John Sutter's 2012 Report: Slavery in Mauritania

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John Sutter's 2012 report on slavery in Mauritania is the piece of writing that I am going to discuss in this paper. Some of the power of this piece derives from factors unrelated to the writing. The report is multimedia, so there are visuals that accompany the writing. In addition, the concepts are powerful on their own slavery is powerful in particular, but the wild, desert setting is also quite evocative. The writing itself, however, also holds a lot of power. The first thing that holds a lot of power in this story is that it is immediately personalized. The author has found somebody willing to tell her own story about slavery in Mauritania, and that immediately creates a sense of sympathy for the reader. The situation in Mauritania is also compared with the United States and the rest of the world, and this juxtaposition shows just how inhumane the situation there is, because the rest of the world has left slavery behind and the people there have not. There are other devices as well. For example, the lighter-skinned slave owners contrasted with the dark-skinned slaves serves a dual purpose in the article. The first is to create a villain and a victim; the second is to remind us of our own past, so that we can sympathize further with the victim. The juxtaposition, however, leaves us wanting a hero, and that is also an effective device. The lack of a hero is not specifically a call to action on the part of the reader. It is highly unlikely that a reader of this story

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