In Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation,” the author explores the dark side of the fast food industry, revealing its impact on various aspects of society. Through the use of powerful rhetoric, Schlosser employs different persuasive techniques to convey his message. One of these techniques is the rhetorical appeal of pathos, which aims to evoke emotions in the readers. This article will analyze various excerpts from “Fast Food Nation” to determine which one best illustrates the use of pathos.
The Exploitation of Immigrant Workers
One excerpt from “Fast Food Nation” that effectively employs pathos is the chapter that delves into the exploitation of immigrant workers in the fast food industry. Schlosser recounts the story of a young girl named Marisol, who works in a meatpacking plant. He describes the grueling working conditions, the physical toll it takes on Marisol’s body, and the emotional toll it takes on her spirit. Through vivid and poignant descriptions, Schlosser appeals to the readers’ emotions, evoking feelings of sympathy and outrage towards the mistreatment of immigrant workers.
The Impact on Children’s Health
Another powerful excerpt that utilizes pathos is the section that explores the impact of fast food on children’s health. Schlosser presents alarming statistics and personal stories of children suffering from obesity and related health issues. He describes the emotional distress these children face, such as being bullied or feeling self-conscious about their appearance. By highlighting the human consequences of fast food consumption, Schlosser appeals to the readers’ emotions, evoking a sense of concern and empathy for the well-being of children.
The Slaughterhouse Environment
Schlosser also employs pathos in his portrayal of the slaughterhouse environment. In one excerpt, he describes the gruesome and inhumane conditions in which animals are slaughtered, appealing to the readers’ sense of compassion and empathy towards animals. He vividly depicts the suffering and fear experienced by the animals, creating an emotional response in the readers. This use of pathos aims to elicit a sense of moral outrage and encourage readers to reconsider their support for the fast food industry.
The Tragic Story of Kenny Dobbins
One particularly poignant excerpt that exemplifies the use of pathos is the tragic story of Kenny Dobbins, a young fast food worker who died in a workplace accident. Schlosser recounts the events leading up to Kenny’s death, emphasizing the negligence and lack of concern for workers’ safety within the fast food industry. By sharing Kenny’s personal story, Schlosser appeals to the readers’ emotions, evoking feelings of sorrow, anger, and empathy towards the plight of workers in the fast food industry.
In “Fast Food Nation,” Eric Schlosser effectively utilizes the rhetorical appeal of pathos to evoke emotional responses from readers. Through powerful storytelling, vivid descriptions, and personal anecdotes, he highlights the human consequences of the fast food industry. The excerpts discussed, including the exploitation of immigrant workers, the impact on children’s health, the slaughterhouse environment, and the tragic story of Kenny Dobbins, all exemplify the use of pathos in different ways. By appealing to readers’ emotions, Schlosser successfully engages them in the issues he presents, encouraging reflection and potential action.
– Schlosser, E. (2001). Fast Food Nation. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.