Triumph, the Tribulations, Is the Aftermath Article Critique

Pages: 5 (1415 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

¶ … Triumph, the Tribulations," is the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid into leadership positions at Congress. The author, Karen Tumulty, considers whether these two leaders will be able to accomplish something of significance during the two years of their term. She briefly states the strengths of Ms. Pelosi as being "full of steel." The article however appears to be slanted in a negative manner; even someone as filled with steel as Ms. Pelosi, in the author's opinion, is not very likely to accomplish much in a Congress so filled with diverse paradigms, ways of operation, and ideologies. It is interesting to note that Ms. Pelosi receives a stronger focus than Mr. Reid, whose issues and difficulties of leadership are mentioned only briefly. The article therefore focuses on the difficulties inherent in running Congress, and the likelihood of making a significant difference during a two-year term of leadership.

Thesis

The thesis on which the argument is based revolves around the author's opinion that nothing of significance is likely to be accomplished by the new leadership for a number of reasons. The article appears to suggest that these reasons are not inherent in the persons elected for leadership as such, but rather in the whole of Congress itself.

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The article begins with a preparation for the thesis in a fairly sarcastic remark aimed at attempting leadership within Congress. This remark is then followed with the names and tasks of those elected for a two-year term of leadership. The author ends by repeating the thesis that the structure of Congress and its tasks are hardly conducive to great future accomplishments. While the article emphasizes the skills and abilities of those in leadership positions, the author blames the structure of Congress and its actions in general for past and projected future failures.

3. Affectively Loaded Writing Style

Article Critique on Triumph, the Tribulations, Is the Aftermath of Assignment

Time is known for its affectively loaded writing style. Generally, there are four ways in which this style supports and promotes the arguments put forward in the magazine. First, the style places the reader within the events themselves to promote the impression of eye-witness reporting. Secondly, factual trivia are used to impress the reader with the author's knowledge on the subject. Third, emotionally loaded "tone-words" are used around the facts to strengthen the thesis of the piece, and finally, sarcasm is used for undermining purposes.

The article under discussion uses three of the above-mentioned styles, with the exclusion of the first, placing the reader within events:

a. Factual Trivia

The issue of the next in line for Pelosi's job, for example, is padded with trivia, such as that Pelosi does not particularly like one of the candidates, and would prefer to concentrate on Alcee Hastings, from Florida. However, according to the author, Hastings was impeached and removed from federal judgeship for allegedly conspiring to take a bribe. The fact that he was acquitted is mentioned only very briefly in parentheses.

The fact of future leadership has little relevant to whether or not Pelosi would be able to perform well in her position, or indeed whether or not Congress will accomplish anything during the two ensuing years of her election. Nevertheless, the trivia mentioned above are skillfully placed to manipulate the reader's opinion regarding the competence of Congress. In this way, the author subtly inserts a substantiation of her thesis: Congress in general is corrupt, and internal bickering keeps it from doing its job properly.

b. Tone-words

Many tone-words are used to support Ms. Tumulty's opinions in the article. The word steel" to describe Nancy Pelosi is one of these. The sentence after this description emphasizes the difficulty of facing issues within congress by stating that she would need "every bit" of this steeliness to make a difference in her two years of leadership. These words are deliberately loaded with emotion to demonstrate the contrast between Pelosi's apparent abilities and the general competence of those she is intended to lead.

c. Sarcasm

The beginning of Ms. Tumulty's article is filled with sarcasm: "Herding cats. Pushing a string. Making yourself heard in a preschool where no one has had a nap." Ms. Tumulty uses these analogies to claim the general impossibility of leadership within Congress. The sarcasm is also used with the purpose… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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