I have several versions of a first sentence, and I'm not happy with any of them. (I include a second sentence where necessary). Here they are:
1st: "To be a real man, a man should associate with other men. True friendships, the kind a man can count on, can only be with other men because women are emotional, weak, and conniving, and cannot be trusted as men can."I thought it lacked...focus. It certainly caught a reader's attention, but after I altered some other things in my paper, I still wasn't happy with it. So I changed it to:
"Authors write shocking books for different purposes; however, these novels' critics and reading public either ignore them, or they loudly declare the works as disgusting--and everyone runs out to buy a copy to see for themselves."Worse, not better than the first version. But it transitioned better into my thesis, as you'll see momentarily.
Third edition: "Racy novels: how do their audiences react? The critics and reading public either completely ignore them or loudly declare the works as disgusting--and everyone runs out to buy a copy to see for themselves."Still problematic. I still don't like the first sentence. So here's the current version (with the rest of the introduction). Please offer some advice, commentary, compliments, etc.
A cross-dressing monk, congress with demons, and even a ghost: as critics and readers encounter unsettling elements, heated discussion ensues--and everyone else has to go out and read the novel for themselves. When Matthew Lewis published The Monk in 1796, its disturbing sexual imagery, inversions of socially-acceptable gender roles, and pornographic material made the book so popular that Lewis earned the nickname "Monk," forever identifying him through his best known work. While the novel's foray into transgressive topics initially shocks even a modern reader, Lewis creates lurid scenes not to outrage his audience but to examine traditional gender roles and to define masculinity through the homosocial friendships among his male characters. Although The Monk appears to invert eighteenth-century English ideas of gender, ultimately, Lewis uses homosociality to restore established gender roles.Sigh. I'll be so happy to have this paper done and turned in.