The Roots of War

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Barbara Ehrenreich, an essayist and investigative journalist, wrote “The Roots of War” in hopes of showing the act of war as a kind of living parasite on human societies. Through several modes of development and logical and emotional appeals, Ehrenreich states her main claim while forming an effective and persuasive essay by using credible resources to support her claims.

Ehrenreich’s logical reasoning is based on war throughout recorded history. She states that one can “find a predilection for warfare among hunter-gatherers, hunting and farming peoples, industrial and even post industrial societies, democracies, and dictatorships.” This appeal to logic forms the assertion that war does not plague a single type or feature of society nor does it discriminate against certain peoples. When offering stats in support of her argument about the cost of war in the current time, Ehrenreich is viewed as knowledgeable and informed in her argument. By presenting a strong, clear claim and providing evidential support, Ehrenreich’s main claim appears more convincing to her audience.

To cause her audience to respond emotionally and to identify with her point of view, Ehrenreich explains the tendency war has to spread like an infectious disease. By using a word like “epidemicity,” Ehrenreich portrays war as a virus which plays off the imagination and fears of her audience. In paragraph 5, Ehrenreich describes the relation between war and disease through the cause and effect mode which creates a “real” circumstance to arouse frightened emotions in her readers. Ehrenreich uses figurative language for her predation metaphor in paragraph 8 when she compares the relationship between humans and war to that of a beast and its prey.

Ehrenreich plans for her credentials as well as her argument’s believability to be questioned. She counters by listing several valid sources including a lieutenant colonel to support her claim that it is not easy to get men to fight in wars. This...
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