Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts
The essay “Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts” is written by Jonathan Franzen and it’s an essay based on a commencement speech, which he delivered at Kenyon College, Ohio, USA. The essay was published in The New York Times on May 28th, 2011. Franzen is born in 1959 and an acclaimed novelist and essayist.
Throughout the essay Franzen comments on our lives, how we live them and how we personify objects to make them likeable. He introduces us to his new phone, which brings up the whole “debate” about how we treat, personify and swear to items we have with us every day. He discuss how companies and people create a sort of personality for their e.g. phone, computer or car and how we say we “like” them, but we don’t like them like we are supposed to, because since Facebook introduced the like-feature it’s gotten a whole new meaning. Franzen then transitions into a talk about love and how he managed to be enlightened through something, that he didn’t expect – birds. His passion for birds he then explains is what has caused him to care for the environment. The text ends with him asking the question “And who knows what might happen to you?” which is a reference to his newfound passion for birds and what it did for him.
The text is a lot up and down regarding the mood of the author. He starts out as a very positive person, who enjoys all the new features that his new phone has. The improved graphics speed and much more – he was as he writes – infatuated with his new device. He points out that if you introduced this sort of technology to a person from the 19th century, he would be completely baffled and think it was some sort of magic and enchantment. Back then we weren’t even capable of thinking of things like a phone, computer or television, but now it’s an everyday accessory that none of us are capable of living without. The mood turns when Franzen starts writing that the market works as a sort of erotic relationship, he...