Paper #3 Draft

In “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Fashion,” clothing stores, such as Gap, retail their items at a low price because they use over seas sweatshops. Clothing companies manufacture their garments in sweatshops in poor countries like India and Bangladesh. These sweatshops are basically a shack with humble infrastructure that fit a large number of workers in horrible conditions. The primary argument against sweatshops is that their workers are almost enslaved and that there is an excess of child labor. John Oliver exaggerates his examples to capture the audience’s attention and get them to agree with him that sweatshops are unacceptable.

For logos, the satiric piece mentions well-known brands such as Gap, Inc., H&M, and Walmart. John Oliver gets his point across by identifying sweatshops used by the companies that have been discovered throughout the years. Oliver gains credibility by showing legitimate news reports that unveil the cruelty and inhumanness of sweatshops.

For pathos, John Oliver appeals to everyone who is against child labor and exploitation of people. Unlike commercials about child hunger or animal abuse, this piece avoids focusing on pity. Instead, John Oliver discusses the serious topic of sweatshops (and how they enslave people) with jokes about the companies like Gap or the alleged advocates of campaigns against this wrongdoing such as Kathie Lee Gifford. The piece shows videos where child workers talk about their experiences in sweatshops and their routines. Although the audience laughs about the snide and funny comments John Oliver says, they capture the essence of his message. The goal of the satiric piece is to make the audience oppose the horrifying idea of large, successful companies exploiting workers by appealing to their sense of humor.

The best representation of ethos is John Oliver himself. Oliver is a recognized actor and comedian and his show is popular amongst Americans. On his show, Last Week Tonight, he always discusses cultural, political, or social issues. Therefore, the audience knows that what he is claiming is veridical. John Oliver is also known for being sarcastic and ironic when he portrays his message. The ironic technique is used in the piece to exaggerate the absurdness of companies that claim they had no idea of what was happening in the sweatshops.

2 thoughts on “Paper #3 Draft

  1. I think this is a really good start to your paper! I like how you focus specifically on the ethos, pathos and logos provided in the video and I think it helps build to your overall argument. I think it would also be beneficial to consider talking about the fallacies and figures discussed in Thank You for Arguing. I think you can evaluate the piece even more from what pictures he shows, to putting in direct quotes of punch lines throughout the video. I really liked your analysis of the pathos because it shows that what he is saying isn’t necessarily what he means. Even if it is making people laugh he is really highlighting the indecency of sweat shops not that he actually thinks they’re funny. I think you could do more of that in your logos analysis by talking about even what he’s saying might sound absurd he is actually rebutting what the sweatshops essentially stand for (poor working conditions, child labor, unpaid labor etc;)

  2. I think the analysis is concise and gets straight to the point by analysing all the effective techniques that John Oliver used in his talk show. I would say that you have covered the more broader aspects of the satirical talk show but you can go more in depth by simply referencing the jokes he makes by using the pictures he uses for the jokes in a sarcastic manner.

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