Regan's Second Paper Draft

I can remember the exact moment I found out it happened. I was sitting at my desk in 5th grade when our assistant principle walked into the room with an expression on her face that contained both fear and sorrow. As she walked over to whisper something to our teacher, I knew something was wrong. When our teach finally told us the devastating news that two planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, I wasn’t sure how to react. As soon as I heard this, the first thing I wondered was ‘why would something like this possibly happen’?. It wasn’t until later at dinner time, when my dad arrived home that I knew this was a terrible and horrific tragedy for our nation as a whole. Following the events of September 11th, almost all aspects of each American citizen’s lives were altered permanently. This concept that the world is constantly changing is explored in William Gibson’s novel Patter Recognition. Most importantly it is demonstrated through Cayce, the main character, who is struggling to find her identity and is confused on whether the change in her life was caused by something she had done or whether it was something out of her control.

“Win Pollard went missing in New York City on the morning of Sepetember 11, 2001. The doorman at the Mayflower flagged an early cab for him, but couldn’t remember a destination. (p.137)” This day is so important to the book due to the fact that this was the day when Cayce lost her father. This plays a big role in why Cayce is struggling to find her identity because ever since that day when her father, Win, disappeared, her life has gone in a whole new direction. Throughout this book, Cayce is moving forward in time but still has expectations and parameters from before 9/11. “The world had gone in such a different direction, in the instant of having seen that petal drop, that nothing really is the same now, and that her expectations of the parameters of how life should feel are simply that, expectations, and increasingly out of line the further she gets from that window in the SoHo Grand (pg. 203).”

The disappearance of Win signifies a loss and lack of Cayce in which seems to be a part of her identity that is missing or no longer there. This same confusion and sense of loss is shown through the hole in Cayce’s Rickson. “Reaching for her Rickson’s, where she’d hung it on the back of her chair, she sees a round freshly made hole, left shoulder, rear, the size of the lit tip of a cigarette. (p.16)” She has to ask herself whether she should find a new one or patch it up. This same idea goes for Cayce’s father because obviously she has strong emotions and he will always be a part of her, but at the same time she feels as though she needs to move on with her life and make the best of it instead of dwelling on the past. As you see throughout the book, when Cayce refers to her father as ‘dad’, it usually refers to him on a personal level. She more often calls him Win which makes him seem on an impersonal level and as someone who existed but is no longer felt. This suggests that Cayce feels as though she needs to move forward and keep up with what makes her happy as an advertising consultant.

It doesn’t seem to be until when Cayce goes and meets Stella that she comes to find her true identity. Cayce’s unique allergy that she has with advertisement helps her tremendously with her job and her job is essentially what sends her on the mission to go find the creator of the FFF. Once Cayce is in the middle of her work, she realizes that she wants to do this not because of Bigend, but because she is intrigued by it. This is nice to see because it shows that she is passionate and is starting to do what makes her happy. When she finally meets Stella she can relate to her and feels a certain connection since they both lost their fathers. This seems to be when she finds her true identity and no longer needs to dwell on the past but can now focus on what makes her happy. “She knows that it’s about meeting Stella, and hearing her story, and her sister’s, but somehow she no longer is able to fit it to her life. Or rather she lives now in that story, her life left somewhere behind, like a room she’s stepped out of.”

Another key component to this story is globalization, which also signifies how the world is always changing. It used to be that different cities would have their own distinctiveness which made them unique. Now, due to modern technology, communicating globally is much easier with all of the new tools such as the internet, cell phones and satellites. This has brought a rise in global corporations which has homogenized the world drastically in the sense that no matter where you go, you know you will still see a McDonalds or a Nike store. “Russian Federation’s got it. Means huge changes in the flow of global capital. Means we’re going to be running on Russian oil.” This quote by Boone Chu shows how globalized our world has become. It seems as though whatever country is thriving in a certain aspect, the rest of the world seems to follow in its footsteps and try to copy it. Even though each country still has its own flavor, every place is becoming more and more alike.

Pattern Recognition itself even seems to tie in with this theme of change, and that you never know what to expect. The novel starts off as any ordinary book with Cayce, an advertising consultant with a unique allergy to certain logos, going about her everyday life, but by the end turns out to be a spy novel. “She’s never lived her life in such a way as to generate sliding doors and secret passages, the hallmarks, she believes, of some basis in bullshit, of an underlying lack of honesty that she doesn’t believe has been hers.” I don’t think that anyone would expect this book to turn out the way it did after reading the first few chapters; this goes to show you that everything is always changing and that you never know what to expect.

This metanarrative shows how the world is always changing and that your identity is formed by it, so you can’t have expectations from the past. It teaches us a good lesson that you really never know what to expect and that at any given time your life can change dramatically.

Peer edit (Amy)
This is a really good paper that is off to a great start. The arguments in the paper are very strong and are backed up with great evidence. All of the quotes were chosen very well and help your arguments. However, most of the quotes are tacked on to paragraphs or sentences. You should intertwine them into sentences to make the paper flow better. Next, some of the words in your sentences don’t fit and should be replaced. Example: “The disappearance of Win signifies a loss and lack of Cayce in which seems to be a part of her identity that is missing or no longer there. This same confusion and sense of loss is shown through the hole in Cayce’s Rickson.” The phrase “in which” should be replaced with “that.” Some of the sentences are a little choppy, but if you read them over they can easily be fixed. An example of this is the sentence “Cayce’s unique allergy that she has with advertisement helps her tremendously with her job and her job is essentially what sends her on the mission to go find the creator of the FFF.” I think you should say something like “Cayce’s unique allergy that she has with advertisement helps her tremendously with her job, which, essentially, is to go on a mission to find the creator of FFF.” I think changing some of the sentences will make your paper flow better. Next, there is no clear connection between the world changing and globalization in your paper. You should connect these two topics somehow in your paper, instead of tacking on the globalization paragraph at the end. Everything you said about globalization is great, but in order to fit it into your paper better, you could first state your globalization paragraph, then follow it up with the paragraphs that talk about how Cayce stays away from the homogenized world and finds her own, unique identity. Also, because it is in your paper, you should talk about globalization in your intro paragraph, and somehow put it into your thesis. Along with the intro paragraph, it is very catchy and interesting, but the thesis is a little unclear and I think you can come up with a better thesis based off the evidence from your arguments in the paper. Remind yourself that the thesis states what you will be talking about throughout the entire paper. Next, it seems like the second to last paragraph is just extra information. I don’t think you should remove it though, because it is really interesting and should be in your paper. Maybe move it to right after your intro paragraph or maybe even in your conclusion paragraph. You could also cut the paragraph down and somehow fit it into another paragraph. Other than that, there are some small grammatical errors throughout the paper, but those are really easy to catch if you read it over again. All in all, this is a great paper and I think you are going to get a really good grade. Good job!

Peer Edit (Will)
This is a well thought up paper and presents many arguments and points to help your cause. One thing I would like to point out about the intro is the thesis. I feel like you might could try to make it more of a thesis rather than a statement. The rest of the intro presented itself well and showed a personal aspect about 9/11. I agree with what Amy said about the quotes being tacked on or just kind of there. If you work them into the body of the paragraphs better, I think it will signficantly help your grade. The points you make along the way are very solid, and the quotes used were a great choice. The other concern I might have is the last two sentences. They make a good point, but it seems not to fit in by itself. I feel like you should move those into the previous paragraph to create a thorough conclusion. This conclusion would make a case for all that you have said so far. Other than that, I felt like this was a very solid paper and you did a good job on it. Hope the suggestions might help. Best of luck!

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