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Tom Standage's "our Thirst for Bottled Water"

Essay by   •  April 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  786 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,183 Views

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Tom Standage's "Our Thirst For Bottled Water" is an essay that depicts a contrast between people who continue to buy clean packaged water and those who lack access to safe drinking water. In order to fully capture the readers' attention, the essay begins with the question: Can you tell the difference between bottled water and tap water? Standage answers this question and states the logic on why people continue to purchase water bottles. Appealing to logos and pathos, Standage points out the damages caused by the contaminated water. Standage finishes his essay with a reasonable and effective solution base on his background: use tap water and donate the money that would be spent on bottled water to charity. Michael Pritchard's Water Filter Turns Filthy Water Drinkable is a video of a lecture Pritchard gives about his creation on the Lifesaver bottle. This bottle was invented out of his angry response to the event of people lacking drinkable water for several days after disasters. Pritchard appeals to pathos to elicit sorrow and mortification from the audience by showing them the severity of the dirty water. Pritchard demonstrates the effectiveness of the Lifesaver bottle by filling the bottle with extremely filthy water, and pumping out the filtered clean water which he then drinks. By performing the Lifesaver bottle's reliability on stage, Pritchard easily conveys that the Lifesaver bottle can truthfully be the solution for people who don't have clean water. Both Standage and Pritchard use the appeals of logos and pathos in different way to address their point on the issues of water. Standage describes that the reason people continue to purchase water bottles, even though they already have tap water, is due to the illusion of greater purity. With the combination of appeal to logos and pathos, he then states that more than 1 billion people around the world lack reliable access to safe drinking water, while the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates waterborne diseases cause 80% of illness and about 5 million deaths. I am shock by the high statistics and large numbers Standage has presented to me. On the other hand, Pritchard begins his presentation with a picture and a comment that astonish the audience: A picture with a young African boy filling up a container with brown, muddy water. I personally feel tormented and sad by the image of a child collecting dirty water to drink. At the same time, Pritchard states if the water source we consume is not safe, then half of the audience will already be suffering from diarrhea. As he combines the two together, Pritchard implicitly puts an image into my mind of drinking murky water and suffering from diarrhea. After looking at the situation from a personal perspective, I feel scared as I realize that this issue involves my own health. Pritchard uses the appeal to fear to alert that my health may be threatened if I were living in that condition; I begin to panic

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