February 12, 2005
The death of Matthew Shepard affected many. It was a tragedy that was felt across the entire nation. However, the greatest affect was bared by the small town of Laramie. Doctor Cantway said that it “…offends us (the town). I think that’s a good word. It offends us!” I am going to further explain how it offends various people in the town and how the “offense” differs from person to person.
Posted by hahn0110 at February 12, 2005 8:42 PM
Audience: The general public (non-residents of Laramie)
Hi Emily! This is a good topic for your paper, but at the moment it is not so much an analytic paper as a descriptive paper. You're planning to explain the offense experienced by members of the town--but there is no argument here. Your task will be to make this description into an argument. What do I mean by this? Basically, you can try to make a statement about how the play makes a case for being offended, why offense is an appropriate response and what this does to our perception of hate crime, or what the function of offense is in society as represented by this play. (Your paper should do some, NOT ALL, of these things.) What you're doing at that point is making a kind of extension or generalization from the pieces of evidence that you will incorporate about individuals' descriptions and interactions with the offensiveness of the crime. WHY, after all, does Doctor Cantway find it to be so appropriate that it bears repeating, that offense is the right word to use in this instance?
I hope that's clear. Don't hesitate to call or email or stop by and see me in my office tomorrow. I'll be there from about 2:30 to about 5.