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An Effective Virus

Essay by   •  February 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  639 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,495 Views

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An Effective "Virus"

Are you addicted to shopping? According to John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas Naylor, just about everyone is. In the article, "The Addictive Virus", the three writers succeed in supporting their claim that Americans are buying too much "stuff" and for the "wrong reasons". The article uses a casual tone and easy language to create an effect that is light and somewhat humorous at times. Along with its mainly easy-to-read content, the article keeps its integrity by including quotes, statistics and some basic truths about the life of a consumer.

The author's main goal in this article is to explain how and why Americans are addicted to shopping, why it can be damaging, what causes it, and to show examples. The three authors attempt to "diagnose" what they call a severe case of the "affluenza" virus --the shopping-addiction sickness-- in contemporary America. They are both interesting and convincing in their diagnosis of the "symptoms" of the virus: people's desire for more coupled with a shrinking satisfaction for what they already own. They are convincing in their discussion because they are relying on what the average consumer already observes (for example, the fact that when something new comes out, suddenly the stuff is just not up to par). They use this strategy to make the reader feel like they can agree with the rest of what is being said, since they have already seen the evidence in their own experience.

The article is written with an essentially informal quality, which helps readers feel like they can understand what is being said. It gives many examples and elaborations to ensure that no reader is left behind. Because the article often uses, "we" or addresses the reader directly, the article achieves the effect helping the reader feel included in the exploration of habits and thoughts. In a way, it says, "we all do this, (even you!) and this is what it means". This helps to engage the audience. The average person will become more interested in what the authors have to say if they are under the impression that the information applies to them. Separating the article into sections with bold headers further enhances the readability. This way of writing breaks the larger subject into easy-to-digest premises that can make the discussion easier to understand piece by piece.

To initially catch the reader's interest, the first paragraph jokingly shares how to tell if



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