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An Essay(With Outline)On The Novel By Caroline Knapp Titled Drinking: A Love Story

1727 words - 7 pages

Thesis: Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp is a story of one woman's strugglewith alcoholism. She discusses the possible link between heredity and alcoholism, howshe is effected by alcohol and how her life becomes uncontrollable as a result.I. Introduction to drinkingA. Her familyB. How it makes her feel1. Social reasons2. Avoidance of self-awareness3. Physical SymptomsII. What is an alcoholic?A. "Skid row bum"B. "High functioning alcoholic"III. Is heredity a factor?A. Her fatherB. Other familiesIV. Discomfort + drink = no discomfortA. Social situationsV. Public vs. private drinkingA. No holds barred drinkingB. Maintaining the façadeVI. DenialA. The rulesB. Young, professional, femaleC. The double life1. Alcoholic drama2. Two mena. Julian "the big improvement"b. MichaelVII. The PregnancyA. Michael vs. JulianVIII. Hitting bottomA. The death of her parentsIX. RealizationA. Her father's alcoholismB. Playing with childrenX. Rehab and afterDrinking: A Love StoryDrinking: A Love Story is the description of the author's ordeal with alcoholism andher decision to quit drinking. She reflects on the familial pattern of this disease and themaddening, uncontrollable situations alcoholism puts her in. Her book offers athorough look into the alcoholic disease process. After reading this book, you may lookat drinking and people who drink, in a different light.She began the book asking herself how she became an alcoholic. Was it a result ofupbringing? She looked back on her early years, "Hometown: Cambridge,Massachusetts, backyard of Harvard University. Education: Brown University, class of'81, magna cum laude. Parents: esteemed psychoanalyst (dad) and artist (mom), bothdevoted and insightful and keenly intelligent." (Knapp, 7-8)The author may not have been able to tell us why she was an alcoholic, but she couldtell the reader how the drinking made her feel: socially adept and able to shift her ownself-awareness onto something else. Alcohol had a enough of a hold over her, that thephysical symptoms were also ignored: the broken capillaries on her face, the dry heavesand the shakes that lasted all day long. She said with alcohol, as a lover, "You are oftenwilling to overlook the flaws." (Knapp 10)What is an alcoholic? Ms. Knapp described the stereotypical image of the skid rowbum, dirty and begging for money. However, in the author's case, she described herselfas the "high functioning" alcoholic. She was the one who could drink alcoholically, butstill have a successful career. She listed the people she knows who do not fit the "skidrow bum" image including a friend of hers who completed her PhD in biology. She alsospoke of another who rose in the ranks of a competitive law firm and another who was ahead nurse in a cardiac intensive care unit, all while actively drinking.Is alcoholism determined by heredity? It appeared to the author that this was her case.Caroline described how her father, every day after work, would sit in the living roomwith his...

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