Analysis Of ' On Self Respect By Joan Didion

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In 2017 our thoughts and actions are guided and molded in large part by social media, reality television shows and pop culture. Without realizing the extent to which constructed reality and self-curated life exhibitions shape how we see the world, we form perceptions and establish standards of what our lives should look like based on stories and photos posted on Snapchat and Instagram and find ourselves reflexively belting out song lyrics that directly contradict our values. Joan Didion, a unique and relatable but brilliant author, seems to have an understanding that the challenges she faced as a freshman in college in the 1950s would still be relevant and problematic for college students almost 70 years later. In Didion’s essay, “On…show more content…
Didion convinces her audience that self-respect is the complete opposite; it is about taking ownership of your actions and having the moral courage to gracefully accept the consequences of those actions, even when the actions themselves are not respectable. One of the most interesting things about Didion manifested through her writing is her traditional and precise understanding of self-respect. Self-respect can be developed through the audacity of an individual and a personal journey that is composed of mistakes of any breadth, and ultimately not running away from those points of weakness. In attempts to stop this new definition of self-respect (seeking attention and acceptance from people around you) from blossoming any further, Didion needs to find a way to convince her audience that her definition is correct. To get her audience 's full attention she must first gain their trust. Joan Didion is an esteemed author. Before Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a compilation of Didion’s essays, including “On Self-Respect,” was published in 1968, most of her works were initially published in reputable news publications and magazines such as American Scholar, California Monthly, New York Times Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. Her frequent contributions to these respected publications gives her a credible

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