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With Reference to Morgan Spurlock's "supersize Me", Examine and Evaluate How Linguistic, Structural and Presentational Devices Are Used in This Polemic Documentary

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Essay Preview: With Reference to Morgan Spurlock's "supersize Me", Examine and Evaluate How Linguistic, Structural and Presentational Devices Are Used in This Polemic Documentary

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"These kids can't show that their weight problems and health woes were caused solely by their McDiets"

"Supersize Me" is a documentary by Morgan Spurlock trying to convince his audience that this statement is false. Spurlock uses many structural and presentational devices to affect us on a personal level.

One of the structural devices Spurlock uses is dividing each individual "attack" on McDonalds or otherwise into chapters. Each chapter change is represented by a piece of dramatic artwork, which puts McDonalds into a negative spotlight. One chapter is titled "The Last Supper" which is a biblical allusion. Furthermore he tells us what day he is on. This all gives a sense of organization and structure to his argument making it that much more convincing.

Spurlock has made an introduction, which is a buildup to what he wants to do. The body of his argument is punctuated by arguments, which are barely relevant to what Spurlock tries to disprove, but they gives a solid foundation to his conclusion for example there is a segment about how McDonalds tries to lure in small children from an early age with the playgrounds and the big happy clown has nothing to do with McDonalds food being unhealthy but it still convinces us that McDonalds is trying to be malicious on purpose. In his conclusion he simply restates what made him go on his one month eating binge, which is that McDonalds food can't be proven to have caused the two girls obesity and health problems shows us what happened to him when he ate only McDonalds and gives us statistics and evidence which completely proves his point. So while getting the viewer interested about McDonalds and other food corporations he drops the bomb that it is true that junk-food/fast-food can destroy your health.

There is a buildup in the introduction about where you can find McDonalds dramatically ending with a few examples of McDonalds in Hospitals even cracking a joke "at least your close when the coronary kicks in", Spurlock alerts us to the control of the big Fast-Food corporations trying to incite us to do something about it ourselves, for example he quotes a public relations representative saying that the large Food Corporations are part of the problem but the other part of the problem is us, we demand the junk-food, the food corporations supply us with junk-food and we buy the junk-food.

Morgan Spurlock uses a wealth of visual techniques taking advantage of the clichй of "a picture says a thousands words." His primary technique takes us in from the beginning; He uses the viewpoint of a participatory documentary. In a participatory documentary one is guided through events in the documentary from the viewpoint of a handheld camera. By filming on location and "live", it relates to us on a more personal level as we feel part of the documentary, we feel part of what he is going through. By interviewing other people it actually makes us want to feel part of it, he tries and make us try and answer the questions he poses and our own opinions, such as when asks us near the end what the consumer wants as we are part of the problem as well.

Morgan Spurlock makes himself appear more human by showing us mistakes that he makes, in one case he misplaces a drink and it spills and falls to the ground which adds a comedic touch. He also appear part of the general average person by using colloquial language such as "Sue the Bastards" which also shocks us that the only way to get through to this multinational corporation is to use strong language and this also makes him appear more committed to prove his point which helps convince us that this is a serious problem and something must be done about it. This actually disproves his point because it makes him appear desperate as if his argument his hard to prove and he must use all his resources.

He shocks us further by including footage of his indigestion. The build up to eating the "Double Quarterpounder with Cheese" further exaggerates it, as he is happy beforehand but ends extremely disappointed and not to forget the graphic footage of him having indigestion being played. Yet this is another point where he undermines himself because eating McDonalds food as a healthy diet does not involve eating until nauseous.

Simple Flash animations are used throughout the documentary. By not using big expensive and complication animations it enhances the view of "Man against the big bad McDonald Clown" appealing to us because he's on our level.

His inclusion of sophisticated words quoted from doctors actually undermines his argument as this sets us in a state of mind of not understanding a word of what the doctors say but when the use normal everyday language we immediately pick it out. For example one such incident after the doctors list us with a bunch of diseases he concludes what spurlock is setting out to do is "Patient is embarking on a one-month McDonald Binge". The word binge distances us from Spurlock, as the average person doesn't "binge" fast food.

The Doctors start predictions about what is going to happen. Therefore our shock all the more greater as everyone realizes that the effects are much more serious. The effects are exaggerated further as to counter the effects Spurlock must go on a "Detox" diet.

We relate the word "Detox" with harmful addictive drugs. He then proceeds to touch on the act



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