The Human Cost Of An Illiterate Society By Jonathan Kozol

946 Words4 Pages
Statistically, based on reports from 2003, 99% of the total population ages 15 and over can read and write (CIA Library). Thus, one can conclude illiteracy is not a crisis. However, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” by Jonathan Kozol, implies something different. Kozol emphasizes the hardship of an illiterate, and briefly explains the importance of helping an illiterate without providing much of a solution, while Kozol’s essay was ineffective overall because of the lack of factual evidence and flawed conclusions, his strategic use of tone, repetition and rhetorical questioning provided some strength to his argument. By establishing a sympathetic tone, Kozol effectively appeals our emotions, which provides slight strength to his argument. For example, Kozol explains his dream he experienced where he was in the Soviet, “Then I remember that my card was confiscated for some reason, many years before. Around this point, I wake up in a panic” (2). Kozol’s tone illustrates how helpless the illiterates are and wants to appeal to our emotion of sympathy as he draws comparison to the same troubles and emotions he experienced in his dream as illiterates experience daily. That emotional impact provided some strength to his argument because it allows us to imagine an experience, which may be unfamiliar. Kozol insinuates that illiterates match logos printed on packages to distinguish the differences amongst food. Kozol points out, “The purchaser who cannot read and does not dare
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