Assignment 3: Response to tutor feedback

Completion of my third assignment was motivated by the need to complete in order to gain an extension for the course. This resulted in me submitting an essay with which I was not entirely happy which cut through my usual worries about my submission – I replaced this with a pragmatism that I could rewrite the assignment if necessary. My feedback from Pauline is better than I expected although this has not resulted in a more favourable self-appraisal of my work. A number of points are raised that I was probably aware of at the time I pressed the send button but the general response that I have provided a well-argued piece is pleasing.

I began my response to feedback with going back and redrafting the essay, but have stopped myself. The reality of my situation is that I have an extra 6 months to complete UVC and it has already taken 2 years to reach this point in the course. Rewriting the assignment will take time that I can ill afford and may not succeed in articulating everything on my mind. With this in mind I have decided to write here about what I would do differently and what I need to focus on for the final two sections of the course.

The main feedback from Pauline is about the end of the essay – my question of whether there is anything inherently wrong with the advert, that is it is just a piece of harmless information was meant to be provocative and lead to thoughts about whether this is true. The act of asking the question in itself was intended to be rhetorical in the sense it could be read in multiple ways, I realise now however that for the purposes of the assignment I should have provided a clear viewpoint. Pauline is strong in her use of terminology, describing advertising as “propaganda designed entirely to encourage us to spend money.” Although also accepted as a part of capitalist society. This is the view I share but felt was one that was too strong to express in these terms. Ironically, my motivation for choosing this advert was my opposition to the way the viewer is subtly interpellated into the ideology that John Lewis wants to represent – the way to happy family relations is through spending money. If the child protagonist in the advert was one of my children I would have preferred more agreeable behaviour in the lead up to Christmas than them only being able to show their love for me through consumerist behaviour.

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