A Rhetorical Analysis of The Introduction to The Hedonism Handbook
In the introduction to The Hedonism Handbook, the author Michael Flocker, tries to convey that the assumption: “If you avoid all things pleasurable, you will live a long and happy life,” is a fallacy- that the reasons for this assumption are wrong. He states that working every day, steering clear of anything that many be construed as something pleasurable, is something that this generation has adopted as being ‘happy.’ However, his argument that it is okay to seek pleasure and that we as a society have deemed it as wrong is not as sound as he tries to argue. We do not all feel happiness just from seeking pleasure. This may be effective in some instances, but people are not one tracked, human beings cannot all be categorized into one train car, we are different, we all feel pleasure in different ways, and feel pleasure by doing different things. Just like train tracks, people veer in other directions, going different places, separating into more tracks. The author’s audience is more diverse than he determines them to be, and this point is the main reason his argument is not as successful as he envisions. When asked on a Proust Questionnaire what virtue he thought was most over-rated, Flocker answered with a single word: chastity. And when asked what phrase was most overused in his vocabulary, his answer was: “Let’s have one more.” Regarding this statement, and looking over his argument, you can see that his ethos, his credibility in his argument only extends to what he derives pleasurable: sex, cigarettes, and having a good time without caring about the approval of others. This is his main argument in the introduction to his book: that it is okay to let loose and not care what people think, to be able to have a cigarette or do something that you find pleasurable, like sex, just so you can reach true happiness. At the basic fundamental level, according to the author, if you do not utilize this...
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Flocker, Michael. "The Introduction." Introduction. The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2004. N. pag. Print.
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