Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover (Essay Sample)

Don’t Judge the book by its Cover


The popular idiom “don’t judge the book by its cover” has been used a million times. It has been interpreted in many ways, and applied in numerous circumstances. Different situations compel people to respond in different ways, but in some cases, appearance is often far removed from reality and people often confuse the former for the latter.

It is unwise to judge someone’s true worth: economically, socially, spiritually, or mentally merely by looking at his current physical status. When some people encounter stressful situations, they overreact and anyone seeing them during such situations may perceive them as mental patients. The phrase “do not judge a book by its cover” can also be literal in meaning! Some really compelling novels, documentaries, and diaries have unattractive covers. In other cases, a book’s cover may be torn but the content can be so inspiring and motivating that the reader cherishes the book forever. Similarly, a book may have extremely attractive and “sexy” covers but the content may not please even the most avid of readers.  This idiom probably has its base in the belief that the beauty of someone’s characters and abilities are not the ones that the world sees but the ones hidden deep in a person’s mind, beliefs, and actions. A story such as the one described below illustrates the point.

There was once the tale of a wealthy white man from Wales who toured an impoverished country in western parts of Africa in the 1930s. The tour was to take him seven days. However, on the second day, on a cool evening while walking on the streets of the country’s capital city, thugs snatched his bag containing his most important identification and banking documents. He was rendered unable to travel. Neither could he get back to his hotel as no one trusted a foreigner who apparently had no documents or money. The tourist didn’t believe how things had quickly turned out for the worst. His attempts to conduct the high commission bore no fruit, and he was arrested for loitering. Three days later, he was released and he began sleeping on the streets. A concerned stranger listened to his story, and housed him for one week until he processed new documents. Local banks were reluctant to listen to his concerns. Four days later, luck shone on him when one manager took keen concern of the man’s explanations about his financial status. The manager called the Barclays bank branch in Wales and a check valued at £ 1 million was sent along. In five days’ time, the check had matured and was cashed. The tourist immediately repaid the stranger for his kindness, and gave him £ 100,000 as a token of appreciation. Everyone who had seen and heard of the tourist and his experiences had initially thought that the latter was a pauper, a swindler, or a fugitive, not an unfortunate victim of insecurity and banking problems.

The wealthiest people on the planet are not necessarily the prettiest. Also, the prettiest girls are often not the most spiritual. A pretty girl may however, use her looks to deceive and trap a man into falling for her, with the objective of fleecing him. The biblical story of Samson and Delilah are known only too well. The story portrays a situation where one beautiful woman uses her looks to manipulate a man into revealing his most profound and cherished secret. Samson falls for Delilah’s lie, not because she was madly in love with him, but because he could not tell reality from appearance. He judged the book by its cover; a big mistake indeed. He hoped that his wife could not use his secret to orchestrate his downfall.

In conclusion, a person’s or a thing’s true worth is not determined by his physical appearance, status, or supposed nature. It is instead, established through a close interaction with such a person, and an observation of his or her characters over a period of time. After all, an ugly cover on a book does not always reflect the content unless the reader takes time to peruse the pages.

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