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Identify the argument made by the author of the passage. Once you have isolated the argument from any extraneous material, analyse the argument into the premises, sub-conclusions (if any) and conclusion. I would prefer you to do this in point form, simply listing the premises, sub-conclusions (if any) and conclusion. Be sure to make a very clear statement of each point. (So, for example, do not use the word „I‟ to refer to anyone but yourself.) Second, evaluate the quality of the argument, giving reasons to justify your evaluation. Write out your evaluation in the form of a very, very short essay: a long paragraph or two should do nicely. For purposes of evaluation, assume the speaker is a woman named Angela Andrews, assume that she is a member of this section of Critical Thinking, and assume that her audience is you, the class as a whole.
Shame by Angela Andrews
I didn‟t have a lot of fun in grade six. My breasts started growing before any of the other girls‟ breasts, and so the boys teased me a lot. Some of the girls seemed very hostile too. At the time, I didn‟t really understand how immature they were all being. I didn‟t understand that I had every right to be proud of my body. Instead, I felt ashamed. People feel ashamed for all sorts of reasons. Some people are ashamed of being fat, or of having thick eyebrows. Other people are ashamed that they failed a test, or dropped out of school. Some people are even ashamed of everything about themselves, because some parent or teacher never let them feel good about themselves, but always criticised everything. Probably everybody is ashamed of one thing or another. These days, people like Oprah Winfrey and John Bradshaw are spreading the word that shame is bad. They say that shame is a harmful feeling that no one should have to feel. Maybe you expect me to feel the same way. After all, I suffered from shame too. But I don‟t agree at all. Instead, I think that it is ok to make people feel shame sometimes but not other times. There is a time and a place for everything: why not shame? Just think of someone who eats and eats because of pure greediness, and who gets so fat he can‟t even fit on a single bus seat anymore. If that person was ashamed of himself, he might lose some weight, which might even save his life, since there‟s the risk of heart attacks. So a friend would be doing him a favour by asking, “Aren‟t you ashamed of yourself?” Or think of a woman who makes a simple fashion mistake, like trying to wear a short dress when she has short, thick legs. If she was a bit more easily embarrassed, she would not go out of the house looking bad, which is probably what she would prefer. People should not be made to feel ashamed of things they cannot control, of course, such as maturing early or late, but in other cases shame is sometimes appropriate. At least, that‟s what I think. I hope you have found this interesting. Note: You may wish to consult your fellow students, parents, or friends about your assignment. I encourage you to do so.