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Public Enemy Number One


            In "Public Enemy Number One," Mike Males analyzes both media coverage and documented cocial studies to argue that violence in the homes causes more of an affect and impact than violence shown on television that children see and hear. Throughout Males' essay he uses cause/effect, argumentation, and emotional appeal with occasional fallacies to prove his points.
             Using cause and effect, Males suggest that the type of life most inmates had growing up was an abusive home. In fact, "Eighty-grou percent of prison inmates were abused as children" (461). Being abused as a child has led these prisoners' lives down the same path indicating that around a half-million offenders were being abused growing up. This reasoning is a post hoc ergo procter hoc fallacy used by Males because he tells how the result came to be. The inmates were being abused as children, therfore they started abusing others around them.
             IN addition to cause and effect, Males uses argumentation by noting that violence on television is a symptom rather than a cause of escalating violence in AMerican society. Males quotes columnist Carl T. Rowan, "Politicians won't, or can't deal with the real-life social problems that promote violence in AMerica so they try to make TV programs and movies as scapegoats" (464 to support his claim. Ad populum would best fit the way the politicians assume that their claim can be adequately defended without further support when it only is covering up facts on violence.
             Throughout the essay, Males uses emotional appeal and how abusive relationships affect Americans each day. WHen he gives reports to show how much abusive violence goes on in society, on can't help but feel sorry for both the victim and the offender, appealing to the reader's emotions, and not just for the victims. The offenders also receive the reader's pity because there is a good possibility that they were repeating the violence that happened to them as a child.


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