Coupland Essay, Research Paper
With the examination of Coupland s writing, the reader can find and explore many of the philosophical views that Coupland represents. I have chosen to analyze the philosophical concepts of self and of knowledge.
In Generation X the concept of self is clearly found within the analyzing of the character of Dag. The character of Dag represents the way that the people in Coupland s stories do not have a strong sense of what they are doing. There is no logical idea that Dag’s mind follows. There is nothing but random thoughts and those thoughts dictate what the character of Dag does. There is no logical thought process that Dag uses to make his decisions; on the contrary Dag does not even think about the consequences that his friend will have to endure because of his irresponsibility. The narrator of the story states, I wish he d given some advance notice so I wouldn t have to knock myself out covering his tail for him, at work. (67) This shows that Coupland believes that the mind is very irrational in it s thought process and that human tend to believe that they are the only ones effected by their actions when quite the opposite is true. From the quote of the narrator we find that one person is responsible for another, and that the obligation is there even if the other person does not request the help. Therefore Coupland represents his idea that the self is not an independent entity without obligations to fellow people. Coupland shows that he believes that although one person is irresponsible, this does not mean that he is without responsibility. Although Dag leaves the ramification of his leaving are represented within the story. Someone has to take over his responsibilities and pick up the slack that he has left society. Clearly, Coupland is showing that it is necessary for a person to consider what repercussions his actions will have on the rest of society. Coupland reflects the ideas of Mill in the way that he believes that people have a responsibility to one another, and must be aware of their own actions.
Many of the characters found in the short stories rely on their knowledge to make decisions. Coupland s representation of the worldview concept of knowledge is found within the quote Maybe, I ve spent my whole life worrying about tiny little firecrackers made monstrous in our minds and on TV. (70) The firecrackers that Coupland refers to are the core set of beliefs that people believe in. Coupland is clearly representing the effect that media plays in our society and the way that much of our knowledge is derived from it. Otis, who is the traveler to the nuclear sites, comes to the conclusion that he must question the knowledge that he has assumed to be true. With this questioning comes new ideas and actions. Coupland is representing the fact that through the philosophical view that we must question even what we assume to be true we might find new and interesting ideas. Within the idea of questioning, we find the essence of philosophy. The idea that a person should not take any information for granted is not a new philosophical idea is not new, and has been an essential part of the worldview of knowledge since the first philosophers.
Coupland represents his philosophical ideas in a new and interesting way. Within the text of Generation X a reader can find many of the philosophical ideas that Coupland believes, although it is necessary to analyze the short stories.