Part 1: MLA Citation
Kaplan, Erin Aubry. “I No Longer Want to Shop.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/opinion/culture/shopping-retail-therapy-covid.html.
Part 2: Summary
In “I No Longer Want to Shop,” Kaplan says that she missed browsing and shopping at will, wandering around with no real plan. Now that shopping in person is an option ,masked in accordance with health guidelines, she doesn’t want to shop anymore. At first she thought it was due to the lingering effects of being quarantined, but then came to realize that wasn’t it. After a year plus without shopping brought a new perspective. During the pandemic, whenever she was tempted to go shopping, she asked herself if it was truly necessary, and came to see that the answer to that question was often no. Another experience that brought her to her new viewpoint was online shopping. Pre-pandemic she almost never shopped online, as she continued trying this new way out, she found that it offered some pleasures. It was like sending yourself Christmas presents to look forward to and unwrap. However, she found the satisfaction earned to be fleeting. She became aware of how much she was willing to spend to simply amuse herself to pass time. After feeling guilty about all the unnecessary buying she was doing, she decided to buy things she actually needs for survival and comfort. She states her shopping is now far more focused and intentional.
Part 3A: Reflection
After reading this article, I agree with many of the things Kaplan said. Shopping did change for a lot of people, both in the way they do it and their opinions of it. I have realized that like Kaplan, I also try to avoid buying as many unnecessary things as possible. I buy and keep things that are of good quality and that I know will last me for a long time. Although I don’t really shop anymore, my family still does and seeing all the boxes we have makes me feel guilty. It makes me think of all the waste we’re helping produce, and all of the unnecessary money being spent. I noticed that the article was published August 2,2o21, so I wonder if people are still struggling with the way they shop and with the way they feel when they shop. This tells me that even though it’s been years into the pandemic, people are still learning how to deal with normal, everyday things.
Part 3B: Rhetorical/general analysis
Kaplan’s audience is all people, especially those who want change and positive progress in their lives. Her purpose is to show people that change is possible and that there is a better way to shop, regardless of the way. Her choice of the article being opinion based as the genre is effective. Kaplan used her own struggles, thoughts, feelings, and experiences to show readers how she slowly started making change and progress over time. She explains how she missed shopping but then when she was able to shop in person again, she no longer wanted to. She decided to try online shopping and while it made her happy for a short while, she felt guilty of all the unnecessary spending and decided to only shop for comfort and survival. Kaplan teaches writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line” and “I Heart Obama,” so her message comes from a personal point of view.
Part 4: Notable Quotables
“A year-plus without shopping has wrought a whole new perspective on stores, and the nature of my attachment to them. Simply put, the thrill of the hunt that once was so integral to my life is gone. It’s like losing extra weight unexpectedly, without even trying or understanding why you lost it — mystifying, but undeniably liberating.” (Kaplan)
“The process made me keenly aware of how much stuff I was willing to buy just to amuse myself — to pass the time. ” (Kaplan)