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Prose Summary

Satisfactory Essays
Rachel Canady
Prof. Lonon
English 110
2 February 2015
Voting Democracy off the Island ­ Summary
In "Voting Democracy off the Island: Reality TV and the Republican Ethos", Francine
Prose asserts her belief of an undeniable tie between highly­competitive reality television and the
Republican party that battles their own issues out on the Senate and House floors. Prose makes these connections by first introducing the brutal nature of reality television, a pastime that has soared in popularity in recent years. Shows such as
Survivor have been pitting everyday people against each other with a large reward awaiting the sole victor at the end of the race. She declares that with repeated exposure to these shows, we find it more and more acceptable to become the
‘winner’ by every means possible, even if it’s not a million dollars at stake. Prose also claims that the American public is ignorant to the travesties and perversions of democracy and justice that government officials ­­ the Republican Party in particular ­­ inflict upon the people of the
United States. In the spirit of Social Darwinism that is the basis of many reality television shows, the public finds it acceptable for politicians, with the Bush administration in mind, to get the results they want by any means possible. She feels that the more reality TV seeps into our daily habits, the more numb we become to modern politics and affairs, adopting a ‘zeitgeist’ of passive response and nonchalance. Ultimately, Prose strongly fears that like in television shows such as
Survivor
where only the most cunning and underhanded make it to the end, our government will

eventually become a hollow shell of what it once was. Instead of fighting for the people,
Republicans will fight only for themselves.

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