Topic:Rhetorical Analysis

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Article-OnePowerful Illustration Shows Exactly What`s Wrong With How the WestTalks About Ebola by Sophie Kleeman

SophieKleeman in her article“Onepowerful illustration shows exactlywhat`swrong with how the west talks about Ebola” shares the plight of thedeadly Ebola epidemic which has killed over 3,431 people across WestAfrica, and one individual in the United States. As such, the USgovernment has deployed over 3,000 military personnel to aid controlthe epidemic. According to Sophie, the Western African media hasheightened the epidemic showing quarantined area baring children andpolice vehicles all as an effort to get the attention of the West andAmerica. The author tells of the different views on how the differentpatients are viewed, those in Africa more of an abstract statisticthat is the case of a patient in Europe or the US, as such, we do notknow a single individual story of a patient in Africa since they areall treated as a distinguishable crowd. Therefore, Sophie show caseshow the West views the rest of the world, how people only tend toworry about themselves neglecting the plight of those that do notconcern them, that is, the ‘West’. This article is a metaphoricalpsychoanalysis of the article by Sophie Kleeman, breaking down howshe puts across her point and effects of saying it the way she does.



Thearticle is covered by Sophie Kleeman who is a staff writer at Mic.Sophie covers national affairs, matters on inequality, and socialjustice related issues. Her previous work in authorship of the NewYork University graduate includes writing at Gothamist and theMSNBC.com all which has had a great impact in her work. As a personwho has previously covered social justice and matters of inequality,Sophie is able to break down the Ebola epidemic menace showinginequality in the way the matter is covered. Sophie gives the socialjustice example of people are treated by quoting a fellow journalistand cartoonist who told the Mic that with the Ebola epidemic peoplein Africa are treated more like an abstract statistic, which isdifferent with patients in US and Europe (Sophie 4). Therefore, as asocial justice and inequality writer she is able compare effectivelythe situation between the West and Africa, as such she is able todemonstrate to her audience that the West care more about themselvesand little about the rest of the world.

Theauthor is able to guide our interpretation of her article via ethos,that is, from her perspective as social justice and inequalitywriter. The author mentions the plight of over 3000 Ebola victims inAfrica whose story has only been viewed as a block against that ofthe single American Ebola victim who is given much media attentionthan the thousands in Africa (Gostin et al 2). Therefore, the authorvia her comparison of the two situations intends to bring to heraudience attention of the inequality between the West and Africa. Byconstructing this situation, the author shows the world of theideology it is not about white and black but rather a matter of onlycaring about you and neglecting the other all which reflects thecredibility of the author as a social justice and inequality writer.


Sophieuses pathetic appeal in her writing in an attempt to appeal theirsense of emotion and self-interest, this is especially so by evokingaudiences’ feelings of pity, fear, sorrow, and anger. Sophieintroduces her articles with the phrase “Ebola has killed 3, 431people…” (Sophie 1), she tactfully being applying a patheticalappeal. When she states the number of dead her audience interest iscaptured approaching the matter with keen interest, fear, and sorrow.This is followed up by an emphasis that the media has not told of theplight faced by these victims as has been the case with the singlevictim from the West. As such, the author reveals her intention as tothat of informing her audience that there is a deficit in the way thematter is handled especially in Africa.

Theauthor manages to evoke emotion of terror in the mention of the wordEbola considering she mentions the number of deaths in Africa,quarantined children and police vehicles all feared to be infectedwith deadly the Ebola. The author does this to influence her audiencein comprehending the magnitude of attention that should be given tothis epidemic. By doing this, Sophie is influences her audience tosee how the West governments and media have neglected the plight ofEbola victims in Africa and only worrying about their own people asis the case with American Ebola patient who is returned to Americaand given much attention (Gostin et al 2). In addition, the authoremploys emotions of disgust on the inequality prevailing between thepatients of Ebola in the West and those in Africa. By doing this, shehopes the plight of those in Africa suffering from Ebola can receivemore attention and taken care of as the West does to their own.


Sophieemploys logical appeal in her article to show case inequality andsocial justice that exists between the West and Africa. This isevident through the illustrations used in the article, for instance,she argues that a death in Africa or Asia should be viewed to be astragic as a death Europe or the US. In addition, her illustration oftrends discussions of Ebola on the social media are a logicaldemonstration that the West are not concerned with matters that donot affect them, especially, considering the topic attention to Ebolawent up with the news that virus had made its way to the US (Adeyanjuand Temitope 1). The rationale behind this evidence is that theWestern nations do not care about matters that do not affect themconsidering Ebola had been killing thousands in Africa and onlycaught the attention of the people when it was reported to have tothe West.

Thelogic put across is that there are diseases affecting the first worldand those affecting the third world, and the magnitude of attentiongiven to the diseases affecting the third world depend on amount ofthreat they pose to the West (Gomes, Marcelo FC, et al 2). This logicis farther reinforced by the arguments that the suffering caused byEbola is as a result migrations and as such boarders of the differentcountries should be heavily policed. The Western international mediahas not made this any easy with such media houses such Fox News andCNN suggesting migrants should be feared since they might have deadlyviruses such the Ebola Virus or Swine flu. The rationale behind thisevidence, is to illustrate the West secludes third world countriesand their problems and only alarms them when they feel threatened asis the case with Ebola epidemic.


Adeyanju,Charles T., and Temitope Oriola. &quot&quot`NOT IN CANADA`: THENON-EBOLA PANIC AND MEDIA MISREPRESENTATION OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY.&quotAfrican Journal of Criminology &amp Justice Studies4.1 (2010): 32-54.

Gomes,Marcelo FC, et al. &quotAssessing the international spreading riskassociated with the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak.&quot PLOSCurrents Outbreaks1 (2014).

Gostin,Lawrence O., Daniel Lucey, and Alexandra Phelan. &quotThe Ebolaepidemic: a global health emergency.&quot Jama312.11 (2014): 1095-1096.

Sophie,Kleeman. Onepowerful illustration shows exactly what`s wrong with how thewesttalks about Ebola. WorldMic.2014, Online athttp://www.mic.com/articles/100618/one- powerful-illustration-shows-exactly-what-s-wrong-with-media-coverage-of-ebola.

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