Liking Is for Cowards

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Jonathan Franzen wrote the article, “Liking is for Cowards. Go for what Hurts.” This article caused extreme interest and controversy by the topic of his argument. The purpose of Franzen writing the article was to challenge us to get back to the true meaning of love and not being so terrified of rejection. He feels that we had become too comfortable just liking what people expect us to and have lost the real understanding of the word love. Franzen stated, “If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are (Franzen, “Liking is for Cowards. Go for what Hurts.”). Franzen even admitted throughout his article that his goal was to “set up a contrast between the narcissistic tendencies of technology and the problem of actual love.” This means that he was trying to get people to step away from their phones or the computer and feel what it is to actually love, not just to love the machines that help run our lives. He feels that we try too hard to be the person that people want us to be instead of being ourselves and letting the world love us for what is truly within.

Franzen’s audience does not consist of the people of his age. He admits that he is a 51 year old man who has become tired of the constant use of technology, although he does admit that he has become quite addicted himself with the use of his Blackberry. The speaker’s audience is to the younger generation, whom he fears will never truly know and understand the real meaning of love. The speaker seems to be sarcastic and nonchalant about the issue while still trying to be serious and inform about how serious this issue has become and how it will affect our lives not only now but also in the future.

The message is that the intimacy of real life experiences has been taken away. Franzen encourages honesty and forces one to face the reality of the world around...
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