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Ryerson University
ACC 110
Marla Spergel

The Use of Persuasive Techniques in Forms of Literature Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect”. Every day we are confronted by persuasion. Food makers want us to buy their newest products, while movie studios want us to go see the latest blockbusters. Because persuasion is such a pervasive component of our lives, it is easy to overlook how we are influenced by outside sources. Persuasion is exemplified in “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, “Capitalism: A Love Story”, and “Dude Where’s my Country?” by Michael Moore. Despite being different forms of text, all three can be linked through the use of similar pervasive techniques such as humour and imagery to grasp and maintain the attention of their audience and convey their respective messages. 1rst Body – Freakonomics: Levitt and Dubner use humour and imagery, combined with statistical and factual information, through storytelling and analogies to discuss unanswered questions and curious topics which appeal to today’s generation. nd 2 Body – Dude, Where’s my country?: Moore uses his trademark brand of confrontational, exasperated humor and imagery skillfully as he offers a primer on how to change the worldview of one's annoying conservative blowhard brother-in-law. The humour, in entirety, was found in Chapter Two, entitled "Home of the Whopper", which purports to demonstrate how George Bush lied to get the United States involved in a war with Iraq. Each one of Bush’s lies was in the form of whoppers. In this chapter, Moore also writes an open letter to George W. Bush with the brief following: “Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag”. This is a short transcript where one can solely find the time for laughter in such dark comedy. This humour creates animosity among the audience and provides Moore with power to shift the hatred into fear, emphasizing his validity and strength. EXAMPLES OF IMAGERY These tactics are very effec
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