By, Sarah Everhart
Central Issue: Walmart is an unfair and selfish company that essentially steals from individuals and doesn't accommodate to the needs of their customers.
Summary: Walmart's enterprise is worth billions of dollars and supplies consumers with exceedingly low pricing. In order to do this, they violate many humanitarian rights and financially manipulate the law.
Purpose, Audience, Thesis & Mode
Analysis of Rhetoric/Clips
(0:51) The examination of peoples lives that were completely annihilated by the progression of the Wal-Mart industry taking over small towns and businesses. It was so detrimental and heartbreaking towards the lives of the people and moved the audience to feel motivated to act upon the issue.
(1:20) The working conditions in China and Bangladesh worked excessive hours (violating workers rights and conditions) for maximum 18 cents a day. Humane director witnessed these working conditions and got fired for reporting them.
The astute aphorisms in this documentary were abundant via the primary footage. The incorporation of daily lives of those affected adversely by the Wal-Mart industry were made clear by their short and powerful statements.
Contradiction was a main rhetorical device used by the document producer. Repeated clips of Wal-Mart commercials and footage extracted from speeches spoken by Lee Scott (Wal-Mart CEO) followed immediately by factual evidence refuting the aforementioned claims drastically shaped the thinking of the audience.
Irony is used superfluously throughout the documentary. Claims created by the CEO and the Wal-Mart industry were ironically displayed in almost a satirical format; the blatant refutation of the claims created in the commercials of Wal-Mart were debunked by real-life situations and stories from employees and victims.
Logos, Ethos, Pathos
Ethos: The documentary builds its credibility by showing an abundance of short news clips making claims about Wal-Mart's safety (their hefty cost of insurance, parking lot violations, crimes committed, ready assistance, etc.). Because they used real-life newscasts, individuals are able to acknowledge the sheer strength and support behind the adverse accusations about Wal-Mart.
Logos: The entire documentary appeals to logos by continuously incorporating statistical information about Wal-Mart. The typical incorporation of evidence included monetary values and accusations of stealing from their employees. The blunt factual evidence let the audience see the validity of the argument based on facts alone.
Visual Style & Tools
Visual techniques of primary footage were used increasingly throughout the entire documentary to inculcate the CEO and managers of Wal-Mart. The depressive stories told throughout the film, elevating drastically towards the end of the film, enhance the brutality of the company and working conditions. The usage of depressive cultural music by region in America and foreign countries effects the audience by automatically forcing them to empathize.
By bringing in the associates and the lawsuits brought against Wal-Mart (in 31 states) it assisted in the aid of the argument.
Strength, Weaknesses & Fallacies
1. Slippery Slope- Walmart prevents union workers by accusing them of potentially ruining businesses and they also manipulate the employee to become afraid of speaking up about their jobs and wages.
2. Appeal to popular opinion- the townspeople of Inglewood, CA speak up about the boycotting of the building of a 215,000sq ft Wal-Mart in their town. They created Public and private meetings with city members and accumulated 4,000 signatures on their petition ultimately representing their society.
Strategically incorporating facts to juxtapose with CEO claims
Use of news casting
Use of Wal-Mart commercials and refuting their claims
Interviewing of individuals in their homes and personal lives
Excessive use of music creates conflicting moods
Including overlapping interviews without much context not relating to a previous claim yet providing other factual evidence
Harsh reiteration of the same problems without an equilibrium of activist acts