The Tortoise And The Hare


Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who is faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realized that he'd lost the race.

The movement of the tortoise and the hare can be described as a shifting of objects in space. According to Bergson this is how movement is commonly perceived, as ‘a translation in space.’ At the beginning of the race the tortoise and the hare are static, their bodies are still in space. As soon as they start moving, at whatever speed, they move physically as objects in space. If we were to slow down their movements we could view them instant by instant, moment by moment. Bergson believes that this would ‘put all moments on the same level’. The relationship between movement and stillness can be seen in these instances. The images are still as they are all on the same level and they are also moving as individual moments can be found, for example the tortoise crossing the finish line before the hare. Although the images are on the same plane different lines of movement are dispersed. The true sense of movement, according to Bergson is not the translation of objects in space but rather a transformation of the whole. The movement of both the tortoise and the hare need to be seen as an inseparable moving whole. This transformation or shift of the whole and they way it affects the objects moving is what true movement is. Movement is not objects moving through space, it is the change or transformation these objects go through to get from one point to the next. This movement is at the heart of concept for, it is ‘an act-of-becoming, an auto-movement of thought.’ (Deleuze). This auto-movement of thought happens to us from outside of ourselves, as things transform from one point to the next.

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