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Fast Food Nation

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"Fast Food Nation:" A Rhetorical Analysis

In Eric Schlosser's book, "Fast Food Nation", the author presents an in depth analysis of the fast food industry, from its origin of Southern California to its ubiquitous manifestation of today's culture. Schlosser argues that the fast food industry has used its political influence as a way of circumventing issues of health and working conditions, while greatly increasing profits and expansion. The intent of Schlosser's book is to impact the reader to stop and consider the consequences of eating at a McDonald's or similar chain. He expands upon his ideas in a series of broad and diverse ways such as criticizing schools that received payment for Coke machines and advertisements (53). He goes on to argue in chapter 4, "Success," that the expansion of the fast food industry accelerated franchising, which can be beneficial for both the company that wishes to expand and for the business oriented person who doesn't want to risk it alone. McDonald's has become a real estate giant by leasing property to franchisees which, Schlosser argues, keeps franchisees fully under the control of the corporation because the lease can be terminated. He points out what was once a step to becoming a millionaire is now at a 38.1% failure rate (98). Schlosser's view is successfully defended by his careful

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and precise analysis of the fast food industry, effective writing dialect, and his ability intertwine statistics with moral and sympathetic appeal.

Schlosser's book is written for the general population, to which he is conveying a message. One effective writing device that Schlosser uses in this chapter is appealing to the readers' emotions effectively by creating a background for the individuals. The reader becomes sympathetic to the fast food workers as one learns of their daily lives. Schlosser's book is written for the general population which he is trying to convey his message to. He introduces the chapter with Matthew Kabong. The reader continues to learn about Kabong's daily work routine as a Little Caesars delivery guy. "He earns the minimum wage... and on a good night he makes about fifty bucks" (91). He is a poverty-stricken optimist that wants to own a Radio Shack in the future as Schlosser points out. I can not help but to feel sympathetic to this young man's current situation. Schlosser intentionally build's the character of Kabong by using bits of humor such as Kabong referring to his car as his office (92). This appeals to a broad audience who have held such jobs in the past and wish for better things for this individual. Schlosser builds a connection with the reader, instead of introducing the chapter with statistics and franchising information, he builds up the chapter and then introduces his points, which is a very important tool.

Shortly after in the chapter, Schlosser introduces Dave Feamster, an ex-NHL player who became a Little Caesar's franchisee. We learn that a bone fracture at the base of his spine halted his career in the NHL. He vanished from the NHL without so much as

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a good-bye handshake (93). Feamster contacts an old friend and relative of Mike Hitch, company founder of Little Caesars. He buys a Little Caesars franchise with what little

money he had left. We learn that his devotion to Little Caesars led him to a good income and a total of five Little Caesars restaurants. Again, Schlosser builds up the individual's character. In this case, Dave Feamster was shown as a NHL star, who was unfairly dropped and soon had nothing. He rose from nothing and made a new career. I sympathize with Feamster as he undergoes hardship and it builds a certain connection.

Schlosser's uses this connection to his advantage and is able to persuade me to listen more attentively to Schlosser's message. He is able to capture the reader's attention and then focus their attention subconsciously to his other points on franchising.

Another effective writing tool is Schlosser's in-depth information surrounding franchising and his powerful argument supported with statistics and reports. Towards the middle of the chapter after Schlosser captures our attention, we learn "three-quarters of the American companies that started selling franchises in 1983 had gone out of business by 1993." He backs up this claim with William Bates, a professor of economics at Wayne State University, "the franchise route to self-employment is associated with higher business failure rates and lower profits than independent business ownership" (98). I am persuaded to believe through his intellectual correspondents that franchising may not be the way to go and not a sure-fire way towards money. He later points out a study conducted by the Heritage Foundation that found almost six hundred new fast food chains were launched in 1996 due to



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