1. State the main idea of each of these selections. What role do details play in making the passages convincing?
In the first selection Ida M Tarbell focused on the ruthlessness that John D. Rockefeller turned his oil business into. She despised the fact that he was taking over smaller Oil Refinery companies and gaining a monopoly over the industry. Her passage was convincing because she makes the reader feel bad for the Hanna Oil Company. Ms. Tarbell proceeds in doing this by stating all of the hardships that they faced and she even states in her article that Rockefeller truly was ruthless. He purposely wanted the Hanna Oil Company to fail and then he proceeded to bring the company down by making sure that they could not ship their oil anywhere throughout the country.
In the second selection Lincoln Steffens focused on the voter fraud which was occurring in Philadelphia. Specifically he focused on the placing of police at the polls. Steffens uses specific examples to help the reader take his side. For example Steffens states that the police force voters by intimidation to vote for certain candidates. In addition, he told the story of voters who unfairly voted many times in one evening.
In the third selection Upton Sinclair focused on the terrible conditions that were faced in the meat packing industry by the workers. Throughout this selection Upton Sinclair uses graphic and disgusting examples to get the readers attention. For example he states that the workers in the meat factories are forced to rub substances on soiled meat so that it can be sold again or given away at free lunches. In addition he says that rotten hams are chopped up and mixed with other things for human consumption. And lastly he says that old sausages from Europe that are moldy and gross, and sent back to America and are chopped up and mixed with other ingredients, to once again be sold at market.
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