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Task 2

Aufgaben
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Part 2: Literature

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Dave Eggers, The Circle (excerpt), copyright © 2013 by David Eggers.
#thecircle#daveeggers
$\blacktriangleright\;$ Aufgabenstellung:
Do the following tasks using your own words as far as appropriate.
Contrast Mae's and Mercer's views on communicating with each other.
Interpret their ways of talking and acting.
Considering the descriptions of the protagonists draw conclusions on the narrator's attitude towards them.

"Cyberspace can't compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face."
Jonathan Sacks (born 1948)

Discuss this quotation. Write a text of about 350 words and count your words.
#discussion#contrast#creativewriting#interpretation

The Circle

Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful interet company. In this extract she meets Mercer, her ex-boyfriend.

1
[…] Mercer took a deep breath, and Mae knew he was about to give a speech. lf there was a podium before him, he'd be stepping up to it, removing his papers from his sportcoat packet. Two years of community college and he thought he was some kind of professor. […]
5
"All right, Mae, we have to change how we interact. Every time I see or hear from you, it's through this filter. You send me links, you quote someone talking about me, you say you saw a picture of me on someone's wall … lt's always this third-party assault. Even when I'm talking to you face-to-face you're telling me what some stranger thinks of me. It becomes like we're never alone. Every time I see you, there's a hundred other people in
10
the room. You're always looking at me through a hundred other people's eyes."
"Don't get dramatic about it."
"I just want to talk with you directly. Without you bringing in every stranger in the world who might have an opinion about me."
"I don't do that."
15
"You do, Mae. A few months ago, you read something about me, and remember this? When I saw you, you were so standoffish."
"That's because they said you were using endangered species for your work!"
"But l've never done that."
'·Well, how am I supposed to know that?"
20
"You can ask me! Actually ask me. You know how weird that is, that you, my friend and ex-girlfriend, gets her information about me from some random person who's never met me? And I have to sit across from you and it's like we're looking at each other through this strange fog."
"Fine. Sorry."
25
[…]
"See, that's not true, Mae. It's not true. I know I'm successful if I sell chandeliers. If people order them, then I make them, and they pay me money for them. lf they have something to say afterward, they can call me or write me. I mean, all this stuff you're involved in, it's all gossip. lt's people talking about each other behind their backs. That's
30
the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communi­cation. And besides that, it's freaking dorky." Mae exhaled through her nostrils.
"I love it when you do that," he said. "Does that mean you have no answer?" [ … ]
"Everyone's a junk mailer. You know how I spend an hour every day? Thinking of ways
35
to unsubscribe to mailing lists without hurting anyone's feelings. There's this new needi-ness - it pervades everything." He sighed as if he'd made some very important points. "It's just a very different planet."
"It's different in a good way," Mae said. "There are a thousand ways it's better, and I can list them. But I can't help it if you're not social. I mean, your social needs are so minimal-"
40
"It's not that I'm not social. I'm social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you're purveying. lt improves nothing. It's not nourishing. It's like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You're not hungry, you don't need the food, it
45
does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you're push-ing Same thing. Endless empty calories. but the digital-social equivalent. And you cali­brate it so it's equally addiclive."
[…]
"And it's eliminated my ability to just talk to you." He was still talking. "I mean, I can't
50
send you emails, because you immediately Forward them to someone eise. I can't send you a photo, bccause you post it on your own profile. And meanwhile, your company is scanning all of our messages for information they can monetize. Don't you think this is insane?"
Mae looked at his fat face. He was thickening everywhere. He seemed to be developing
55
jowls. Could a man of twenty-five already have jowls? No wonder snack food was on his mind.
"Thanks for helping my dad," she said, and went inside and waited for him to leave. lt took him a few minutes to do so - he insisted on finishing his beer - but soon enough he did, and Mae turned out the downstaris lights, went to her old room and dropped herself
60
into her bed. She checked her messages, found a few dozen that needed her attention, and then, because it was only nine o'clock and her parents were already asleep, she logged on to her Circle account and handled a few dozen queries, feeling, with every fulfilled re­quest, that she was cleaning the Mercer off of herself. By midnight she felt reborn. [ … ]
Aus: Dave Eggers, The Circle (excerpt),
copyright © 2013 by David Eggers.
#thecircle#daveeggers
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Part 2: Literature

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Dave Eggers, The Circle (excerpt), copyright © 2013 by David Eggers.
$\blacktriangleright\;$ Aufgabenstellung:
Do the following tasks. using your own words as far as appropriate.
Contrast Mae's and Mercer's views on communicating with each other.
Interpret their ways of talking and acting.
Considering the descriptions of the protagonists draw conclusions on the narrator's attitude towards them.

Bei dieser Aufgabe steht zunächst ein Vergleich im Mittelpunkt. Arbeite dafür die Positionen der beiden Charaktere bezüglich Kommunikation heraus. Stelle die beiden Charaktere gegenüber.
Nachdem du diese Positionen dargestellt hast, geht es darum diese zu interpretieren. Warum vertreten Mae und Mercer ihre jeweilige Position?
Den Abschluss dieser Aufgabe stellt ein Fazit dar, indem du darauf eingehst, wie die Einstellung des Erzählers gegenüber den Protagonisten ist. Gehe dabei besonders darauf ein, in welchem Licht die Protagonisten stehen.



"Cyberspace can't compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face."
Jonathan Sacks (born 1948)

Discuss this quotation. Write a text of about 350 words and count your words.
Beziehe Stellung zur Aussage von Jonathan Sacks. Es ist wichtig, dass du deinen Standpunkt mit nachvollziehbaren Argumenten untermauern kannst.
Beachte, dass du circa 350 Wörter schreiben sollst. Behalte also die Wortzahl immer im Auge.
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Lösungen
Download als Dokument:PDF

Part 2: Literature

$\blacktriangleright\;$ Thema:
Dave Eggers, The Circle (excerpt), copyright © 2013 by David Eggers.
#daveeggers#thecircle
$\blacktriangleright\;$ Aufgabenstellung:
Do the following tasks. using your own words as far as appropriate.
Contrast Mae's and Mercer's views on communicating with each other.
Interpret their ways of talking and acting.
Considering the descriptions of the protagonists draw conclusions on the narrator's attitude towards them.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe steht zunächst ein Vergleich im Mittelpunkt. Arbeite dafür die Positionen der beiden Charaktere bezüglich Kommunikation heraus. Stelle die beiden Charaktere gegenüber.
Nachdem du diese Positionen dargestellt hast, geht es darum diese zu interpretieren. Warum vertreten Mae und Mercer ihre jeweilige Position?
Den Abschluss dieser Aufgabe stellt ein Fazit dar, indem du darauf eingehst, wie die Einstellung des Erzählers gegenüber den Protagonisten ist. Gehe dabei besonders darauf ein, in welchem Licht die Protagonisten stehen.
Tipp
Bei dieser Aufgabe steht zunächst ein Vergleich im Mittelpunkt. Arbeite dafür die Positionen der beiden Charaktere bezüglich Kommunikation heraus. Stelle die beiden Charaktere gegenüber.
Nachdem du diese Positionen dargestellt hast, geht es darum diese zu interpretieren. Warum vertreten Mae und Mercer ihre jeweilige Position?
Den Abschluss dieser Aufgabe stellt ein Fazit dar, indem du darauf eingehst, wie die Einstellung des Erzählers gegenüber den Protagonisten ist. Gehe dabei besonders darauf ein, in welchem Licht die Protagonisten stehen.
David Egger's critically acclaimed novel The Circle is a book about the society and culture of our time. It presents a wide range of topics including the social construction and deconstrction of privacy and the increasing corporate ownership of privacy among many others. At the heart of the novel is also the topic of communication and how we communicate with each other. This also seems to be the underlying theme of the excerpt at hand. In this essay I want to take a closer look at the channels of communication.
Einleitung
It is very clear from the beginning of the excerpt that Mae and Mercer don't see eye to eye when it comes to the topic of communication. Mae likes to send Mercer links and the communication via e-mail seems to be sufficient in her eyes. She uses social media in order to track what other people think of Mercer. She does not really respect Mercer's privacy, since she shares personal information of Mercer with others as well. One example for this kind of behaviour would be Mae passing on his e-mails. Mae does not care about face to face communication and views electronic communication as an advancement in every sense of the word.
This approach, however, contrasts sharply with Mercer's view on communication. He could be described as someone who values the "old" ways of communicating, since he prefers face to face interaction. Social media, in his opinion, can't replace real communication. His view on social media is very critical, since it works only for "gossip. heresay and conjecture"(Text, line 31). He is concerned that Mae uses this flawed form of communication as a substitution for "real" communication. This distinct view on communication is hindering them when they need to communicate to each other.
Hauptteil
Darstellung von Maes und Mercers Stellung zum Thema Kommunikation
Based on this contrast, the question arises why Mae and Mercer think about communication the way they do. Mae assumes that Mercer prefers the face to face communication because he has the habit "to give a speech" (Text, line 1) and wants to do this by talking directly to her. This is also why he is sick and tired by the way Mae communicates and he says to her: "You can ask me! Actually ask me!" (Text, line 20). It seems as if he likes to hear himself talk, which would be another indicator why he prefers face to face interaction over social media. He also uses sarcasm while talking to Mae when he says "I love it when you do that" (Text, line 33). This further explains why he prefers personal communication since sarcasm can get lost when communicating online. The reader gets the feeling that Mercer is old-fashioned and conservative, which makes sense because he prefers personal communication over this new form of communicating.
Mae, in contrast, seems to be much more passive. She listens to Mercer. Her remarks and answers are brief, representing the short and simple patterns of online communication. Her apology "Fine. Sorry." (Text, line 24) underlines this notion. The fact that she does not like human interaction is further illustrated by the fact that Mae express her anger by "exhal[ing] through her nostrils." (Text, line 32.)
Mae's passive nature also shows by her distate for confrontion and discussion. She much rather remains silent. Yet maybe Mae is aware of Mercer's neurotic behaviour and let's him talk in order to get it done with. As soon as he has cooled down, she knows that the situation is over and she can return to her way of communicating online, as illustrated at the end of excerpt (Text, line 62f).
Interpretation
The point of view of the third person narrator is limited on Mae. Mercer is introduced as a person who likes to give lectures. A description that is clearly coloured by the personal distate of Mae. This distaste is further advanced when there is talk about personal attributes like Mercer's "fat face" and a "thickening" body (Text, line 54). Mercer comes across as a smartass with a condescending character trait. He blames Mae that they don't talk to each other anymore while pontificating the whole time.
Yet Mae is not without flaws either. Mercer says that she is "standoffish" (Text, line 24.). Yet she still comes across as the rather likeable character in this scene. She is polite, apologizes and thanks Mercer for the help he provided in the situation with her father (Text, line 58). She is also not cast in a negative light when it comes to her appearance since nothing of this is revealed by the narrator.
Sicht des Erzählers
In a way, Mae and Mercer represent two different worlds. Mercer is representative of the old way of communication while Mae stands for the new ways of communication. Due to this constellation, they are different and the communication between the two seems to be lacking a middle ground where both of them feel comfortable. The representation of this dichotomy is the main focus of this excerpt.
Schluss
#contrast#socialmedia#interpretation
"Cyberspace can't compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face."
Jonathan Sacks (born 1948)

Discuss this quotation. Write a text of about 350 words and count your words.
Tipp
Beziehe Stellung zur Aussage von Jonathan Sacks. Es ist wichtig, dass du deinen Standpunkt mit nachvollziehbaren Argumenten untermauern kannst.
Beachte, dass du circa 350 Wörter schreiben sollst. Behalte also die Wortzahl immer im Auge.
Tipp
Beziehe Stellung zur Aussage von Jonathan Sacks. Es ist wichtig, dass du deinen Standpunkt mit nachvollziehbaren Argumenten untermauern kannst.
Beachte, dass du circa 350 Wörter schreiben sollst. Behalte also die Wortzahl immer im Auge.
It seems to be a character trait of human beings that we are trying to discover new things in order to make life better and more comfortable. One development leads to another and things are advanced in an never ending fashion. Nothing has changed the world more drastically than the internet. The world is no longer divided by invisible boundaries but connected with each other. Cyberspace has come a long way and is making communication much easier. As celebrated as these developments are, there are still people who observe it with a critical eye and point to several shortcomings. One of these people is Jonathan Sacks. I want to discuss the statement by Jonathan Sacks.
Einleitung
Sacks argues that cyberspace can't compensate for real space. I disagree with this sentiment and would counter that in this globalized environment cyberspace needs to compensate for real space if we want to take the challenges head on. International companies don't have the luxury of meeting in one place. Cyberspace provides them with an excellent stage to function properly despite physical distance.
The same is true for people in long distance relationships who would still be writing letters to each other if it wasn't for inventions like Skype. This shows that cyberspace can really overcome these obstacles.
Hauptteil
Kritik
Putting all these benefits aside, I can still understand what Sacks is saying. Meeting a person face to face still represents the ideal place to meet. Communication seems to be more natural. Misunderstandings don't appear as often as online.
In addition there is the argument that cyberspace is not connecting people but rather isolating them because everybody is focused on presenting himself in a light that might not be authentic. In a face to face conversation authenticity plays a much bigger role and can be seen as a perk of this communication form.
Zustimmung
Cyberspace presents the future for a lot of our communication channels. This does not mean that all of our communication has to take place online. Face to face interactions still represent an important way of talking with each other. Cyberspace, however, represents a way of connecting with people whenever the face to face interaction is not an option. It is true that cyberspace has its flaws, yet with our willingness to improve and advance things again and again, these flaws might soon enough belong to the past.
Schluss

(399 words)
#creativewriting
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