Part One. Lexicon
- monotony; see paragraph 1
- ennui; often the result of monotony
- oxymoron of her “love affair”; distant yet close; see paragraph 12 on page 139
- narcissistic fantasy; see paragraph 14 and see page 143 paragraph 32; delusions of grandeur and self-centeredness; the need to worship and be worshipped; this is not love
- To be someone’s cynosure; paragraph 14 and 15 and 16.
- Love Hangover Principle; the faster you rise to ecstasy and bliss and passion, the more sure you are to crash into despair, depression, and emptiness.
- Lonely Principle; the more lonely you are, the more intensely you fall in love; see paragraph 17
- Panacea Principle; the more empty and lost you are, the more likely you are to look to love as a cure-all for all your problems
- Projection Principle; the more desperate you are, the more likely you are to project your ideal onto your lover so what you fall in love with is a projection of your imagination, not the real human being. The inevitable result is disappointment and disgust.
- Disparity between chimera and cipher
- Irony; reversal of expectations; see page 143, paragraph 30; she plays is straight, but she’s still deluded
- “Raw truth”; in spite of her desire to be an independent, self-reliant, touch urban woman with ambitions for her career, she sees she has deep needs to be loved.
Part Two. Writing an Effective Thesis
Qualities of Successful Thesis:
1. One sentence that establishes a demonstrable argument or purpose.
2. Demonstrable means two things: writer has authentic emotional connection to material so he or she doesn’t run out of gas at the midway point. Secondly, it means writer can support the thesis with mapping statements. Sample: The popularity of SUVs reveals a malignancy about American consumerism. First, SUV makers market their vehicles toward people who wish to dominate and bully on the road; second, SUV drivers feel entitled to cheap gas to quench their driving habits, at the expense of American dependency on oil from hostile countries; third, SUV drivers often recklessly multi-task as they live inside their little cockpit fantasy. Lipstick, DVD, Carl’s Jr. gluttony, cell phone, etc.
3. A good thesis is often followed by a clarifying sentence: Owning an SUV is morally irresponsible. This grotesque lapse of morality is evidenced by _______________, ______________________, _______________________, and _______________________________.
4. A good thesis defies the obvious and possesses the So-What Factor: Sample: Tom Cruise and Terrell Owens are jerks. A better thesis: Society requires grotesque celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and Terrell Owens, to be our punching bags. First, these vile celebrities refute the unhealthy notion that riches result in goodness; second, our communal hatred for them gives us a sense of shared values; third, our loathing for these miscreants gives us catharsis and we vent our class envy and middle class frustrations.
5. A good thesis answers a compelling question. Why does no one care about Barry Bonds, even as he closes in on Hank Aaron’s record? In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, how did the US government leave so many people to die in a country that is the richest and freest in the world? Why do women continue to outnumber men in college enrollment? Another compelling question: Why do Americans spend more and more money on diets and workout programs and personal trainers as they continue to getter fatter and fatter and fatter and fatter?: Americans grow obscenely fatter in the face of their diet obsessions because none of their “programs” address the root of their fatness. To the contrary, their dieting exacerbates their real problem, which is that they are blind, incorrigible consumers. The diet is just another consumer commodity that promises a “magic bullet.” The diet is, like their overeating, a form of obsessive neurosis and orality. Finally, the diet becomes a form of shared communal experience that gives them a feeble sense of belonging and assuages their loneliness. Their laziness compels them to seek magic bullets rather than change behavior and get educated. Their diet obsession intensifies their food obsession. Their diet becomes a feeble way to stave off their loneliness.
Part Three: What not to do when writing a thesis:
1. Don’t write an easy thesis that is so self-evident or obvious that to support it is a complete waste of time that will bore your reader to tears, anguish, and resentment over your bovine effort.
2. Don’t write a thesis that leads to a sermon in which you bloviate a bunch of homilies, bromides, and truisms to your rankled reader.
3. Don’t write a thesis that is so broad and general that the only way to support it is with a 500-page book.
4. Don’t write a thesis that you don’t understand or believe in because your lack of conviction will give your paper a limp, soggy quality that will depress both you and your reader.
5. Don’t write a thesis that is cold, cerebral, and intellectually detached for this approach will result in a frosty academic treatise with no vitality or fire to inflame your readers’ interest.
6. Don’t write a thesis that is ridiculous for ridiculous’ sake because, lacking in any vital ideas, you’re desperate to pique and provoke your reader with lame gimmicks.
7. Don’t write a thesis that “sounds good” but in truth bores the hell out of you so that when you sit down to write your essay you cry and curse your decision to enroll in a composition class.
8. Don’t write a thesis for which there is no accessible research material so that you’re left making up fictitious articles for your Works Cited page.
9. Don’t write the same thesis that your friend wrote because “he got an A” when in fact you have no emotional connection to this carbon copy essay.
10. Don’t write a thesis that simply echoes the same points of the essay you’re writing about, which results in a summary of the essay, not an analysis.
Part Four. Writing Assignment Options 165 and 166; Numbers 2, 5, and 6 are relevant to today’s assigned reading. My mapping components are applicable to all 3 options.
Option #2: Weak thesis: The cyberrevolution is positive. Too broad.
Option #2 Better thesis: While the cyberrevolution gives us access to more potential love partners and makes communication more convenient, a cyber romance is not a real romance but a doomed fantasy. This false love is evidenced by the corruption of real love evidenced by ______________________, ________________________, ______________________, and _____________________________.
- the false bliss of a relationship mostly based on written language; written language creates a love persona that is not the real you and your cyber partner does the same. It’s romantic but you can’t live up to your written persona.
- the false love based on self-serving convenience; you can turn this kind of love on and off as you see fit;
- the opportunity for obsession unchecked by face-to-face contact.
- Distance between lovers creates loneliness and longing, which creates wish-fulfillment that can never be realized.
I notice my mapping components for to all 3 relevant options.
Number 6: The cyber romance born from technology is a pathetic fantasy that for a short while veils us from the awful truth of modern life: That living in our fast-paced world is incompatible with real love. This sad truth is evident when we consider that the pressures of work make us turn toward a debased form of love—the cyber romance, which can be characterized by ____________________, ______________________, ____________________, and __________________________.