Analysis on "Live Free and Starve" by Chitra Divakarun

on Saturday, January 26, 2013


Live Free and Starve by Chitra Divakarun

Soaps:

Speaker: an educated man, possibly a senator, who grew up in Calcutta and thus has a unique view on this issue. He is well informed and appears to look at the full extent of the bill.

Occasion: this was written following the proposal of a bill in the house to ban imports from countries that have child labor. This passage critiques that bill and urges it to be voted down.

Audience: this is directed toward other senators, mostly liberal proponents of the bill, as well as other citizens in favor of banning imports from countries that have child labor.

Purpose: The purpose is to express that this bill must not be passed and to urge people, especially senators, to see the full extent and repercussions of stopping imports from these countries because it not only effects the companies, but the children which it is trying to protect in the first place.

Subject: this discusses the benefits and repercussions of the stopping particular imports and then urges people that we must continue to import or risk hurting the children.

Tone: this has a persuasive and compelling tone, which attempts to accomplish the author’s goal by convincing the reader of the repercussions of banning imports from these countries.


Thesis:

In Chitra Divakarun’s passage, Live Free and Starve, he compellingly asserts that we must stop this bill, which will ban imports from countries with child labor, from passing because it adversely affects the children it is supposed to help. He does this by providing a personal anecdote, which enables the reader to relate to an experience emotionally, pointing out fallacies in opposing arguments, which serves to bolster his claim, and by providing specific examples of how this bill would adversely affect these children, which strengthens his argument.


Analysis:

In Chitra Divakarun’s passage, Live Free and Starve, he compellingly asserts that we must stop this bill, which will ban imports from countries with child labor, from passing because it adversely affects the children it is supposed to help. He does this by providing a personal anecdote, which enables the reader to relate to an experience emotionally, pointing out fallacies in opposing arguments, which serves to bolster his claim, and by providing specific examples of how this bill would adversely affect these children, which strengthens his argument. Divakarun presents himself as an educated man, possibly a senator, who has an advantageous viewpoint because he grew up in Calcutta. He is knowledgeable about the bill and the full extent of it. 
In the beginning of this passage, the author prefaces his argument by stating that he agrees with the proponents of this bill that the current situation is horrific and must be stopped. He describes the wretched conditions these children live in and the idea of forced labor. Yet he expresses his disagreement with the proposed solution. Divakarun feels that this bill will only be a catalyst for more violent ways of obtaining money. 
The author expresses his disapproval of the bill in multiple ways, specifically through the use of personal anecdotes, which allows the reader to relate to the situation emotionally. Thus he uses ethos to further his argument. He cites the example of when he lived in Calcutta as a boy. A child from an ancestral village needed to find work in order to help feed his family, so the author’s mother hired him as a servant. The working conditions were very favorable and it allowed this child to support his family. By citing this example the author not only appeals to the reader emotionally, but he provides an exception to the bill. First, by using ethos, the reader feels compassion towards this child and his pursuit to support his family. The way in which the author presents the anecdote, the reader wants the child to succeed, thus indirectly wants child labor (to an extent). Also, he uses descriptive and harsh syntax to describe the children starving to death due to the fact that they do not have a job, which reinforces the idea through ethos that we cannot ban child labor. Second, this example disproves the notion presented by the bill that all child labor is bad and should be abolished. It provides an exception to this idea, which then proves the argument wrong and points out a fallacy in the opposing argument. 
Divakarun also bolsters his argument that we should find another way to help these children other than by banning child labor by pointing out a major fallacy. He claims that if these children do not have a job they will die from starvation. Either they will live a suppressed life or a life with freedom, but no food. Because the sole purpose of the bill is to help these children, if this claim is true, then the bill serves no purpose because it defeats its original intentions and serves to only hurt these children. The author also shows another fallacy in the argument through the use of logos. The proponents of the bill claim that child labor is bad, the U.S. perpetuates the child labor issues by trading with these countries, thus stopping trade will help these children. Yet, this does not take into account the other possible repercussions or the fact that stopping trade may not even stop child labor. Logically the reader sees this extrapolation, and the argument is thus negated.
Throughout the passage the tone is persuasive and compelling, which attempts to convince the reader that we must not pass this bill. The author concludes by reiterating the preface of the passage that he feels that these children need to be helped. However this should not be done through this bill because banning child labor will not solve the problem only force these children to resort to more drastic measures to survive and obtain food.


1 comments:

toe jepox said...

Chitra Divakaruni, is how it's spelled, is female...

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