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Expos Assignment 2 Rough Draft

Expos Assignment 2 Rough Draft - 1 Francis Arcede...

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 2 (Rough Draft 9/27/07) Surface and Substance in an Open Society and an Oppressive Society Surface and substance are two seemingly opposite yet at the same time complementing elements. Consumer and commercial society urges precedence for aesthetics over substance or functionality. Likewise, anecdotes and stories claiming morals and life lessons admonish against having that mentality and encourage consideration of deeper reflection. A free society like the United States fosters an atmosphere where such a divide can even be possible. What happens to the issue of surface and substance when an oppressive government of a different country dictates all types of expression? Can the aforementioned division persist to exist? Azar Nafisi in her work “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran ” provides insight into a country where the government severely limits its citizens in many ways, from style of dress to what is being taught in class. Elements of “Surface and Substance” by Virginia Postrel and her views relayed in the work are not only noticeably applicable to “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran” but also complicated by Nafisi’s views and her experiences living in the city of Tehran. Where in “Surface and Substance” the issue was choosing between the two, Nafisi’s work deliberately reveals that in her society, surface and substance must stand separately. As she hosts a weekly Thursday morning meeting in her home with select female students to discuss works of literature, Nafisi recalls taking two photographs: one with the government mandated black robes and head scarves covering females from head to toe, and another without the garb. Her reaction calls to mind the difference of surface and substance, “When my students came into that room, they took off more than their scarves 1
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and robes. Gradually, each one gained an outline and a shape, becoming [her] own
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Expos Assignment 2 Rough Draft - 1 Francis Arcede...

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