Expos Assignment 3 Final Draft

Expos Assignment 3 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede...

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 3 (Rough Draft 10/11/07) A Wider View Western society places an importance on viewing the world as constantly possessing two opposing elements. Furthermore, it has a proclivity to turn an issue into one versus the other, or good or bad. For example, the American political system revolves mainly around two parties, the Republicans and Democrats. In most professional sports like basketball, the final showdown is between two of the best teams from opposite divisions. Virginia Postrel in her essay “Surface and Substance” pits the seemingly incompatible elements of aesthetics and function against each other, and comments on society’s increased placing of value on each. This notion of polarity between elements and its grey areas are exposed in “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran written by Azar Nafisi, whose country is severely limited in outer expression by the government. The aforementioned authors rely on a debate format to relay their views to the reader. Just as she advocates doing in her own essay entitled “The Roots of Debate in Education and the Hope of Dialogue”, Deborah Tannen stands as a third party in the dichotomy between Virginia Postrel and Azar Nafisi and creates a cohesive and balancing glue for the three of them. In order to fully experience and learn from different sides, a mere balance between two views is not enough, nor does it do justice to what each side has to completely offer. Instead, discovering what one can learn from two or more opinions and harnessing knowledge from a wider scope is ultimately more rewarding and enriching than being constricted to a black and white mindset. However, just as much as it expands the view through which learning can be filtered, it also complicates the seemingly simple issue of surface vs. substance, or right and wrong, and allows for more personal expression and thought. 1
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It is clear from the beginning of Postrel’s essay that she is comparing two elements placed opposite of one another by society: surface and substance. They are painted completely black and white by society, and people are led to believe that: “…appearance must be worth either everything or nothing” (437). Society as a whole creates for itself this particular divide; no one blatantly fabricated a rule one day that some will side with an aesthetically driven people, and others will join a union of deeper substance filled lives. People in Western societies are inclined to create dichotomies on anything, ranging from simple baseball team loyalties to major issues of politics such as the Iraq War. There is normally little room for grey matter in between, there is no compromise, and there is no balance. Extending on the example of political issues like
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Expos Assignment 3 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede...

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