One such strategy that Stayer focuses on is his use of assertion. When reading this essay a reoccurring theme becomes apparent: To instill into the public that Sea World is a place where education occurs. Stayer’s use of assertion presents the reader with a claim that Sea World should fess up to the realization that it is “essentially a playground and not a classroom” (369). Stayer continuously bashes this theme in his essay saying the only reason Sea World gets away with this thought of education is because they believe that “education easily meshes with science and research and that it was desperately trying to present itself as a place where education occurs” (369). Stayer backs up his claims with firsthand experience along with persuasive opinions, which makes his essay evermore convincing.
Stayer uses many forceful statements throughout the essay that help make his essay influential. Using this technique of assertion, Stayer provides a vivid impression of self-loathing and disgust toward Sea World. For instance, Stayer mentions a point in his visit to Sea World where he was required to watch a brain-washing video on sharks before he was allowed access into the shark museum:
The film gave us a hellfire-and-damnation scolding: you thought sharks were human predators? WRONG. You thought sharks were abundant in the ocean? WRONG AGAIN. After airing its grievances with us—the ill informed public—it asserted that much damage had been inflicted on these misunderstood fishies. (367) Stayer demonstrates his repulsion toward Sea World with his assertive tone and forceful dialogue. This strategy is a key point in showing Stayer’s stance toward Sea World. Using assertion allows the reader to grasp the full effect of the words and the power that goes along with them.
Throughout the essay, Stayer’s use of harsh analogies helps expand and intensify the reader’s understanding of Sea World. At one point in the essay, Stayer compares Sea World to having the same kind of effect as a benign fascism: “The streets are immaculately clean; the worker bees wear impossibly happy smiles; the rides and trains run on time, and every day, the gloved hero appears on parade, where the hordes worship him and his licksplittles with songs and fireworks” (369). This gives readers an almost amusing, unrealistic kind of outlook on Sea World. It portrays Sea World as having a “walking through the motions” kind of approach, which employees must abide by. They look and talk with an obligatory appearance, making the reader wonder if they know what they are saying. Stayer reveals these acts of involuntary actions and this sense of enforcement, and people need to realize that the employee’s views are just masks that are hiding the truth.
Stayer uses the strategy of allusion to further enhance the importance of his argument to his readers. He makes references towards many commonly known things during the duration of the essay. In one specific part in his essay he refers to the movie Jaws, saying that Sea World “challenged the premise of Jaws” (Stayer 370). He argues that sharks…