chapter  14
Pages 7

We began this book by observing that anyone who wishes to understand the American legal system must rst understand the meaning of law. We noted that law may be dened in terms of the functions it performs in a society, the sources of law, and the different kinds of law. This book has attempted to acquaint the reader with the many facets of law in our society. Viewing law may be compared to the pleasant pastime of cloud gazing. Most of us at one time or another have looked up at the sky and described what we thought we saw in the various cloud formations above-a kind of heavenly Rorschach test. If accompanied by others, we soon discover that there are differences of opinion about the pictures formed by the various combinations of clouds. We also discover that unless it is an unusually calm day, the cloud formations begin to change, drawing new pictures across the sky. An image we once thought to be clear and distinct is soon misshapen. What is formed by the clouds is a function of time, space, and the perceptions of the viewer.