The Art of Travel


Alain De Botton

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A Biblical character who suddenly loses his immense wealth and good fortune when most of his livestock are stolen, his eldest son is killed, and he becomes covered in sores. He asks God what he has done to deserve this fate, and God replies that Job has no right to question the logic of the universe or the power of the almighty, which infinitely exceeds him. De Botton uses the Book of Job to demonstrate how encountering the sublime can lead people to acknowledge the limits of the human will and accept the inevitability of human insignificance in the universe.

Job Quotes in The Art of Travel

The The Art of Travel quotes below are all either spoken by Job or refer to Job. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Art of Travel published in 2002.
Chapter 6 Quotes

The world may appear illogical to you, but it does not follow that it is illogical per se. Our lives are not the measure of all things: consider sublime places for a reminder of human insignificance and frailty.

Related Characters: Alain de Botton (speaker), God, Job
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
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Job Character Timeline in The Art of Travel

The timeline below shows where the character Job appears in The Art of Travel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: On the Sublime
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...he suffers, and God directs him to ponder sublime landscapes. This is the Book of Job, which Burke considered the Old Testament’s most sublime; Job is incredibly wealthy but suddenly loses... (full context)
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
Job’s friends tell him that his sin caused his misfortune, but Job denies that he has... (full context)
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
De Botton thinks that God’s answer to Job also holds value for secular people, for the sublime can still lead them to see... (full context)