ARGUMENT. The use of evidence and reason to defend a stance or point of view. The Claim. The debatable and controversial statement or assertion the speaker hopes to prove. We make claims about matters that are uncertain, that we can’t establish absolutely or definitely.
The use of evidence and reason to defend a stance or point of view
Note: Some claims must be qualified/limited.
In his 1998 book Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, Neal Gabler wrote the following.
One does not necessarily have to cluck in disapproval to admit that
entertainment is all the things its detractors say it is: fun, effortless,
sensational, mindless, formulaic, predictable, and subversive. In fact, one
might argue that those are the very reasons so many people love it.
At the same time, it is not hard to see why cultural aristocrats in the
nineteenth century and intellectuals in the twentieth hated entertainment
and why they predicted, as one typical nineteenth century critic railed,
that its eventual effect would be “to overturn all morality, to poison the
springs of domestic happiness, to dissolve the ties of our social order, and
to involve our country in ruin.
Write a thoughtful and carefully constructed essay in which you use specific evidence to defend, challenge, or qualify the assertion that entertainment has the capacity to “ruin” society.
In your CLAIM (i.e. your thesis), you must state your position.
** Does not need to be stated explicitly in the thesis, but it should be part of the thought process and planning.
(Essay 1) Claim: Although some proclaim that the entertainment industry has poisoned society, entertainment operates on a far more positive position for society.
(Essay 2) Claim: …certainly, I agree that some extreme forms of entertainment do have the capacity to “ruin.” However, in most instances of “risky” books, movies, and plays – entertainment (conservatively seen as damnable) has something to offer beyond the cover, that most people are not willing to look for.
Option 1: Concede a point of the opposition, but establish claim with stronger reasons/evidence
Option 2: Counter point by point
MTV’s “Jackass” – “life-threatening…sickening stunts…near-fatal incidents”
Sexually explicit movies, plays, and novels
Joe Camel & the cigarette industry
Saving Private Ryan - Tom Hanks’ semiautomatic stresses “dangers and urgencies of war”
Entertainment used to “convey artistic concepts & ideas” = “Michelangelo’s workshop”
Gabler writing during Industrial Revolution – today entertainment has evolved into art
C - The Full Monty considered lewd
R - “not about stripping at all, but rather, a group of men doing what was necessary to keep wives, pay rent, please their children, and provide for their families”
C - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn racist because of use of “n******”
R - “great relationships between blacks & whites, discover the harsh reality of a black man’s life in the 1800’s and also watch a white boy grow from a ‘hater to a lover.’”
C - John Wayne movies; Hitchcock’s Psycho; A Beautiful Life – “others see it as outrageous and inappropriate”
R – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; “there is beauty in it all, it just needs to be found”