“Everyone knows that one person who is impressively ‘street smart’ but does poorly in school. What doesn’t occur to us, though, is that schools and colleges are at fault for missing the opportunity to tap into such street smarts and channel them into good academic work” (198). This was stated by Gerald Graff in his article “Hidden Intellectualism” where he defines what “book smart” and “streets smart” students actually are. He specifies how his views in terms of education can help build the school system into something great by explaining the necessity of applying this hidden intellectualism into academic intellectualism.
One of the references used by Graff in his article would be the influential works of George Orwell when saying “A George Orwell writing is infinitely more substantial than many of Shakespeare” (199). The reason he felt that students should model writers such as Orwell is because as a writer, he wrote the way an typical person would write if they could, and he didn’t how they say “talk down to anyone.” “Orwell had the rare talent for making readers feel that they were dealing not with a reporter or a columnist or a literary man – not with a writer – but with an ordinary person” (Menand). Orwell basically lived the lives of those he wrote about, whether a soldier, a hospital patient, or even an eye witness. Orwell is also known for his insights about the political implications of the use of language. Unlike Shakespeare whose writing was known for his metaphorical and poetic language, Orwell was how Graff would identify as “street smarts” by focusing (and usually criticizing) on his world views and using it to publish these views into an academic novel.