Eating Towards Immortality
She argues that human beings have learnt or evolved to want immortality and says that this is just one of the ways the humans cure their fear of death. She asks “what is the best diet” (Allisson, 2017). It’s quite absurd; she claims the work that humans put into dieting and staying healthy and alive to gain immortality. She speaks to all those people that are fighting with their eating choices to calm down because there is “No one true diet” (Allisson, 2017) Her final argument is that we should not succumb to the “bondage of diet” (Allisson, 2017) because we shall not live forever. She skillfully brings out these arguments by making use of pathos, ethos and logos in the beautifully written article.
Allison begins her discussion by using logos in paragraph one “Knowing a thing means you don’t need to believe in it. Whatever can be known, or proven by logic or evidence, doesn’t need to be taken on faith.” (Allisson, 2017) This powerfully sobering statement alleviates any preexisting notions that anybody is preparing to conjure up during the reading of the article. By appealing to reason and rational thinking, the reader goes on to read confident that the writer understands that sometimes there can be misconceptions about and around “Certain details of nutrition and the physiology of eating” (Allisson, 2017)she argues that these are “known and knowable” (Allisson, 2017) in other wards there is nothing entirely new and so unfathomable that we cannot understand if we only give it our best shot.
Logos can also be clearly seen in the article when Allison gives evidence in Ernest Becker’s “The Denial of Death”. This logic appeal serves to persuade the audience that there are others that concur with her line of thought- in this case attempting to become immortal through dieting. These extra arguments lead to inferences which lead to hypotheses and consequently theories like “the Terror Management Theory” (Allisson, 2017) in which we discover that human beings make various attempts to ignore death through culture, music physical structures and of course finding ways of making their food better. This “self-created system” (Allisson, 2017) presents for the reader a doubt-proof argument that can only and only be readily acceptable. These ways of creating meaning for ourselves help the writer connect with the reader knowing fully well that she has their undivided attention.
The fact that a dieting lifestyle is expensive does not go unmentioned in the text. This logical reasoning reechoes a warning to the audience that it is really difficult to maintain this lifestyle. As it is “Only those with status and resources to spare can afford the most impressive gestures of renunciation.” (Allisson, 2017) This shows her attitude to the whole business of wanting to “live forever” through dieting (Allisson, 2017)
The writer continues with the logical appeals by using scientific terms like Paul Rozin’s “neophilia” versus “neophobia” to further corroborate her argument about humans and their struggles at the food stores. She talks of the paradox of the omnivore which is “the confusion about choosing what to eat in a cluttered food market place.” (Allisson, 2017) The following illustration appeals to logic as the audience starts to actually believe that it is actually right. This kind of explanation renders the reader powerless against refuting any claims here after because they are now sure that the information given is true and therefore acceptable.
Allison compares diet and religion as both forms require that one get to a “life everlasting”. This comparison appeals to the logic of the audience because both are serious social parts therefore the comparison is helpful in establishing a connection between things that are revered for example religion. The use of religion here is neither mistake nor coincidence. Religious matters are contentious and even absolute therefore it is not easy to ignore such an appeal.
As emotion is an integral part of the human being, ethos is another tool that Allison employs to connect with her audience. This is an emotional tool that she craftily employs to speak to the hearts of the readers. She claims that “eating is just another way of dealing with the fear of death.” (Allisson, 2017) Her matter-of- fact tone here is rather appealing. She states that in no uncertain terms should anybody expect to “live forever” (Allisson, 2017) as this is an unachievable feat. This continued reassurance binds the audience with her spell. She continues to argue that human beings are the most “promiscuous omnivores” (Allisson, 2017) and still cannot decide on what they actually want coupled with their insatiable need to “shove the world into the mouth” (Allisson, 2017). This by all means creates a sort of shame, guilt or remorse in the audience as they feel rebuked for wanting to achieve immortality.
The emotion appeal is also felt strongly in the way the writer presents her thoughts. She mocks the “wellness gurus” (Allisson, 2017) and their façade of healthy “clean eating” (Allisson, 2017) she even effortlessly coins words to establish a light-hearted mood. Phrases like that “impenetrable statistician-ese” (Allisson, 2017) it should be noted that this playful tone should not be seen as an attack on the gurus and all those passionate about dieting but a call for people to wake up and realize that it is sometimes unrealistic and downright funny as we cannot all “desire for more life” (Allisson, 2017) the same way.
The writer adopts a friendlier and more understanding tone when she advises her audience to take a leap of faith as dieting can never really be perfectly achieved. Further she encourages her audience to “admit mortality” (Allisson, 2017) and the fact that there is “no one true diet” (Allisson, 2017) this cautious tone comes just in time to keep the audience alert and know that she is on their side This empathetic tone cements her persuasion. She concludes by asserting that everything about eating is “taking a leap of faith” (Allisson, 2017).
For the most part of the article, the writer keeps appealing to the emotive part of the audience through the choice of words and phrases used in the article. She asserts that sometimes we go on dieting to become “a purer, less animal kind of being” (Allisson, 2017) this raw statement goes a long way in reassuring the audience that there is absolutely nothing to prove after all we cannot “live forever”. With this in mind, the audience can let their hair down- so to say- and live life awhile not having to subject themselves to the “unpalatable” (Allisson, 2017) choices of food that are dictated to them. She refers to a diet that forbids people’s most cherished foods as “bondage” (Allisson, 2017) here by subtly rallying the audience to stay away from such clippers of freedom of choice. We can feel her advocating for the rights to eat whatever we want and not feel guilty about it.
In the article the writer is aware that her arguments are going to cause different feelings in the audience after engaging with her choice or line of thought. I believe her tone is confident as she goes through her argument. She creates a credible thus believable argument especially in the first paragraph with her philosophical “Knowing a thing means you don’t need to believe in it.” (Allisson, 2017) Here on after the audience reads with the confidence because a connection has already been set.
In conclusion, Michelle Allison’s Eating Toward Immortality handles the question about what to eat correctly, and what people should choose to eat. At the end of the day, I thoroughly believe that the author of the article has successfully persuaded her audience and leaves no room for doubt. She engages logic to appeal to the audience as far as reason is concerned this can be seen throughout the article as she believes we do not need to put ourselves in bondage, emotion is seen through the way she elicits feelings of fear, caution and contentment in the choices that people make about what to eat and what not to eat. Credibility is also seen as she engages the sources that we can only trust.
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