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    #1

    Is my introduction and thesis good?

    The question for my 7-page essay is to discuss gender, power, and/or sexual politics in "Trifles" and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.” Please let me know if this is a highly polished introduction with a clear thesis. Thanks!


    In “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Oates, gender and authority are chauvinist issues since each narrative illustrates male characters as the holder of power while the females are considered less significant and weak. This is true in Glaspell’s story since the women had the evidence to solve a murder; however, the men brushed them away as if they had no merit to the case. This is an example of sexism. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” the female character (Connie) uses her flirty appearances to attract men. Connie becomes a victim to a middle-aged male (Arnold Friend) thanks to her na´ve persona and gets into a confrontation with him. She is defenseless and must obey to Arnold’s demands or face having her parent’s murdered. These two narratives represent modern day culture given that men have superior positions and higher credit for their work, moreover their reputation of aggressive behavior, whereas women to this day are traditionally known for being powerless in battle, in addition to being unappreciated and poorly compensated for their contributions to society.
    Last edited by jimmyk1006; 28-Feb-2009 at 20:20.


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    #2

    Re: Is my introduction and thesis good?

    Is this a high school essay, or Uni?

    This isn't an Introduction. You've launched straight into some superficial comparisons and observations: "...however, the men brushed them away as if they had no merit to the case. This is an example of sexism."

    Are you aware that "Trifles' was written in 1916? The play depicts the life of a woman who has been suppressed, oppressed, and subjugated by a patronizing, patriarchal husband. Other male characters see females on a purely stereotypical, gender-related level.
    Mrs. Wright is eventually driven to kill. As such, the play has been regarded as an early feminist work, with the female no longer tolerating her oppression. The men have all the power, and she is forced to violence.

    In the other book, Connie has (or hasn't) been raped. Male power with violence. How does she react? How do other men react to this? As opposed to the 'reality' of the Glaspell play, this book has been regarded as a feminist allegory.

    We've got power and sexual politics here.
    I can't detect in your "Introduction" what the thesis is that you will be arguing.

    I had a hunt on the Internet - there are some sites with dime novel approaches to Introduction writing - and came up with this:
    Essay question: "Is the present level of immigration in the United Kingdom beneficial to the country?"


    Immigration is an emotive subject which is seldom out of the news. The recent rise in immigrants in the United Kingdom from the new European Union countries has refocused debate on this controversial issue. It is a topic which is difficult to explore because of the lack of hard data and the preponderance of anecdotal evidence. Nevertheless, the areas of controversay have centred on how this has impacted, for better or worse, on employment prospects, British culture, and race relations.

    Can you see that it doesn't start, "I think that immigration has been beneficial..."!!! or start listing pros and cons. As a serious 'academic' piece, it doesn't employ the oft-recommended approach of shock tactics and some sensational atttention-grabbing emotive opening statement.
    It takes an overall look, gives a framework, introduces the idea of its effect - for better or worse (and so setting up the essay for discussion of how it is beneficial or not) - and the areas in which this will be discussed.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Feb-2009 at 13:55.


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    #3

    Re: Is my introduction and thesis good?

    Notice how you had to tell us what this piece was about in your first paragraph. A reader of your work does not have this information so you must state it in your opening.

    This thesis considers gender, power, and/or sexual politics in the books "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been.” by Joyce Oates.

    In “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Oates, gender and authority are chauvinist issues since each narrative illustrates male characters as the beholder of power while the females are considered less significant and weak.
    In what way is this chauvinist? It is reasonable to write a book with powerful male figure and a weak female figure. It is reasonable to write one with the roles reversed too. The problem comes from your identification of chauvinism. People are not all alike in personality, and some women are like this. If you see it as description of a real relationship then it is simply fact. The identification of a woman in the inferior role is not chauvinism, that will occur in 50% of relationships.

    From the perspective of your writing you cannot simply state your opinions as fact without backing them up. I need to know why you think it is so.

    This is true in Glaspell’s story since the women had the evidence to solve a murder; however, the men brushed them away as if they had no merit to the case. This is an example of sexism.
    This is better because you give an example of something that the detective did. However you cannot simply dismiss this as sexism. He may have chosen to ignore her because he felt she was an idiot. You have to be careful about making statements because I am going to call you out on them, and ask you why. I am less interested in your conclusions than in the reasoning you used to reach those conclusions.

    In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” the female character (Connie) uses her flirty appearances to attract men.
    Flirty describes her manner, not her appearance.

    Connie becomes a victim to a middle-aged male (Arnold Friend), thanks to her na´ve persona, and gets into a confrontation with him. She is defenseless and must obey to Arnold’s demands or face having her parent’s murdered.
    But isn't this a property of Connie and not the fact that she is female? I have met lots of women that wont take any stick from anyone. The fact that you have an example of one women, does not make it so for all women. She is afraid that he will murder her parents, and thus complies with his wishes. Yet how would this be different for a male in the same situation?

    These two narratives represent modern day culture given that men have superior positions and higher credit for their work, moreover their reputation of aggressive behavior, whereas women to this day are traditionally known for being powerless in battle, in addition to being unappreciated and poorly compensated for their contributions to society.
    I contend that they are meant to illustrate dysfunctional relationships and they are not representative of modern day culture. You have once again made a statement and assumed I will agree. The things you list have nothing to do with a book about a one sided relationship. I could list two books with dominant female figures and say that represents modern day culture. No it doesnt.

    You dont convince me of your case. This is because you have an agenda. You want to see sexism everywhere. You will blame your own shortcomings on the sexism of others rather than understanding it you that is at fault.

    If you are to write this as an academic piece then you must remain detached and not consider one outcome to be better than another. Sexism is neither better nor worse than total equality. This allows you to convince your readers that you are analyzing and not preaching. As soon as you take the stance that sexism is bad, and that everything bad arises from this, you lose that objective stance.
    Last edited by thod00; 28-Feb-2009 at 13:14.


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    #4

    Re: Is my introduction and thesis good?

    I really appreciate your responses that will hopefully enable me to do better on this. This is for my college English class. I am a freshmen as of now.

    I made the corrections that thod00 gave me. With the corrections, do I have a good intro and thesis? I still question whether my thesis is debatable.

    I will be able to respond super fast all-day today!


    ----Revised Intro and Thesis----

    In “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Oates, gender and authority are issues since each narrative illustrates male characters as the holder of power while the females are considered less significant and weak. This is true in Glaspell’s story since the women had the evidence to solve a murder; however, the men brushed them away as if they had no merit to the case. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” the female character (Connie) uses her appearance to attract men. Connie becomes a victim to a middle-aged male (Arnold Friend) thanks to her na´ve persona and gets into a threatening confrontation with him. While the narratives illustrate woman as weak and vulnerable, they should not be labeled in that manner. The generalized descriptions and attributes of women are not backed up by conclusive evidence. Given that the two narratives exemplify dysfunctional relationships between genders; women are mistakably labeled based on long-term assumptions such as for being powerless in battle, in addition to being unappreciated and poorly compensated for their contributions to society, whereas men have superior positions and higher credit for their work, moreover their reputation for aggressive behavior.
    Last edited by jimmyk1006; 01-Mar-2009 at 00:45.

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