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An Argumentative Oral Composition
WHY I DON'T BELIEVE IN SUNDAY "MOVIES'' FOR THE FACTORY PEOPLE
For the past two weeks there has been a great deal of talk in town as to whether the "movies" should be kept open on Sunday. Both town papers have had editorials and letters on the subject. Everybody seems to be discussing the question from the interest of the laboring people and especially the factory workers. And so it is from this point of interest that I'm going to talk.
These people do deserve our consideration, sympathy, and help. They work eight or more hours a day, six days in the week, and must be physically and mentally tired when Sunday comes. They need some change from the buzzing monotony of the factory machines. They work in poorly ventilated rooms, where dust and paint fumes gradually destroy their health. Now, if they go to "movies" on Sundays, they are still in poorly ventilated rooms, and not only badly ventilated but irregularly heated. The theaters are crowded. And here is where people are most susceptible to colds, influenza, and other contagious diseases. During the recent "flu" epidemic the health authorities, at the advice of the doctors, ordered the theaters closed as the first public places where the disease would most probably spread. So the working people, who are the ones that need outdoor exercise and fresh air and a general all-around
change, do not get these things in the "movies." But instead, their resistance is lowered; they are subjected to contagious diseases; and their health, in many instances, is positively injured.
Those who advocate the open theater on Sunday say it would be educational for the working class. Theater managers are generally pretty successful business men because they know what the public want, and they give it to them. The managers know by experience that factory people do not care for educational pictures. They don't provide such pictures now, and they probably would not if they were running their theaters on Sunday. Human nature in both instances would be the same. The City Library is open on Sunday. It is well ventilated, warm and comfortable. People can go there and read, or get out books to read over Sunday, if they wish things educational.
Another plea for the Sunday "movie" is that good moral or religious pictures could be shown. Yes, they could be, but they wouldn't. The same human nature argument holds here as in the educational value of the "movies." Wild West, hairbreadth escapes, and gushy love scenes are the themes that draw the crowds now six days, and I'm afraid they will draw them on the seventh day, too.
So, if we take into consideration two facts, we can see that the Sunday "movies" will not help the factory workers in the ways that the well-meaning advocates claim. First, the people demand a class of
pictures that are not educational or moral in nature; and, second, the theater managers are engaged in their business for the money, and if they show the kind of pictures the public demand, they'll get the public's money.
If the town people really want to help the factory people, why don't they erect a good "Y" building? A good "Y" would have a swimming pool, baths, a gymnasium, tennis courts, ball grounds, a library and reading room. Educational and moral lectures could be given from time to time. The "Y" officials would be ready to help any one at any time.
(1) Was the general subject of the argument stated?
(2) The three main points and the solution of the question constitute the student's mental outline. He probably had in mind some such simple outline as the following:
1. Sunday "movies" would be injurious to the health of factory workers.
2. The pictures shown would not be educational. 3. The pictures would not be moral or religious. 4. A "Y" would meet the needs better.
(3) Which came first in the discussion, the statement of the main points or the proof of these points? (4) Should the discussion of any points have been fuller?
(5) Is the solution about the Y. M. C. A. out of
place in an informal argument of this kind? In answering this question, imagine yourself a citizen of a town in which the problem of open theaters on Sunday has arisen, and you are really anxious that something of a practical nature be done for the laboring people.
(6) What points could be advanced on the opposing side of the question? What refutation can you bring against the contentions of this talk?
THE THIRD FORM OF ORAL COMPOSITION
57. What the Third Form Is.-The third form is impromptu oral compositions. The word "impromptu" explains the significance of this type. You are to talk on a subject upon which you have made no preparation. The purpose here is to develop your ability in talking, and to give you prac tice in analyzing a subject, in selecting what is important, and in presenting your thoughts in the best possible oral style,—all without previous preparation and at a moment's notice. In other words, it aims to fit you to think quickly and to assist you in expressing well what you have thought.
After you have accustomed yourself to easy oral speech through the first two forms, you will find that you like the third form best, because here the compositions are unstudied and the language natural and easy.
58. Ease and Fluency of Speech.-Ease and fluency are acquired by forgetting yourself, not bothering about what your hearers may be thinking of you, but centering your attention on your talk. Say what you have to say in the best language at your command, without thinking too much of the correct word.
Professor G. H. Palmer pertinently declares that the reason for our not being exact and fluent in our