The Importance of Length in Lisa Miller's 'Divided We Eat' and Eric Schlosser's 'One thing to do about food'
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The Importance of Length
Upon initial glance, a plethora of similarities may be found between Eric Schlosser's "One Thing to Do About Good" and Lisa Miller's "Divided We Eat". Both works of literature are articles that detail some of the more furtive, if not outright cryptic, points about the eating habits and their ramifications of people primarily within the United States. The principle distinction between the two essays, however, can be found in their length; Schlosser's piece is relatively terse, particularly when compared to Miller's sprawling, at times maundering, essay. This difference in length proves highly significant to the rhetorical devices and the fundamental messages that each author wants the reader to come away with in his and her, respectively, piece. Schlosser's essay is just over 750 words in length, which is amazingly short when one pauses to consider the amount of information covered in it. The article attempts to disseminate "widespread public awareness" (Schlosser 2006) about the ills of the United States food system for what approximates to about the past 50 years, culminating in legislature that, at the time of writing, was attempting to "prevent states from having food safety"¦ requirements stricter than those of the federal government" (Schlosser 2006). And though the author manages one sentence with statistical data to back up his assertions regarding the nefariousness of this proposed legislation, he depends on far too many broad