Cognitive Dissonance Essay

Submitted By dswankinzz
Words: 1087
Pages: 5

Cognitive Dissonance Andre Dubus, Michael Eric Dyson, Michael Pollan, as well as other authors display a unique perspective of society. These authors expose the lies of society by revealing the wrongs that occur. These wrongs include corporate greed, violence, media bias, and distancing families. These authors are highly critical of today’s society. In their writing, they cause readers to experience cognitive dissonance. The general beliefs that most people have towards certain institutions in the US, such as the media and the food system, are distorted because they do not have all of the facts about the manner in which these systems function. In other words, these writers contradict our previous thoughts and beliefs about society. Over the last 100 years, the standard American family has changed drastically. Divorce and the splitting up of families is much more common in today’s world. This is shown in the Andre DuBus’s short story “Killings”. The entire plot of Killings is based around Mary Anne committing adultery and the violence that occurs because of this. Not only is divorce involved, but also split up families. “Next day Steve drove with his wife back to Baltimore where he managed the branch office of a bank, and Cathleen, the middle child, drove with her husband back to Syracuse” (47). This quote shows that the Fowler family lived quite a ways apart. The situation in E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake” is much different than in Killings. In Once More to the Lake, the family is intact and thriving. The entire vibe of the narrative is calm and soothing. The man in Once More to the Lake notices the changes that occurred over the time he had been away from the lake. “The only things that was wrong now, really, was the of the place, an unfamiliar nervous sound of the outboard motors”(57). This explains how motors on the boats have changed since he was a child. They had become much noisier since he had last been there. Killings and Once More to the Lake are very different from each other. Once More to the Lake is peaceful, while Killings is very violent. Both pieces of writing relate back to how society has changed over the years. Another major issue in this country is corruption. This is explained by Micheal Eric Dyson in “Frames of Reference”, Michael Pollan in “Farmer-in-Chief”, and Jim Hightower in “Wal-Wart vs. Jim Hightower”. Dyson describes how the media altered the coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The news completely blew a lot of the violence out of proportion and perceived survival acts differently based on race. In the aftermath, a young, black child was considered a thief when he stole food to survive, while the white people did the same, but were said to have “found” the food. The media has become completely corrupted because all that they care about is that people watch and read their programs instead of displaying the truth. Pollan goes into great depth about the flaws of the food system in America. Many of the food suppliers have turned to mass production of products. However, this method of production has caused heavy health concerns to Americans such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Manufacturers are producing food the cheapest way possible without paying attention to the health concerns that may result from eating this food. Hightower talks about the corporate greed of Wal-Mart.

This quote shows how low Hightower thinks of Wal-Mart. He compares them to well known criminals. Hightower has a point, based on the repeat offences that Wal-Mart commits. Wal-Mart refuses to pay their workers a decent wage even though it is one of the largest, most profitable, companies in the world. The whole Walton family has become wildly rich using this scheme. Four out of the top ten on the Forbes richest in America are there because of Wal-Mart. Clearly, Wal-Mart could afford to pay it’s employees more and still enjoy massive profits, but still they choose to pay workers minimum