And yet this principle is built into the very structure of the things they teach you to write in high school. The topic sentence is your thesis, chosen in advance, the supporting paragraphs the blows you strike in the conflict, and the conclusion– uh, what is the conclusion? I was never sure about that in high school. It seemed as if we were just supposed to restate what we said in the first paragraph, but in different enough words that no one could tell. Why bother? But when you understand the origins of this sort of “essay,” you can see where the conclusion comes from. It’s the concluding remarks to the jury….
Archer can also be remarkably naïve. While he is astute to the complex authority the Mingott family wields, he underestimates its cleverness. While he feels he can defy the family's powerful solidarity by contradicting their opinions, Archer realizes with a start in Book Two that he has simply been excluded from consultation. He is also naïve in the sense that he feels that he is somehow exceptional to the usual codes and judgments of good society. He quixotically hopes that somehow Ellen and he can form a relationship that will defy the usual dreary terms of adultery. It is Ellen who must keep Archer's feet planted to the ground.
Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.