prodder like Tortoise. Quattrocki, Carolyn. The Tortoise and the Hare.
Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications international, ltd, 1998.