Critique of Stuff Is Not Salvation

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Valued Possessions vs. Insignificant Desires Anna Quindlen, a novelist, social critic, and journalist wrote an intriguing essay “Stuff is Not Salvation” about the addiction of Americans, who splurge on materialistic items that have no real meaning. The ability to obtain credit is one of the main reasons to blame for society’s consumption epidemic. However, Quindlen feels the economic decline due to credit card debt is insignificant compared to the underlying issues of American’s binging problems. Quindlen’s essay gives excellent points regarding the differences in America’s typical shopping habits. Additionally, she mentions how people acquire all this “stuff” but seem to never realize, “why did I get this?”(501). Quindlen makes her…show more content…
There are plenty of examples that Quindlen gives to make her point across, that American’s spend money unwisely. For instance, in one of the examples, she mentions how every 16 months a person replaces a cell phone because it’s not as new anymore, and how toys are forgotten that eventually end up being junk (501). Quindlen then states the obvious “stuff does not bring salvation” (501). However, she lacks examples of cases where people’s wants actually provide the happiness they usually expect. Rich people, for example, have an extra sense of security because the worry and stress that belong to the poor is something the rich don’t have and don’t want. Plus, who wouldn’t want to afford desires such as not living pay check to pay check or putting their kid(s) through college? Sometimes not being able to afford these items can bring on depression or verbal abuse into a home. The reader’s would have a better understanding of the essay if she included some of these situations. Overall, Quindlen portrays her idea of happiness not being the materialistic things in life, but by the things that have true meaning. By true meaning, I believe she means items such as photographs that have a significant memory attached to it. She jokingly states, “Ask people what they would grab if their house were on fire, the way our national house is on fire right now. No one ever says it’s the tricked-up microwave they got at

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