The doctors were certain that if he did not end the experiment immediately, he would have caused irreparable damage to his body. Using the rhetorical triangle, we can illustrate how the documentary utilizes the three points of logos, ethos, and pathos in order to establish a well founded, credible, and effective argument. Without the use of the rhetorical triangle, trying to create a well founded, credible account of anything would be difficult. One could argue that if an argument lacks any part of the rhetorical triangle, the argument is incomplete, and has no credibility or effectiveness.
The rhetorical triangle provides the structure; the frame of a well thought out and well presented meaningful argument. And by doing so – using the rhetorical triangle, on can create a nearly foolproof reasoning and support for something they believe or support. This is what Spurlock has done here. The message; the appeal to ethos – the argument, the reason, data, evidence, and structure. The documentary uses simple, straightforward scientific methods to gather, collect, and analyze the data obtained from the study.
Spurlock does this in order to get the message to people that eating nothing but fast food all of the time is terribly detrimental to your body. Your health suffers, and can even affect you mentally. Throughout the movie, he provides a simple structure of the task at hand, to eat nothing but McDonald’s all day, every day, for every meal. He does this to show that in no way is eating fast food good for you and that it should absolutely be limited if not totally eliminated from your diet. Fast foods have caused – or at least helped to cause many American’s problems with obesity and iseases such as diabetes. There have been many studies to support these claims and none are unfounded assumptions. The next unit of the rhetorical triangle that the documentary has covered is that of pathos – the audience and the appeals to their emotions, beliefs, values, knowledge and experience. Every American and many of the other peoples of the world have heard of McDonald’s. They all know of food, and most have had experience with it as well. They know that it tastes good, and is fast and easy. They believe that it is perfectly harmless as well, most of them, anyhow.
What they don’t know is that it is absolutely terrible for you and causes much more harm than good. What the movie tries to do is show how the effects of eating so much fast food can harm you. The results can be absolutely horrible, and if left uncorrected could lead to permanent damage. The movie tries to use the shock and scare factor of your emotions to get their message across that this stuff is no good. Any intelligent, rational person will take a step back and think twice about what they eat and especially whether or not to eat fast food, even a little.
The effect for some people may be nothing, but others, like me will initially completely avoid fast food because of the shock that the movie gave us. Later on, however, after the shock has passed it is no big deal to go back for a burger – which can be dangerous. The biggest appeal to fast food it just that – it is fast. It is fast, easy, convenient and tasty. Quite appealing. The use of pathos on children is especially prevalent in McDonalds. They target children everywhere, on television, in schools, on signs, and on billboards. Children today cannot avoid them.
They use these advertisements almost subliminally, so that the children will crave and seek out their food. Once they get there, they are overwhelmed with flashy, fun advertising gimmicks. They have happy meals with toys to entice them with, and a playground too. Why wouldn’t a child want to go to a place like that? Food, toys, and a playground all in one, it is wonderful. I remember I used to always enjoy going there as a kid. I cannot stand McDonalds now, however, for many it has and will become a life-long bond of company and consumer. This is exactly what McDonalds wants and is what they thrive on, f course – they are a business. The last appeal to be covered is that of ethos – credibility, authority, appearance and eloquence. Here, as in other aspects there are two sides to the ethos in this documentary. On one side is Spurlock and his doctors and professionals, and on the other side, McDonalds. First off, McDonalds wants you to think that their food is nothing but tasty and filling – which it can be. They do not want you to know the harmful and unhealthy aspects of eating there. After all, they want you to come back and spend more money!
What Spurlock wants to do with his documentary is get the message out that what we are doing to ourselves by eating this food is hurting us. He wants to expose that what the fast food business is doing is wrong. He does a good job of doing this, as he is very clear about what he is doing, and how he does it. He uses credible people such as doctors, scientists, and specialists to support his claims and make sure what he tells us is accurate. He does a great job of creating a convincing argument – one that is difficult to pick apart and find fault within.
He has done a great job of providing clear, concise, convincing data. The movie Super Size Me is a great documentary and does a wonderful job of – well, documenting the research that Spurlock has done. He put himself through thirty days of hell of eating nothing but McDonald’s food in order to show what would happen if that is all you ate – nothing but McDonald’s food for an entire month. The result was shocking and horrifying at the same time. Spurlock gained over twenty pounds of body fat – while probably losing quite a lot of muscle mass and gained nearly twenty percent body fat.
After thirty days that is amazing. His health deteriorated to the point that he nearly caused permanent damage to some of his vital organs such as his liver. The results were simply shocking, and they were foolproof as well, everything was done in a way that no one can argue with them and say that well, this was not caused by eating only McDonald’s. It was all directly caused by the food. This a very well structured and convincing study and they have done a great job through the documentary of portraying the information to the public.