The assignment: Absent. Construct a character who is not present. You have many options here: people may talk about this character before meeting him, or after meeting her; you might choose to examine what this character owns, how he or she lives, under what conditions; you might use indirect approaches, like letters or documents that attest to the existence but not presence of the person. How do we know of people? Examine the ways we build characters in our minds and in our social environments before and after we meet them.
A (beautiful) friend of mine recently posted a link to this pitiful story by Samantha Brick on Facebook that made me simultaneously laugh out loud and want to throttle the writer. The title says it all, “Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful.” Here’s the gist:
While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.
This article presents you with an interesting conundrum as a reader, commenter, or critic. It’s clear that the writer will just assume you’re jealous if you dare to criticize her. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. There was a backlash and the writer’s response was basically, “This just proves I’m right.” Continue reading