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How Do the Authors Form Their Arguments, Essay Example

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Essay

In The Zombie Survival Guide, written by American author Max Brooks forms his argument by presenting a fictional world that could possibly be real to the reader and then advising the reader on how to survive in this world, while at the same time parallel-ling it to the real world the reader currently lives in. In “The Jungle” Upton Sinclair, presents a fictional world to the reader that is quite like the real world that is filled with many stressors imposed on a main characters by capitalism and the near the end presenting socialism as the main character’s salvation. Upton Sinclair’s language is bias and indirect. Near the end of the book when he is presenting the reader with the reasoning behind his main argument, he says, “To Jurgis the packers had been equivalent to fate; Ostrinski showed him that they were the Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combination of capital, which had crushed all opposition, and overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the people (Sincalir, ch29).” Here Upton forms his argument against capitalism by depicting it as a monster literally pillaging lands and eating people. He is taking a basic real life concept and applying fictional extravagant traits to the concept.

Who is there is their presumed audience and how does this presumed audience effect the writing?

In The Zombie Survival Guide, the presumed audience is a fictional audience, but in reality the audience is very real as the author says, “It is for them that this survival guide was written—private citizens, people with limited time and resources who nonetheless have refused to be victimized. The way this effects the story is by making many of the key plot driving points fictional. There are moments when the story could be interpreted to have a deeper meaning, where aspects of it could parallel the real world. The Jungle is for the American and global reading community, specifically those with political interests. It is a fictional story designed to be interpreted on political levels.

What are the strengths and weaknesses, in your mind, of approaching the audience in this fashion?

The strengths of approaching the audience from a fictional perspective can be seen in the ability to create a parallel world that can make a strong commentary on the real world without having to completely adhere to realities that might not support the plot of the story. The weakness in doing this is that the message of both stories which is survival can be overlooked and the story could be treated as unnecessary fiction. Upton Sinclair runs this risk by going over the top with his message. When talking about Ona’s place of work in the whore house he says, “Here was a population, low-class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave drivers; under such circumstances immorality was exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it was under the system of chattel slavery (Sinclair, Ch10).” At first glance, it appears as though Sinclair is being sincere about his care for the people and emphasizing a disdain for their treatment, but as you read further he begins to lay on his judgment to the point of being overbearing and bias.

How effectively does each author fulfill their apparent or stated purpose?

Each author fulfills their apparent or stated purpose very effectively. Both stories are fictional political commentaries based on possible real life situations. Max Brook’s “The Zombie Survival Guide,” is a bit more over the top than “The Jungle,” but Upton Sinclair’s piece try to pitch the idea of socialism to the reader near the end, based on reality that is subjective and isolated specifically to his fictional main character.  Brook’s does an exceptional job of taking an extremely unbelievable fictional concept and making virtually all elements applicable to real life.

Describe how the texts function in your own language and remember: there are no wrong opinions. Just opinions you have evidence to support and opinions that lack evidence.

Both text function as a warning sign for citizens to take political action. Max Brook’s work focuses on symbolism of zombies. He takes the concept very seriously and treats it with a realistic reasoning, but in many ways the word zombie could be replaced with any other word to describe a private citizen who has been corrupted and blinded by the tyrannical rule of a government, or the propaganda of media and no longer has the ability to think for themselves. An example of this concept can be seen when he says, “On no occasion have they shown any ability to reason or employ logic. Attempting to accomplish a task, failing, then by trial and error discovering a new solution, is a skill shared by many members of the animal kingdom but lost on the walking dead (Brooks, 4).” This description could easily be applied to either book. The concept of not learning from one’s mistakes is very similar to how Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite, furiously work only to get deeper into debt. They pull their money together with other immigrants and work hard in belief of the American Dream only to finally to find socialism as the only alternative for success in life in America.

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