The Consumer - A Republic of Fat. The Obesity Essay Example

In Pollan's "The Consumer—A Republic of Fat" short essay, Pollan is comparing the old day Corn-Whiskey epidemic and the modern-day obesity epidemic. In Pollan's short essay he is arguing the effects of cheap farm products such as corn, and how coincidently similar the obesity epidemic is to the Corn-Whiskey epidemic. This argument is successful because of Pollan's how persuasive and clever the writing in the short essay is. Pollan's comparison of the two epidemics is referenced to many times in clever ways. Such as on page 284 when Pollan states, "The Acholic Republic has long since given away to The Republic of Fat". This clever transition and hyperbole projects on the audience Pollan's main comparison. Pollan uses persuasive writing techniques such as the use of ethos, logos and pathos, to fully project onto his audience awareness of the growing epidemic we face today and how history is repeating itself.

"The Consumer—A Republic of Fat" written by Pollan has many persuasive under tones and ways of writing. Many times, in the essay Pollan utilizes the use ethos, pathos, and logos to emphasize his point clearer. Pollan's use of Ethos is shown when Pollan cites credible and reliable sources. Pollan writes sentences that talk about "recent stud[ies] in the Journal of The American Medical Association (page 284)" and how the journals states, "that a child born in 2000 has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes." This use of Ethos adds credibility to Pollan's short essay and gives the audience a point of reference to the information Pollan is giving. This however was not Pollan's only use of Ethos in his essay. Ethos is shown on page 285 when Pollan references that "most researchers [can] trace America's rising rates of obesity to the 1970s." This line shows the audience that professionals in the health and diet field clearly see the obesity epidemic and how it has risen over time. This source also gives the audience a sense of trust with the source Pollan is citing and makes the audience more aware of the growing epidemic.

Pathos is also found frequently in Pollan's short essay. Pollan conveys the emotion of shock and disbelief a lot in his essay. Especially when he makes statements that alarm and perplex the audience such as, "today's children......life expectancy may turn out to be shorter than that of their parents. (page 284)" This claim adds a shock factor to the essay and gives Pollan's message a scary but true reality of the growing epidemic in the world. However, at the same time the claim persuades the audience's emotions to be more aware and attentive to the recent and dangerous epidemic of obesity. Pollan's other use of pathos in his writing is shown on page 284 when Pollan makes the implication that "we're eating today much the way we drank then (referring to the Corn Whiskey epidemic)." This line from "The Consumer--A Republic of Fat" uses pathos techniques to make the audience feel a sense of shame and astounded especially considering the fact the audience was given a brief but detailed history lesson of how awful and detrimental the Corn Whiskey epidemic was. This statement also continues to push the main message of the essay to the audience by showing the audience how history is repeating itself and how the obesity epidemic is just out of control. Pollan uses this line tactfully and cleverly in his short essay and his strong use of pathos makes his main claims more meaningful and makes the audience connect to his essay.

In Pollan's essay, logos is also implemented to make the essay's claim stronger. In the short essay, Pollan uses logos by giving factual information to the audience and using statistics such as, "American's average daily intake of calories has jumped by more than 10 percent. (page 284)" This smart use of logos allows Pollan's essay to have more substance and gives the audience logical reasoning while persuading them to agree with the overall message. Logos by Pollan is used and shown on page 285 as well. This is shown when the short essay claims human consumption of added sugars "ha[ve] climbed from 128 pounds to 158 pounds per person." He uses this logos to inform the audience with facts about the alarming rise in fattening sugar consumption and to persuade a change in their diet by using staggering and frightening facts from a trusted source.

All these persuasive techniques Pollan utilizes such as pathos, logos and ethos make his agruement successful and tactfully executed. "The Consumer—a Republic of Fat" is a witty, informative, extremely persuasive and eye-opening short essay that gets the overall message of obesity and the repetition of history across successfully. Pollan writes his short essay in a captivating and entrancing manner. However, the over use statistics became a little dull. Pollan could improve this by reducing the use of statistics and implenting facts but in a more interesting and engaging manner. "The Consumer—A Republic of Fat" by Pollan is a carefully written essay that exudes persuasiveness, facts and an overall lasting impression on the audience.


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