Why should writers avoid using too many commas in a sentence?
Readers have limited areas of focus. A sentence with too many commas will diverge in subject matter and focus, making it harder for them to keep track of what you're saying. Instead of adding more commas, one should write a new sentence when grammatically correct.
What differentiates the Catholic and Jewish approaches to asceticism?
In Catholicism, self-denial is seen as a highly-valued method of connecting to God. This becomes clear in examining the vows made by priests and monks, who swear themselves to lives of celibacy, poverty, and intensive study. While Judaism has had ascetic traditions in the past, its primary focus is on existing in rational space. Thus, while acts of study are valued for clergy and laypeople, Yom Kippur models starvation, and Sukkot models nomadic homelessness, one is expected to return to their material lives after these times. Even in the early celibate movement of the Nazarenes, ascetic vows were seen as temporary.
1. In "Slaughterhouse-Five," Vonnegut intersperses the war narrative with portrayals of extra-terrestrial abduction. How would this be read by a Vietnam-era America?
It's important to note that these depictions are interspersed with a type of gaslighting. It becomes unclear whether or not the elderly Billy is sane or damaged by the airplane crash (25,) clearly reflecting the psychological trauma faced by Vietnam veterans who felt transported by post-traumatic episodes. This, combined with the emerging psychedelic counterculture, created a paradigm where reality could be doubted. This also couples with the surrealist imagery that accompanies battle scenes. It's worth noting that the novel's original title, "The Children's Crusade," plays on these themes of memory and imagination.