Expos Assignment 1 Rough Draft

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

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 1 (Final Draft 9/20/07) Reconciling Two Extremes: Surface and Substance Society today appears to be greatly divided with regards to all varieties of general opposing values. The issue is not people having personal opinions and feelings, which is the basic right of a free society and encouraged by democracy, but it is that there always seems to be such an extreme between two sides. Virginia Postrel’s essay “Surface and Substance” targets the division between society’s proclivities to value pure aesthetics alone, highlights its tendency to compromise decent appearance for functionality, and suggests a harmony between the two. A symbiotic balance between the imposed extremes of surface and substance can exist and be identified only after deeply analyzing what defines surface as surface, substance as substance, their specific natures, and discerning the intentions of a consumer in seeking to acquire certain commodities. This suggestion is not confined to products however; it can also apply to relationships with family, friends, significant others, and other aspects of life. One end of the spectrum devalues surface to an almost insignificant level. Targeting the nature of outward appearances, Postrel relays a view held by critics against valuing pure aesthetics alone, “Surface and substance are opposites…Surface is irrelevant at best and often downright deceptive” (422). It may be true that surfaces can be deceptive and misleading, but to completely dismiss and call it irrelevant is itself misleading. Why is it that in a public setting such as the boardwalk, the city, or the office where there is an increased chance of being with strangers, when a beautiful and attractive young woman walks by, many men young and old alike will tend to look at her or otherwise give her some form of attention? According to the aforementioned quote, the 1
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woman’s beauty should not matter, because surface is irrelevant at best. Her beauty can
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