Subject: General Questions    / General General Questions
Question

Essay: In Praise of Chain Stores by Virginia Postrel

1. Why, according to Postrel, do so many critics object to chain stores? On what grounds does she reject the validity of their objections?

2. In Postrel’s view, how does opposition to chain stores hurt the very communities critics mean to protect?

3. What is a “cosmopolite” (paragraph 1,9) and what other words and phrases in the essay carry similiar meaning? What does Postrel’s use of these words reveal about the audience she imagines?

4. Postel spends most of the essay expounding on the benefits of chain stores in general, but her last paragraph suggest a more focused purpose. How would you characterize that purpose?

5. If Postrel disagrees with those who complain that “every place looks the same” (paragraph 1, why does she devote her first three paragraphs to sharing the complaints as if it were her own?

6. List the reasons Postrel gives in support of her claim that chain stores benefit communities. How persuasive do you find them?

7. Other Methods What does Postrel mean by “character” (paragraphs 3,5,10? How is her definition of this term central to her point?

8. Point out instances of irony in the essay. (For a definition of irony, see the glossary) Is the irony effective? Why or why not?

9. Analyze Postrel’s use of quotations . Whom does she quote and where? How do the quotations themselves, ad the differences among them support her argument?

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