Critical Reading and “The Treadmill of Consumption” Discussion
Answer the following questions (in numbered format) for James Roberts’ piece, “The Treadmill of Consumption” (page 117 in the 9th Edition; page 233 in the 10th Edition) and then respond to at least two other students, noting where you had different answers. His essay deals with one of the cultural mythologies we will be discussing throughout the course – consumerism. You won’t see any other students’ posts until you post your answers.
What is the author’s primary argument? Can you identify a thesis statement or is the thesis implied?
What key terms (could be individual words or phrases of 2-4 words) are fundamental to that argument? In addition, choose two words you are unfamiliar with and look up their meaning.
What evidence does the author provide to support the argument? Is it relevant and specific? Does the author cite reliable authoritative sources?
What underlying assumptions shape the author’s position (could be assumptions about peoples’ desires, buying habits, or anything you seem to notice)? Does the author consider counterarguments?
5.Who is the intended readership, and do you think it affects the author’s reasoning or evidence?
6.Critical reading not only requires analysis (like the questions above ask you to do), but also synthesis (connecting ideas in this text with ideas in another). Watch the commercial below, then discuss how a connotative interpretation of it relates to Roberts’ ideas. Write at least 2-3 sentences in your explanation, discussing details like the imagery in the ad, the lyrics in the music, etc.