I will be writing a counterargument to two of Marie Winns assertions in her
essay titled, Television and Reading. The first assertion that Winn points out is that,
acquired through years and years of television viewing, has influenced adversely
viewers ablity to concetrate, to read, to write clearly-in short, to demonstrate any of the
verbal skills a literate society requires (49). I dont think this is true at all. There are a
lot of good writers out there that grew up watching tv. Most preschoolers and toddlers
now and days, whose parents cant afford school, learn how to have a conversation from
tv programs and the basic essential they will need to know by the time they get old
enough to attend school, so this gives them the verbal skills in order to talk right and to
know how to pronouce certain words. Some kids cant sit still long enough to have a
book read to them so the programs on tv introduce them to characters or people they
wouldnt meet other wise opening up their imaginations.
The second assertion pointed out by Winn is that, If someone enters the room
while were watching television-a friend, a relative, a child, someone, perhaps, we have
not seen for some time-we must continue to watch or else well lose the thread (50).
This may be true but the same goes with books, if the book is really interesting what
happens most of the time is that, you cant seem to put the book down. You cant stop
turning the pages because you already placed yourself in the book and to get back into
the groove might take a couple of pages and to put the book down right now might leave
a feeling of regret and a sense of being uneasy because you have to know whats going to
happen next and you feel like your losing time. So its not all true when she says, A
book, of course, can be set aside, with a pang of regret, perhaps, but with no sense of
permanent loss (50).