March 25, 2015
Word counts 300 w p.p.
Michael Moore's Idiot Nation is an article that criticizes the American education system and the general intelligence of an average American. He engages us by presenting a sarcastic type of humor, followed by rather random facts about the educational system in America. He first criticizes us Americans by stating that we intake such useless information such as sports facts. Moore then aims his cross hairs towards the political leaders of the United States. His primary target is our previous president; George W. Bush who he claims was a mediocre college student even though he was admitted into such a respected Ivy League school. He then gathers up a recollection of memories from his experiences in the school system and his struggles to break through the hegemonic teaching that was force fed into his mind. His tone then changes to more supportive as he gives more random, rather sad facts about education in America. Then, Moore concludes his writing as he gives us tips on how to criticize and challenge your school administrators. Moore really has a powerful message to pass on to us readers and fuses humor, facts, and personal stories to keep us interested in his text. Moore does a great job connecting to his readers by using irony and humor to make his point, but does not impact from the seriousness of the subject by surrounding facts about education. He does however, have an angry tone throughout his article, but he seems to use that in a way to give the reader a sense of anger towards the subject also, thus making the reader feel more connected with his text. As he talks about his personal encounters with school, he changes his tone once more as he makes us feel more sympathetic towards his subject. In Idiot Nation, Michael Moore really sparks the thinking skills of the reader by using humor and facts to argue his opinion about the educational system, but at the same time he knows how to change his tone and change the readers emotion.
What do you know about the narrator, and how do you know? The narrator is from the Mexican descent through numerous examples such as the food he is eating “we sat to eat our beans and tortillas” (1) and later his mother even tells him that he must be a “crazy Mexican” (2) when he tries to persuade his mother into acting more like the white families portrayed on television. Soto’s explanation of the climate reveals where he might be living which can be on the west coast because he says the sun makes them darker than the floor as his mother asks his little sister and him.
Soto’s writing style in this specific story is light-hearted and informal while the message is very serious as children from different backgrounds living in the states do think their family is not as good as the “white” families. This is revealed when he tries to ask his mom if his whole family can dress up formal at the dinner table as well as changing his sibling’s looks in order to see if white people will not hate them as much as his sister says, “They’ll never like us” (3.) Soto’s writes in an informal tone because he is at a young age and is writing it in first-person point of view.
A few practices that he uses is he reveals parts of the characters throughout the story, which allow it to be more of a story than a biography. By writing it as a story, a reader can be longer engaged with the narrator because not all the descriptions of a character are said all at once. Another technique is using informal language such as his sister saying “craphead” (3.) Using a young kid words allows for the reading to be less dense causing an informal style.
The title did not relate to the story the first time as I thought it would but eventually it did because I understood the message of the story a lot more clearly the second time. Looking for Work is what every family is