An Analysis Of Elizabeth Kolbert 's ' Spoiled Rotten ' Essay

An Analysis Of Elizabeth Kolbert 's ' Spoiled Rotten ' Essay

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Staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999, Elizabeth Kolbert, in her essay, “Spoiled Rotten”, distinguishes the differences between child behaviors of children of other cultures to children of America’s culture. She establishes a forthright tone in an attempt to educate and instruct the readers about how American children are more spoiled than those of other countries. Kolbert’s purpose is to further develop her idea, by using ethos, pathos, and logos, that modern and societal children have become spoiled through their adopted habits such as when their parents: raise them to be dependent rather than independent, strain from using restrictions, and worry more about their child having a strong college education than being a well-rounded, skillful child.
The author establishes her credibility almost immediately and continues to establish it as the essay continues. Right away the author is given some credentials, being noted that, “[she] has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999 [as previously stated, and she has won] the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” (Kolbert 1). In addition to this, she describes an experience that she encountered with Carolina Izquierdo, who is an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Kolbert begins her essay by juxtaposing the Matsigenka with contemporary L.A. families. The Matsigenka are a tribe her and Izquierdo encountered face to face with and that she additionally goes on to explains only consists of roughly about twelve thousand people all located in the Peruvian Amazon. The results of what she found were that a six year old girl from the tribe, Yanira, was extravagantly self-sufficient and independent. Kolbert ...


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...dily throughout the whole piece. She stands her ground and sticks to her argument even if it is a subject many people do not want to admit to. Sometimes people have to hear what they do not wish to and that is exactly what Kolbert did in her essay. American children are spoiled in comparison to much, if not all, the rest of the world and Kolbert exemplifies this with the tone she uses.
Children are difficult to raise, there is no doubt about that, but the parents are partially to be blamed for this. The way the children are raised and the way they are handled ultimately conclude in how they turn out. Perhaps Kolbert is not using her essay to criticize the parents who struggle, but merely showing them the comparison in hopes for change because the change suggested is ideal. American children need to learn to be thankful and independent rather than nasty and spoiled.

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