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The Utility Of Failure In Everything Is Beautiful And Nothing Makes Sense By Andrew Forbes

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In the essay, Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Makes Sense, from the book The Utility of Boredom, Andrew Forbes claims that failure enhances the feeling of success. Forbes begins the essay by saying “I don’t know what it is about Toronto. I think about this from time to time and come up with nothing bankable. ”

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In failing to be able to describe the city of Toronto, Forbes is creating an analogy for his later theme, that success is emphasized by failure. Once Forbes is able to successfully find a considerable description for Toronto, he is able to strongly emphasize these feelings because he has suggested the idea of failure into the minds of his readers. After introducing the topic of failure and success, Forbes goes on to describe the baseball season of 2015, claiming that “After the Jays treaded water for the first four months of the season, most of us had counted the team out”.

The Toronto Blue Jays’ acquisition of David Price that season and its following success sent a new kind of “fervour and enthusiasm” throughout the Jays fans in the latter half of the season that Forbes had never seen before. This feeling of excitement was enhanced by the failure that the Jays were facing in the former half of the season that contrasted the excitement of success with sadness and – in some cases – indifference. Forbes explains that had the fans not seen the failure of the Blue Jays in the first part of the season, they wouldn’t have been nearly as excited about their contrasting success after the acquisition. As Forbes nears the end of his essay about the necessity of failure, he uses a specific game example to further prove his point. He explains that the Jays were failing to win the fifth game of the Division Series the same year as the acquisition and that the fans were in a state of fear and shock at the Blue Jays difficulty to defeat the Texas Rangers – their failure to defeat the Rangers. It was only when the player José Bautista stepped up to bat in the seventh inning that the Blu Jays gained a chance of winning. Contrasting the rest of the game, Bautista was successful, batting a strong home run and creating a riot in the crowd. According to Forbes, Bautista’s game-changing home run “wouldn’t have been nearly as charged a moment though had it not come during that seventh inning”.

Since the fans had to endure seven innings of failure before finally seeing a light at the end of that dark tunnel, or as Forbes describes it, “the water-in-the-desert feeling”, the feeling of overwhelming joy is emphasized by the contrasted fear that the fans had felt throughout the rest of the game. Throughout the essay everything is Beautiful and Nothing Makes Sense by Andrew Forbes, failure is shown as a necessary part of success, failure contrasting and complementing success.

29 April 2020

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