Friction Argument


Over the course of the semester, we have made arguments in opinion editorial, digital, resume, self-promotion, and field-specific forms; now we turn to fiction as an argument.

While it is often not viewed as “argumentative” in nature, most fiction is formulated around some sort of thesis or argument. Kurt Vonnegut certainly adhered to this belief. In God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, Vonnegut makes a series of playful arguments about the temporality of human existence, the nature of change, the fallacies of moral absolutism, and the existential dilemmas that all humans – including the “worst” of us – face. He does so by “interviewing” dead people and sharing their encounter in prose form.

Purpose/Project Sequence

Our goal in this project is to emulate Vonnegut. Please write at least three of your own “interviews with dead people,” following Vonnegut’s format. In other words, you are the news reporter, you have been put under by Jack Kevorkian (who actually died in 2011), and you get to frame reality in the way that you believe it ought to be. Don’t rely solely on dialogue. As Vonnegut does, try your best to model a narrative re-telling with a few interspersed quotes.

The people you choose to interview are almost entirely up to you. The only thing I require is that they be people who were in the “public eye,” not simply relatives. If a strong case can be made that your person was significant enough, then it will be fine. You can do as many interviews as you want, but I am requiring three separate ones. Your word count is 750.

Then have fun imagining what they might say about life after death, life before death, and life in general.


Mariam Shaker

Rafa Goralo

Renee Carlos

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