First the Fall of Alexandria, And Now Fidget Spinners

By , Astin, TX

In Joshua G.'s excerpt from “First the Fall of Alexandria, And Now Fidget Spinners”, he speaks on physical distractions, like fidget spinners, and how they should be dealt with. He starts the essay by stating that under the assumption that fidget spinners do “actually” help students concentrate. He uses the word “actually” to show that it is commonly believed that fidget spinners don’t achieve their purpose in helping students concentrate. In the second half of that sentence, he compares fidget spinners helping students to “cigarettes help writers concentrate, or meth helps you drive across the country without falling asleep.” For the second time in the first time, he shows that he believes that fidget spinners are actually by comparing them to drugs. In the second sentence he does the same thing by saying,”If fidget spinners can actually deliver what the manufacturer claims, then they are not simply annoying, but a little dangerous.” He repeats the term “actually” to show that they actually do the opposite of what the manufacturer intended, and he ends the sentence by saying that fidget spinners are not only annoying but also dangerous if they do “actually” achieve their goal. By saying “dangerous” Joshua builds into his claim that, which is the next sentence. He says,”If a mind craves physical attention and agitation in order to learn, such needs are not good, but awful.” Joshua wants to show how bad he believes fidget spinners and the need for physical attraction is by not ending the sentence after “not good.” He feels the need to add in “but awful” to show how unhealthy he believes it is. In the next few sentences, he compares the need for physical distraction to learn to how Church Fathers insist “to eat until you are a little less than full”, in order for your appetite to not expend and decrease self control. He uses this comparison to give a real world example of why feeding a need can be harmful. In the next sentence, he makes another claim in saying that “such craving needs to be crushed, not coddled.” I think crushed is a very specific word to use because a word like stopped or avoided would have nowhere near the effect of “crushed”. “Crushed” gives the sense of destruction of the cravings and getting completely rid of them, not just putting them aside and struggling to fight them. Through saying,”if coddled, it will only expand”, Joshua speaks that if you give into the need, it will only expand. It is like a mosquito bite, the more you itch it, the more it itches. He ends the excerpt with a very powerful sentence comparing overcoming this physical need to how “all men are commonly called on to overcome petty wants for minor consolations.” By comparing the physical need for distraction to petty wants for minor consolation, he shows how people need to give up their need because it is unhealthy and the pleasure is only temporary.






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