Materialism; agree, disagree, or what?

In the article Two Cheers for Materialism, by James Twitchell, you view materialism from a perspective of someone who supports it. This is not normal for someone to encourage a person to be materialistic but this article makes you think in a different way. This article makes you think that maybe materialism is not bad after all. Suddenly you can now think through the eyes of the person who agrees, and the person who disagrees. You may have never heard someone support such an unwanted trend, but the ideas they say may have you on either side of the fence on whether you agree, disagree, or both.

Before I even began reading this article, I was surprised that it was about someone who supported the idea of materialism. I did not think anyone thought so highly of it. As I read I could not help myself but agree with some of Twitchell’s statements. He discussed how consumerism and shopping was our lifestyle, Twitchell wrote, “You lifestyle is not related to what you do for a living, but to what you buy.” He had me almost convinced! I could agree that my lifestyle does revolve around what I buy. When I go shopping I buy items such as clothes and makeup because I want to look nice, that is my kind of lifestyle, I enjoy looking nice and I associate myself with people who do the same. This article almost had me convinced, but I could not help but debate his ideas.

Twitchell did make a few good points but I cannot help but also disagree with the whole idea of materialism being a good thing. When I do think of a person who is materialistic, I think of a spoiled little teenage girl, someone who always gets what they want and they obsess over objects other than being grateful for what they have. Does that sound like a good thing to you? Materialism was a word created to also mean greedy, and possessive; a lifestyle should not be based off words like those. I have always been raised to not be materialistic because my parents want me to appreciate everything in life; I think that is how most parents should raise their kids. Twitchell chose a good topic to debate, but I just don’t think he had enough support for his opinions.

There is a third opinion someone could take out of this, because it is possible to agree and disagree with Two Cheers for Materialism.  A person may not agree that materialism defines us or is a good way for us to live our lives, but they may agree that materialism is taking over the country because that is what this culture is full of. Materialism is either good or bad in your opinion, but Twitchell is able to point out a few things when he says that, “American culture is on its way to becoming world culture.” A person, who agrees that materialism is taking over the world, can also disagree when Twitchell says materialism is a good thing.

Overall, it does not matter what side you take as long as you can defend why you think that way. Twitchell does state that materialism is good, which you may agree or disagree, but he also makes points that can put you on either side of the fence. In the end it is up to you, but I can personally see how a person could take either side in this debate. Materialism is real and it is a growing trend, but how you deal with it and how you think of it is all up to you.

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11 comments

  1. In response to Two Cheers for Materialism by James Twitchell, you did very well writing your reaction to his thoughts on paper. Throughout your essay you made some excellent arguments that either went along or against what Twitchell was trying to get across to his readers. Towards the end of your response you stated “A person may not agree that materialism defines us or is a good way for us to live our lives, but they may agree that materialism is taking over the country because that is what this culture is full of” was an excellent choice of quote that really helped strengthen the start of that paragraph. In my opinion I completely agree with Twitchell and I personally believe that materialism is taking control of society today. I was watching the news this morning and they mentioned how people were camping outside to be one of the first to get the new I phone, is this really what our world has come too? People are zombies nowadays, and that is scary to witness where our culture is going in today’s world. In the end of your response you stated,” Materialism is real and it is a growing trend, but how you deal with it and how you think of it is all up to you” was a great throw towards Twitchell. I agree with you 100% on that statement, everyone is in control of themselves! Just because a company says that they have more quality clothing then another should you believe them if the clothes are probably being made in the same factor over in another country? You did an excellent job and keep up the good work!

  2. Your blog post kept me very interested from your thesis statement. I agree with what you said, we wrote about the same topics. And you had very good detail and points to add about Twitchell’s essay. I agree with when you said you agreed with what Twitchell had said, but had many things to question about his opinions with out facts.I like how you said that Twitchell doesn’t pick either side of good or bad and lets you decide on the side of the fence. Your essay kept me reading till the end, and had me questioning why Twitchell agreed with Materialism.

  3. Your essay starts off with a great point. “you view materialism from a perspective of someone who supports it. This is not normal for someone to encourage a person to be materialistic but this article makes you think in a different way.” Twitchell puts the essay in a perspective of someone who is pro materialism. Twitchell does make you think differently and even I was agreeing with everything he was saying until I took a step back and broke it down. He really captivates you into thinking that his way is right and no other way is correct. As I continued reading your post it made me realize that we had the same view. That Twitchell’s may have some good points, but he was not entirely correct.

  4. Your post was very interesting and intriguing to read. I agree with your points and the way you argued it was a great way to get your point across. I agree with your statement that you picture a spoiled teenage girl as being materialistic, even though many more people are materialistic, and not just teenagers who are spoiled. You used your quotes perfectly to explain how materialism isn’t always bad or good, only in the opinion of the reader. You did a great job keeping me guessing and leaving me on the edge while reading your post. Overall, you did a great job choosing and using your quotes to support your thesis.

  5. A lifestyle is just a lifestyle it can be a good think but certain lifestyles aren’t always a good thing. A hoarders lifestyle is one where a person accumulates so much unnecessary objects and trash it interferes with everyday tasks however that is their lifestyle. Not all lifestyles are “good” however they are still a lifestyle. To almost every other country nearly every person in the USA is materialistic just because everyone here has more then is needed to survive. A spoiled teenage brat may come to mind when you think of materialism however that is not all there is to materialism. To be materialistic one just needs to have a desire for money possessions or other unnecessary things, even though one can say no to some things they want that does not mean they are not materialistic it just means that they have some self control.

  6. Your opening paragraph is well put together and interests the reader to carry on with the essay. Your points are well thought out and presents an opposite point of view from other essays which is a pleasant change of pace. You capture the odd factor that he is in the minority of people that appreciate materialism and that his ideas draw you in, but the way that you refuse to agree with the claims that he is making made me one hundred percent enjoy reading your essay.

  7. I thought your post had a very good point. I think materialism is a tricky subject and I agree that after reading Two Cheers For Materialism, that I as well was almost convinced that materialism may not be as bad as everyone think it ought to be. I also agree with the fact that Twitchell did not provide enough evidence to convince that materialism is a good thing. On another note, I am not completely sure that the way a person is raised can make them materialistic or not. I am also not sure whether or not I completely understand your opinion on the topic of materialism, especially when you mention the third opinion about agreeing and disagreeing. Overall I think your blog was really good and I enjoyed reading it.

  8. You did a great job of leading me to many different places with your writing. First to one point of view, than another, and another somewhere in between. You also did well with stating other sides possible views while maintaining your own clear opinion. The one thing I would have liked to see that I didn’t was for the stance against materialism that you seemed to me to take carried over into your conclusion. The conclusion paragraph was a good paragraph but to me the writing would have felt better held together if the intro and conclusion were slightly mirrored.

  9. Your decision to take the reader on a journey to show how you came to think on Twitchell’s paper is an interesting one and effective at showing the difficulty of talking a clear position on consumerism. However, your conclusion does drop off. If you tell your reader that everything is up to their opinion, you undermine the point of making an argument in the first place. Recall that even an interpretation is an argument because you are privileging some information above others. Rather than say, it’s all an opinion, either try to lean towards one side or at least explain why you cannot make a definitive judgment.

  10. […] (image source: http://myyearwithoutclothesshopping.com/attitudes-and-habits/3-articles-that-made-me-think/ https://culturedindividuals.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/materialism-agree-disagree-or-what/) […]

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