In his essay entitled "The Loss of the Creature,"" Walker Percy discusses how through preconceptions and the surrender of sovereignty of ideas and places, humans lose the ability to experience life, and its elements, in new and innovative ways. He argues that humans have lost the surprise of discovery because of the preconceptions they bring to a specific experience. .
Percy begins his essay with an example of a visitor who, after many years of wanting to see the Grand Canyon, gets there and then measures the experience by the ideas and thoughts of how the canyon should appear. He states, "the sightseer measures his satisfaction by the degree to which the canyon conforms to his preformed complex,"" and "the highest point, the term of the sightseer's satisfaction, is not the sovereign discovery of the thing before him; it is rather the measuring up of the thing to the criterion of the preformed complex."" (Percy, 598) When approaching particular experiences, humans have the tendency to, rather than perceiving it based on its merits, compare it to what they have already learned about the subject, or to what they have already experienced. Nothing could exist more true for the case of Mount Rushmore.
One of the most creative, amazing, mesmerizing, and beautiful of all the historical monuments in the world remains that of Mount Rushmore. In 1927, and American sculptor named Gutzon Borglum began carving Mount Rushmore, and proceeded to work on the enormous sculpture until his death on March 6, 1941 (Corbett, 31). Following his death, Gutzon's son, Lincoln Borglum, directed the completion of the final drilling on October 31, 1941. Mount Rushmore started as nothing more than an idea to attract sightseers, and attract them it has throughout the course of the 20th and into the 21st centuries. In 1923 state historian Doane Robinson suggested carving some giant statues into the Black Hills of South Dakota (Corbett, 32).