Liking is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts

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B: Write an essay in which you analyse and comment on Jonathan Franzen’s essay ”Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts”.

Part of your essay must focus on how Jonathan Franzen tries to engage a young audience and on the message of the essay.

Jonathan Franzen’s speech was given to the college students at Kenyon, Ohio, USA. The introduction part of the speech is Jonathan Franzen talking about his relationship to his newly purchased phone, and how he got rid of his old one. Choosing the subject of smartphones, definitely points in the direction of a younger audience, since adults rarely care for technology as much as the youth usually does. “… I replaced my three-year-old BlackBerry Pearl with a much more powerful BlackBerry Bold”. Obviously enough the speech isn’t an advertisement about what the new BlackBerry Bold can do, but since young people relate to technology, the college students might have their interest awoken of the wisely chosen subject. Continuing with the subject of phones the speech giver furthermore uses metaphors such as: “… or doing that spreading-the-fingers iPhone thing that makes images get bigger” to engage his audience. Jonathan Franzen mentions the word “sexy” and then compares a perfectly working erotic relationship to magic: “And how, when we want to describe an erotic relationship that’s working perfectly, we speak, indeed, of magic”. He could’ve used a lot of other comparisons, but again he choses a subject very important to a young community at a college – eroticism. Getting past the introduction of the speech the author gradually presents the message of the text – love/passion for your interests: “Let me suggest, finally, that the world of techno-consumerism is therefore troubled by real love, and that it has no choice but to trouble love in turn”. He hereby tries to create a judicial separation between the passionate real love, and the love for material goods. The speech giver mentions how material love is very costly for...
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