Defense of Consumerism
David EN101 Alexis David Robin Abell English 101 16 September 2011 In Defense Of Consumerism- Text Analysis In the Essay, “In Defense of consumerism,” by Llewellyn Rockwell, Rockwell makes some very valid points using logos, pathos, and ethos to appeal to his audience. He uses those three appeals to present his views and defend consumerism. Throughout his essay he defends consumerism in a way that shows specifically how it has been unfairly portrayed as an evil that is destroying our society today.
In today’s society consumerism is often portrayed to be a negative aspect of people’s lives and purchasing behaviors which inevitably leads to materialism. Many of these viewpoints can be analyzed as being subjective in that they focus primarily on “superfluous” products and “debts” created, but yet fail to acknowledge the positive aspects like Rockwell does. Rockwell’s argument is very effective in the fact that he uses logos, pathos, and ethos to appeal to his audience. Rockwell says “but the beauty of the market economy is that it gives everyone a choice.
For those people who prefer outhouses to indoor plumbing, pulling their teeth to dentistry, and eating nuts from trees rather than buying a can of planters at Wal-Mart, they too have the right to choose that way of life. But don’t let them say that they are against consumerism. ” Everyone in America has a say in how they live their life. If you don’t like it or need it, don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that. Some people enjoy having luxurious things in life and some people enjoy living like a caveman, but who’s to say that either way is right or wrong?
In America everyone has freedom in the marketplace to buy whatever they want or think is necessary to have. In that statement, Rockwell uses an emotional appeal. He chose to make his argument personal by using examples from real, every day life to prove that everyone does have a choice. Not only does Rockwell use emotional appeal to make his argument but he also uses ethical and logical appeals as well. He uses different types of evidence to appeal to all different audiences. He says, “Consider life expectancy in the age of consumerism.
Women in 1900 typically died at 48 years old, and men at 46. Today? Women live to 80, and men to 77. This is due to better diet, less dangerous jobs, improved sanitation and hygiene, improved access to health care, and the entire range of factors that contribute to what we call our standard of living. Just since 1950, the infant mortality rate has fallen by 77 perfect. Population is rising exponentially as a result. ” In this evidence he uses statistical facts and logical appeal to defend our societies fast and endless production of new technologies.
He uses factual evidence to give the audience a sense of reliability and accuracy to better the views of the audience towards consumerism. Rockwell also uses emotional appeal in his argument. He says “Here is an example. If my grandchild is sick, I want to get her to a doctor. The urgent-care clinic is open late, as is the drug store next door, and thank goodness. I’m in and out, and I have the medicine and materials necessary to restore her to health. No one would say that this is a superficial demand. But it can only stay open late because its offices are nestled in a strip mall where the rents are low and access is high.
The real estate is shared by candy stores, sports shops selling scuba gear, a billiard hall, and a store that specializes in party favors-all stores selling “superficial” things. All pay rent. The developer who made the mall wouldn’t have built the place were it not for these less urgent needs” He chose to use a hypothetical example that is personal which evoked an emotional response from the readers and therefore makes his argument more convincing. Throughout this essay, Rockwell writes from first person point of view which is also a good technique to use when writing to convince an audience.
First person makes the Rockwell seem close up and personal. The reader can identify with him and experience his thoughts and feelings. While third person and omniscient points of view distance the reader, first person allows the reader to enter the world of the narrator, privy to his personal thoughts and feelings. First person point of view keeps the readers attention and makes the essay more convincing. It brings the reader to a more personal level which makes them want to re-evaluate their thoughts and side with the person that’s making the argument.
There are many stylistic devices that Rockwell uses in his essay to convince the audience to be in favor of consumerism. He shows the positive aspects of consumerism and gives evidence and examples that relate to every day life making his point seem more personal and convincing. This Essay was very effective in showing the readers that consumerism is all around us but not everyone has to partake in it. Rockwell gave many valid and convincing points to support consumerism. Consumerism is not an “evil” thing that is destroying our society. It’s a way of life and everyone has a choice.