Analysis of the Book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser

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Just like all creations, fast-food has a basis as to why it was first created. America was changing and so were the people, many were running low on change, in a rush, or just plain lazy to cook. So, drive-ins were the perfect outlet and satisfied the needs of the new lifestyles Americans were now living. “Fast Food Nation” is a book written by Eric Schlosser in which he voices his thoughts on the corrupt fast food industry by using multiple writing techniques to support his argument.

Eric Schlosser begins his book by introducing the reader to one specific region in the United States: Colorado’s “Front Range”. He starts by talking about this first because he believes this was one of the fast growing regions and could be a representation of the many others, which introduced the fast food industry to society. Throughout the book he continues talking about the many fast food chains which are know for being symbols of the fast food culture. Eric explores the following two main topics throughout his book: How fast food corporations transformed how food was made, and how these systems shaped Americans and the American society overall. Like mentioned before, Eric Schlosser strategically uses a good amount of evidence to be able to connect with the reader.

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One technique used across his work is logos. Logos is literary device which appeals to logic and reason. Schlosser backs his claims up by using undeniable facts such as “The fast food companies purchase frozen fries for about 30 cents a pound, reheats them in oil, then sell them for about 6$ a pound”. When the author uses facts and phrases like those it appeals to the readers intellectual side. The author also credits from where he gets all the statistics, for example he’d say something like “In 1995, The American Academy of Pediatrics declared that…”. When the author credits from where he got the information it appeals to the author because it proves to them that the information is true and may be backed up. Secondly, a very important strategy that Eric Schlosser applied to his book that definitely has an impact on the way the readers feel is pathos. He uses this strategy to stimulate feelings, such as fear, to those who have children or families who have young kids. Fast Food chains are always targeting the youth with their commercials and advertisements. He expands on the fact that many kids are dying due to E. Coli outbreaks and the responsible party for this are meat packing companies. This input in the story makes the readers think about their kids or someone young that they know who may be more vulnerable to those outbreaks. As the reader continues reading through the story Schlosser appeals to pathos by using short stories which targets the readers emotions.

Lastly, the reader uses imagery while describing experiences he goes through. For example, Schlosser vividly describes a time when he went to a Mcdonald's museum and compares it to Disneyland because of how targeted everything was to children. He describes the merchandise so clearly for the reader to paint an image in their head of what it may have looked like. He describes how powerful children are, even though they may not earn or have money, they have the power to convince their parents. Another instance where he used this device was when he visited the slaughter house. On this trip, Schlosser describes the smell as “hard to forget but easy to describe, a combination of live animals, manure, and dead animals being rendered into dog food”. He uses words that have negative connotation in order to support his argument and turn the reader on his side.

To summarize Eric Schlosser’s work, he very strategically uses many literary devices to his advantage to support his argument. He uses logos, pathos, imagery, and many more devices to reinforce his claim. Each of these strategies pay special attention to the violations many of these fast-food chains do everyday, yet not many Americans are aware of them. With this book, he hopes to bring attention to many people by using startling facts and anecdotes, in my opinion he achieved exactly what he was hoping. In conclusion, fast-food came to be because of the way the American society was rapidly changing. Fast-food companies satisfied the needs and wants of the people whose lives were transitioning. However, not many realize what happens behind the scenes of a greasy and yummy burger.

“Fast Food Nation” is a book written by Eric Schlosser in which he voices his thoughts on the corrupt fast food industry by using multiple writing techniques such as: pathos, logos, and imagery. Eric Schlosser brings to attention the unjustness that happens behind fast-food companies to make us realize that mankind needs to take action and make a change.

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