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Ryerson University
ECN 104
Vikraman Baskaran

“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 Levitt, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” by Michael Moore, and throughout Ayaan Hirshi Ali’s Nomad lecture. Despite being three 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. Technique #1 HUMOUR Freakonomics: using humor through storytelling and using analogies to discuss unanswered questions and curious topics which appeal to today’s generation. (Also same as Michael Moore about keeping focus) Capitalism: A Love Story: Throughout the documentary Michael Moore uses humor in many areas of the movies to draw the viewers in and keep their attention. For example, he uses basic humour like a clip of the internet of a cat flushing the toilet and a song and video clip mocking Cleveland. He also does various stunts which amuse his audience, like the citizens arrest at a big bank. The use of humour in Capitalism: A Love Story is used to draws viewers in so they don’t lose focus among all the facts and statistics. (Come up with 3 good examples where he uses humor to explain a point or topic) Ayaan Hirshi Ali Nomad Lecture: Humour and Irony about the angels on the left and right shoulder to emphasis sarcasm and “stupidity.” Her intention is to give the audience what they came to hear. This line does not make sense. Come up with 2 examples at least that explains how she uses humor and what message is she trying to give to the audience by using humor? Technique #2 IMAGERY Freakonomics: Combined with statistical and factual information to allow the audience to grasp the extent and importance of the information/topic being presented. (Name 1-2 examples – have this prepared beforehand) Capitalism: A Love Story: Flom’s protest imagery has been seen in Michael Moore’s film “Capitalism: A Love Story,” Inspired by the hip hop movement, Flom uses graffiti and appropriated imagery to create images that are a visual p
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