Pioneer Pens

ENG 1023, Texas Woman's University (Fall 2012)

Draft workshop Thursday 9/27!

For class Thursday, bring (electronically–put it on a thumb drive, mail it to yourself, whatever works) a COMPLETE draft of your rhetorical analysis essay. If you are not going to be here, or if you want more feedback, please feel free to use this thread to post and share drafts (and if YOU see drafts here, please comment thoughtfully!)

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15 comments on “Draft workshop Thursday 9/27!

  1. Amy Summers
    September 26, 2012

    I’m sorry but for some reason I cannot find on the rubric or the assignment sheet what type of formatting you want us to write our paper in. Let me know when you can! Thank you.

    • Amy Summers
      September 26, 2012

      Nevermind!

      • drL
        September 26, 2012

        Glad you found it!

  2. sleepincarnate
    September 26, 2012

    Ok, I actually recommended this for Blackboard, but considering I’m most likely the only one not going to be at class tomorrow (I’m going to court for good reasons, wish me luck), it works anyways. Anyway, here’s my 5 pages. I haven’t included my list of references at the end, just the actual essay itself, as I’m sure we’re all using different means of citation.

    WARNING: If vulgar language offends you, you may not want to read this. Emilie does not pull her punches, swears in both her song and her interviews, and I don’t believe in censorship. Bonus points for getting permission from Dr. Lackey to have it directly in there without censoring.

    Caitlin Fairchild
    2 October 2012
    ENGL1023.04

    Thank God I’m Pretty

    It’s not easy being pretty. Beauty is a curse. These phrases and more like them appear often in modern media, often used by an unsympathetic character to illicit a roll of the eyes and make them seem arrogant. However, historically, examples have existed in myths and legends that show just how terrible beauty truly can be. Helen of Troy was so beautiful that she was used as a bribe to Paris from Aphrodite to win a contest against Hera and Athena. This set off the Trojan War which lasted ten years, during which time Helen was certainly not happy. Narcissus, from whom we get the term narcissist (i.e. one who is vainly in love with themselves), was so attractive that men and women both fell in love with him instantly, and he was cursed by the gods to fall in love with his own reflection until he withered away. It is such a common theme that it has become a trope unto itself, called So Beautiful, It’s a Curse by the online tropes database known as TV Tropes, with over 30 pages worth of examples.

    Singer/songwriter Emilie Autumn takes a more modern approach to this topic in her song “Thank God I’m Pretty” that is tongue-in-cheek yet realistic and believable at the same time. In the song, she shows just how being a pretty woman in modern society can truly be a curse, and just how hard it can be, yet she does so in a satirical manner. Listening to the song, one gets the impression that she sings from experience, drawing feelings of pity and righteous anger from the audience, while also commenting on the objectification of women in western society.

    While the overall message of the song is about how being attractive is not all that society makes it out to be, there are numerous minor messages that can be taken from within it that add up to the larger message. From lines such as the opening of “Thank God I’m pretty; the occasional free drink I never asked for; the occasional admission to a seedy little bar; invitation to a stranger’s car,” she speaks about unwanted attention and unwanted gifts, often attached to the expectation of sex. This is taken to the logical extreme with the next verse, “I’m blessed with the ability to rend a grown man tongue-tied, which only means that when it’s dark outside, I have to run and hide; can’t look behind me” indicating that some men will sexually assault women they find attractive who do not accept their advances.

    This sexual theme is continued through the song as well, with other lines indicating that her appearance leaves her as a sex object in the minds of men that is easily forgotten after the fact, as seen in the lines “I’m truly privileged to look this good without clothes on; which only means that when I sing, you’re jerking off; and when I’m gone, you won’t remember.” She also mentions the more traditional forms of sexual harassment in the verse, “I think my ego would fall right through the cracks in the floor if I couldn’t count on men to slap my ass anymore.”

    However, her smaller points are not all sexual in nature. The theme of people being unable to look past her appearance to the person inside, and the belief that all of her accomplishments are based on the merit of her attractiveness (and possible sexual prowess) is stated in a pair of lines, “every skill that I have will be in question” and later “when a gaggle of faces appears around me, it’s lucky I hate to be taken seriously.” This is also hinted at, as well as the belief that because of her perceived sexual escapades (real or not), with the lyrics “every ill that I must suffer merely brought on by myself.” Finally, she points out the common judgments people place on her due to her appearance, not just physical beauty but also chosen hair style, manner of dress, etc. with the verse “I know my destiny’s such that I’m all stocking and curl, so everybody thinks that I’m a fucking suicide girl.”

    In addition to what she says, one must look at how she says it. It’s telling that in this song, she chose to go with a sweet, high-pitched, even innocent tone to her voice, even thanking God for all of these ills that befall her because of her body, as opposed to taking a more raging tone as she does in some of her other songs. Compare this to Liar, in which she turns a cheating lover’s false words back on them, or I Know Where You Sleep, which is basically one long “the reason you suck” song to a former lover, and at some points in both songs, she starts shouting and screaming as though someone had snuck into the studio and chopped her legs off with an axe. Or contrast to some of her other songs where she sings in a lower, more sultry tone, such as I Want My Innocence Back, which is about the abuse she suffered as a child.

    The specific choice to use these higher, sweeter tones is an interesting one. This makes the song come off satirically, even being tongue-in-cheek. But at the same time, it draws the listener in more than a simple angry song would, causing that dissonance between the message and the tone that forces the audience to truly pause and take it all in. In doing so, she evokes feelings of actual anger and pity from her audience that an angrier song might not, simply because it stands out from the others and isn’t so easily tuned out.

    In addition, because her examples are so specific, her audience gets the impression that she’s speaking from experience. This serves to give her credibility with her listeners, though one is never sure just which parts she has personally experienced and which are ones she has just heard from others. This vagueness actually works in her favor, rather than detracting from it, as it becomes assumed that she has lived through all of these examples (and it’s fully possible she has) rather than that she hasn’t. In fact, she actually spoke about it in an interview with Denise Stanborough at Bizarre Magazine, recalling that her abuse began at the age of six, and about her rape (Stanborough, 2010). She even speaks some of the time she was in a Los Angeles asylum on suicide watch.

    In fact, for her, the album that Thank God I’m Pretty and the other above mentioned songs appear on, Opheliac, was a means of getting back on her feet after that time, as she mentions in that interview. “Opheliac was me standing up for myself for the first time, because I’ve been notoriously bad at doing that,” she said, before continuing with “it’s like the dog that’s been beaten all it’s life and then turns around and rips your fucking face off” (Stanborough, 2010). In the truest sense, the audience for this song and the entire album is Emilie herself, rather than her fans. In fact, she remarks in the interview that she regularly has fans telling her that her music has stopped them from hurting themselves, and she’s happy that it helped them though she doesn’t feel that she personally had anything to do with it.

    It is because of this song being written for herself as the primary audience, perhaps, that she doesn’t try to appeal to logic with her audience. It’s assumed her audience knows these stereotypes, and more importantly, she knows that she’s been through all of these events in her life. On the other hand, not listing any specific facts means that she can’t get them wrong either. The song is, in many ways, emotional rather than logical, almost a way for her to vent her pain, coupled with the other songs on the album where she sings about her various illnesses (such as bipolar disorder), rages in anger at her abusers or former partners, or in other means stands up for herself against her own past.

    Taken as a performance for herself to help her build up her own self-confidence and enable her to fight back against her own past, it can be said that this song, and the album as a whole, is a complete success. As Stanborough states at the very end of the interview, “this lady has definitely got her bite back” (Stanborough, 2010). Emilie has continued releasing albums since, and recently released another, titled Fight Like A Girl, that she has said continues where Opheliac left off and makes the Opheliac album “sound like a pleasant tea party” (Venters, 2012).

    As a secondary success, unintended but pleasant for her nonetheless, is the fact that her music is helping others. As mentioned above, she often has people approach her at shows and show her scars on their arms, telling her that her music enabled her to stop inflicting that kind of hurt on themselves (Stanborough, 2010). And it has also continued her career (she had actually begun working some on the album before her attempted suicide, and had released prior albums), which is also very important to her. However, unlike many other artists, this album was, for her, truly about the art and the music, not the money.

    Looking over Thank God I’m Pretty, there is much to say. Summed up, Emilie came out with a primary point about how being beautiful truly is a curse in our society, and backed it up with examples detailing unwanted attention, rape, sexual harassment, denial of abilities, failure to be taken seriously, and the simple fact that she is judged based on her looks. She then turned this point on its head with a satirical bent, thanking God for all of these ills brought about by her prettiness, and then further threw the rules out the window by singing it in a high pitched, sweet and innocent sounding tone. Forced to pause and actually listen to the message due to this lyrical dissonance, she instills her listeners with both pity and anger, a righteous wrath and desire to bring justice to those who would hurt her. Just listening to the song, one gets the impression she has experienced all of these things, and then one learns of her past with abuse, rape, and suicide. But she didn’t write this song for us, the consumers who buy her albums or go to her concerts. This song, and the album as a whole, is truly for her. It is her own sense of righteousness that she fuels the flames of with these verses. As such, she doesn’t make any appeals to logic, but neither does she make false remarks. She knows who she is, she knows what she’s been through, and she knows who she wants to be. Nothing else matters in this amazing song, or in the rest of the amazing album it is on.

  3. drL
    September 26, 2012

    Oh, I’m sorry! I could totally have done it on Blackboard too, I just didn’t “get” it. (Sorry–some days I’m more dense than others. LOL). I will read this for you in the am, when I’m clearer, and get you some feedback. (And if you want, I can remove this thread?)

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow! I’ll be thinking of you!

  4. drL
    September 27, 2012

    Caitlin: I have some folks reading for you. Some may have emailed you directly. If others email ME a response, rather than posting here (as I’ve taught everyone to embed comments, using the review feature in Word), I’ll send it on to you. (And then I’ll remove this thread, if you like, and no one else has used it or replied via it.)

  5. Tiffany
    September 30, 2012

    Ok, just so that I am clear…the PF1 assignments due date has been changed to Thursday 10/4 instead of Tuesday 10/2, correct?

    • drL
      October 1, 2012

      Yes

  6. Amy Summers
    October 1, 2012

    One of my peer editors told me that it would be better if I defined logos, pathos and ethos when I discussed them in my paper because my audience might not understand what they were. I was just in the mindset that my audience was you, (Dr. Lackey) and that you would know what those terms meant. Do you think I should still give a short description of what they are?

    • drL
      October 1, 2012

      Write to a larger audience than ME, as discussed in class. Write to a large, academic audience. They probably do know these words, but if you wanted to define them briefly that would be okay. It’s your choice, though. And their meanIng should be clear in the context of whatever you go on to say in your analysis.

  7. Nitzia McElrath
    October 1, 2012

    Hi, I am sending a draft for my porfolio 1, and hope someone have a time to read it. I am trying to finish but I don’t see is organize yet. Thank you! 🙂

    “Louder Than Words”
    By Nitzia McElrath

    Louder Than Words, Jenny McCarthy inspired me to read her book in the moment I find out my son Sam was diagnostic with High Function Autism. First, I couldn’t understand the meaning of autism. Then, I keep looking for answers and different stories with families who have Autism and help me to understand, but my emotional was over whelming and stress level was very high. I felt I was alone with my son with Autism that time and his father was far away because his work. One day, I search Google to find more information about Autism books to help me learn from other who has more experiences than me. Then, I found “Louder than Words”, this book impress me with beautiful cover with Jenny McCarthy and her son hugging each other with the happy smile. This title of the book “Louder than Words” was very strong and a lots meaning for me and my mind was wonder more to find out more answer about a mother’s journey in healing Autism. That day, I couldn’t wait to buy the book and read it.

    “Louder than Words,” Autism Speaks by Jenny McCarthy motivated many mother with her long journey to help your child with autism. She went through emotional, devastating and a story of hope as a mother’s journey in healing Autism. Jenny McCarthy, Louder than Words is the bestseller in New York Time and publisher by the Penguin Group and copyright 2007 in healing Autism. The author wrote this book, because she wants to spread the message to the world as a single parent, and her experience to find the answer to help heal her son Evan. From her experience, she discovered her long journey first the doctors mistaking label her son with “Febrile Seizure”, and “Epilepsy”. Second, she discovered that her child is not the same as before and last she looks for miracle to help your child’s autism.

    The author’s arguments represent Louder Than Words in a way very clear and easy to understand in the way that she expresses her pain and despair of mother. Sometimes she skips her pain for many reasons as her son being sick; her marriage was up-side-down, her work cut off as part time and her social life had change. For example, the change in social life: she tried to hide from her friends at the time that she and her child had the child’s birthday party invitation, but she always canceled because she didn’t want to give them any reason to explain on the bad habits of his son.

    The author learned draws the attention of the public with their sadness experience as a mother. She knew that many mother needed help and guidance in order to help their children. She was inspired to write Louder Than Word at the time that she was learning her son about the symptoms of seizure and autism. Examples: The therapist of UCLA Early Childhood asked McCarthy about the lists of autism to see the level of the child is to help him. Here, some of the question where she couldn’t answer, for examples: (McCarthy 94), “Is he affectionate? And does he show warmth and love? She answered he didn’t show affection. I honestly had never noticed that I wasn’t getting the physical love that mommies get (McCarthy 94). I really didn’t need it, because love is energy, and I felt it (McCarthy 94). His love was louder than words, and our connection was very deep (McCarthy 94). She learned then that the love of her son is so big inside, and there is no identification of Word of her son, but that two of them identified. My experience with my son was different from McCarthy because my son really show love to me and my family, but the only different is that my son did not say MOM until he was 4 years old.

    At the time read the original work, the writer was very serious and casual when she expressed her pain of her son. She involved very easily inside of her heart, and she knew who read this book will inspire some parents. The tone of the anguish of the writer of the pain was it would be at the beginning of the chapters about the health of her child. She surprised me a moment that she wrote a dirty word example: (shit)… I understand her….at the time that she wants the person to do things immediately as typical of a super model with money.

    She had some proof credibility as ethos, and managed to gain the respect and trust of the public. The proof is her experience as a mother suffered to find a cure for autism. Example: She couldn’t believe the seizure was happening again to her son Evan, and she knew it wasn’t febrile seizure. She said something was terribly wrong her son was pasty color, and there was still no sign of the paramedics. As more foam came out of his mouth, the pain in my heart was Louder Than Words could describe. She described emotion (Pathos). Now, I understand why she titles the book Louder Than Word after reading the second chapter (McCarthy 14). She used this phrases the meaning of the paint of her heart, worry, and anxious to have the paramedic as soon as possible to save her son when he was seizure. She felt something come over her body. It was a wave of strength. When she felt something tell her spirit, he was going to pull through. It was saying, “Breath, Jenny. Stay Calm,” (McCarthy 15) is some of the phrase we use to control any emotion, but she managed herself to listen to such statement as “stay calm,” (McCarthy 15), but she didn’t have choice to stay calm. She said, her body relaxed, and the sounds of the room of the room came back. “Stay Calm” is an example of inspiration she motivated me when I needed it in order to help my son, but I noticed that time Jenny have more stress than me, because my son is healthy thanks God. After the paramedic came to help Evan with CPR and she said repeating sentence, (McCarthy 15): “He’s going to be okay. He’s going to be okay.” Then the paramedics give their thumbs-up and she burst into tears and put her head in her lap. She said repeating sentences, (McCarthy 15): Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank God. She choose this repeating sentences, because she was talking to God in the moment when she really needs him and she felt relieve after her son was okay and she knew God was listening to her.

    She began to search miracle after her son was sick with seizure because she noticed that her child is not the same boy as before. Then one of her friend recommended Jenny the best Pediatric neurologist to help her child. She went with her son to the neurologist doctor to find the diagnostic is when the doctor said, sorry her son has autism and she opened her eyes. She wasn’t preparing to hear this and she felt each membrane and her vein in her heart shattering in million pieces and she already have enough with the child being with seizure and now adding stress with autism. She said: I couldn’t believe God had handed me another plate of shit, strong language (McCarthy 65). The language that she used was very strong for a desperate mother and in this moment she exploited verbally. After reading this part is when I stopped to take a breath, and think how much she went through her emotion, and more challenge she will have with her son.

    Finally, Jenny met a mother who could relate her pain and she told her about son and they compared stories on missing clues, and she was forever being grateful. This part of the conversation between them, I was very interesting to read more, because they have the same stories to share, and compare good way to help other with the same pain. She said, “Jenny, there is a window with autism (McCarthy 76). And you need to pull him out of this window (McCarthy 76).” She immediately pictured pulling Evan out of an actual window, from that world he seemed lost in and into her world. I imagine the same way to help my son in that moment when I read that part is a window with autism, and couldn’t wait to learn more to help my son. Jenny finds out a book about a mother giving some explanation how she helped her son, and how we can read our children’s minds. For examples what she said: we know when they hungry, thirsty, or tired, so we usually act without their having to say much. My opinion was a good explanation to help a lot parents to think how much we make spoil our little kids when they want, and we automatically do it for them without words. Jenny was happy to find a right book to help her son to verbalize and to get him to say, open. She realized that she needed to be happy with one success at a time, and she felt hopes. McCarthy inspires me with happy, success and hopes. Today, I am grateful with this inspiration words because my son had change very positive as high function autism boy. He is almost 9 years old and he is goes a regular class but some little help accommodation. Success is a challenge we have to get step by step the goal we want. Hope is a good feeling to find believe in yourself, believes religions, and believes other people who have some prove to help you or help others.

    Jennifer Ann “Jenny” McCarthy (born November 1, 1972), (Wikipedia), is an American model, comedian, actress, author, activist, and game show host. She began her career in 1993 as a nude model for Playboy magazine and was later named their Playmate of the Year. McCarthy then parlayed her Playboy fame into a successful television and film acting career. Recently, she has written books about parenting, and has become an activist promoting research into environmental causes and alternative biomedical treatments for autism. She has claimed that vaccines cause autism [3] and that chelation therapy helped cure her son – claims considered false by the medical community.

    I don’t believe what she said about children with Autism do not know how to give and receive affection, I think is depend of severely of the child and how busy the parents are in their kids life when they find out is too late. Children suffering from autism, but can become trapped in their own little world if they do not receive early intervention and treatment. My opinion when children become trapped in their own word some part is true to get early intervention and treatment. But she never said is the cheaper way to do yourself after you get parent training, and control you own parent decision that are best for you and the child. Yes, I think do yourself as parents is to make your child to stop bad habits that repeated from what they see, hear or copy other people. We as parents we can be efficient, and be patients to change any bad habits that are presented. For example, the kids who like to watch cartoon on television and some of the kids like to repeat “the annoying orange” cartoon network. For some reason, my son like copy good and bad sounds and expression of the people face. The only way to change his bad behavior is to stop and let him know when he is doing wrong to copy or let him know you will turn off the show, and immediately he will response very positive to stop his bad behavior, and he will have fun to watch the show of “the annoying orange”.
    The Annoying Orange (Wikipedia) is an American comedy web series created by Dane Boedigheimer in 2009. It stars Boedigheimer as an anthropomorphic orange who annoys other fruits, vegetables, and various other objects by using crude-humored jokes.

    She went through a lot emotional, challenge to help her son are to ask for family support, and the right medicine for seizure. Another challenge she learned to help Evan with his some repeating behavior for examples: walking tip toes, flapping hands and spinning circles all day. I learned to understand the author challenges and experience to help me open the get him out the window for my son, hopes and get more family support.

  8. Ashley Morton
    October 3, 2012

    For the reflective overview, Is it okay to switch back and forth between verb tenses or would you prefer the entire document to be in either past tense or present tense?

    • Nitzia McElrath
      October 3, 2012

      Thank you, for overview the paper I will swich between verb tenses or pass or present tense. Have a good day 🙂

  9. drL
    October 3, 2012

    You don’t HAVE to, Nitzia. It all depends on what you’re saying….

    • Nitzia McElrath
      October 4, 2012

      Thank you, I found out last night when I was revising for the five time, I notice the different the time I was telling the history from present and the past. I think it was a little bit tricky to finally my though to understand the different. 🙂

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2012 by in Rhetorical Analysis.
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