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Posted: September 6th, 2023

The Course of Love

Discussion Board: Don Jon and Alain de Botton
1
Author a two-part original post, of at least 250-words but not more than 650-words exploring the ideas raised in de Botton’s novel and lecture, and relating key insights to the movie, Don Jon.

Part one: The Course of Love

Explore at least two significant points made in de botton’s work, providing two direct quotes from the novel you found most significant in your post. Note that the quotes do not count toward the 250 word-count minimum. Questions to consider for part one include, but are not limited to:

Which of Botton’s assertions about love seem the most provocative, and do you believe it has merit? Why or why not?
If we took Botton’s analysis to heart, implementing changes in our approach to romantic love, how might we need to do things differently in our love lives?
Do your own experiences, either directly or in-directly, confirm or challenge Botton’s ideas?
Do you find Botton’s claims about sexual relations insightful or problematic?
Which of Botton’s challenges to romanticism do you find most compelling?
Would we gain more than we lose if we abandoned the parts of romanticism Botton critiques, or do we stain to lose more than we gain?
Why does Botton contend that “finding” the “right” person is doomed to fail as a strategy to achieve lasting love? Do you agree? Why or why not?
Part two: Love and Romance in Don Jon

For the second part of the post, apply the insights of bell hooks and/or Alain de Botton to analyze Don Jon. To what extent does the film uphold and/or challenge conventional visions of love, romance, gender, and sexuality? What are the differences between Jon and Barbara’s relationship and Jon and Esther’s relationship? How do they exemplify the critiques or recommendations of hooks and/or Botton? Be sure to discuss at least one key scene in this part of your reflection.

After authoring your original post, write two replies of at least 100-words to two different colleagues’ posts. Replies must be substantive. Unoriginal or superficial replies, including those that feature filler language, will receive no credit. Note that greetings and effusive or general praise for a given post do not count toward word-count requirement nor do they take the place of thoughtful engagement with the ideas themselves. Original posts and replies must feature proper spelling, complete sentences, and, generally, correct grammar. Rules of Netiquette must also be followed.

Discussion Board Post and Replies
Students are required to author multiple original discussion board posts through Canvas. Each original post must be at least 250-words, respond to the specified prompt, and engaging the relevant assigned course readings. Students must also author original, substantive replies that exceed 100-words to two different colleagues’ posts. Original posts and replies must feature proper spelling, complete sentences, and, generally, correct grammar. Rules of Netiquette must also be followed. Posts and replies must be completed by the specified deadline. Since the objective of this assignment is to facilitate timely dialogue on the specified topic, late submissions of original postings and replies will not be permitted.
Important Note about Replies
Unoriginal or superficial replies, including those that feature filler language, merely parrot what the original poster has written, ask general questions without offering original thoughts, and those that offer feedback on the way will receive no credit. Greetings, comments on style and clarity of writing, and effusive or general praise do not count toward the 100 word-count requirement. Replies are expected to thoughtfully engage the substance of the articulated ideas.
After authoring your original post, write two replies of at least 100-words to two different colleagues’ posts. Replies must be substantive. Unoriginal or superficial replies, including those that feature filler language, will receive no credit. Note that greetings and effusive or general praise for a given post do not count toward word-count requirement nor do they take the place of thoughtful engagement with the ideas themselves. Original posts and replies must feature proper spelling, complete sentences, and, generally, correct grammar. Rules of Netiquette must also be followed.

Part One: The Course of Love

Alain de Botton’s novel “The Course of Love” provides a realistic and thought-provoking exploration of love and relationships. One of the most significant points made in the novel is the idea that “we fall in love with someone who seems to embody the virtues we most admire and the qualities we feel we most lack” (de Botton, 2016, p. 13). This assertion highlights the common belief that we are attracted to someone because they possess qualities that we lack, which we hope will complement us. However, this can lead to unrealistic expectations, as we often project our own desires and needs onto our partner.

Another important point made by de Botton is the idea that “love is a skill, not just an enthusiasm” (de Botton, 2016, p. 30). This assertion challenges the idea that love is purely a feeling or emotion and instead emphasizes the importance of actively working on our relationships. De Botton suggests that we should approach love like any other skill, such as learning a language or a musical instrument, and put in the necessary effort and practice to improve.

Part Two: Love and Romance in Don Jon

The movie “Don Jon” explores the complexities of love and relationships through the character of Jon, a young man who is addicted to pornography and struggles with forming genuine connections with women. The film challenges conventional visions of love and romance by exposing the ways in which society and media can create unrealistic expectations and ideals.

One key scene in the film is when Jon and Barbara, his girlfriend, attend a romantic movie. Throughout the film, Jon’s perspective on love and relationships is heavily influenced by the media he consumes, including pornography and romantic movies. However, as he watches the movie with Barbara, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the romantic ideal presented on the screen, realizing that it is not reflective of real-life relationships. This scene exemplifies de Botton’s critique of romanticism and highlights the importance of acknowledging the complexities and challenges of real relationships.

In contrast to Jon and Barbara’s relationship, Jon’s connection with Esther, an older woman he meets in his night classes, is more genuine and grounded in reality. Esther challenges Jon’s preconceived notions about love and relationships and encourages him to confront his addiction to pornography. This relationship exemplifies de Botton’s assertion that love is a skill and requires effort and practice to improve.

Replies:

Reply 1:

Thank you for your insightful post on “The Course of Love” and its application to “Don Jon”. I agree that de Botton’s assertion that love is a skill is an important one, and one that is often overlooked in our culture. The media often portrays love and relationships as purely based on emotion and passion, without acknowledging the hard work and dedication required to make them last.

I also appreciate your analysis of the scene in which Jon and Barbara attend a romantic movie. I think this scene exemplifies the danger of idealizing romanticism and failing to acknowledge the complexities of real-life relationships. It’s important to recognize that no relationship is perfect, and that challenges and conflicts are a natural part of any partnership.

Reply 2:

Your post on “The Course of Love” and “Don Jon” was very insightful and thought-provoking. I found your analysis of de Botton’s assertion that we fall in love with someone who embodies the virtues we most admire to be particularly compelling. It is easy to idealize our partners and project our own desires onto them, but this can lead to disappointment and frustration when our expectations are not met.

I also appreciate your discussion of the differences between Jon and Barbara’s relationship and Jon and Esther’s relationship. It is interesting to see how Esther challenges Jon’s preconceived notions about love and relationships, and

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