English / Toulmin Analysis Of &Quot;It'S The Abc Oscars: Anything But Crash&Quot;

Toulmin Analysis Of &Quot;It'S The Abc Oscars: Anything But Crash&Quot;

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Autor:  anton  14 December 2010
Tags:  Toulmin,  Analysis,  Oscars,  Anything
Words: 685   |   Pages: 3
Views: 444

Toulmin Analysis of “It’s the ABC Oscars: anything but Crash”

The article “It’s the ABC Oscars: anything but Crash” can be found on the MSN News website. It is written by Erik Lundegaard, a movie critic whose opinion can be found regularly on MSNBC, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and in the Seattle Times (“Erik”). The article includes the basic elements of the Toulmin Model and can be analyzed according to the model.

In the article, Lundegaard claims that the motion picture Crash should not be included on the ballot for best picture at the 2006 Academy Awards. The author’s claim is a claim of value, because it asserts his evaluation of the picture.

Lundegaard supports his claim by stating his opinion that the movie gives an unrealistic view of a serious subject: the combination of race and class. He says the movie is not practical because the characters in the movie literally verbalize their racially-charged thoughts. He offers several examples of this from the movie. An Asian woman claims that Mexicans do not know how to drive. A Mexican makes fun of the way the Asian woman speaks. A white gun store owner calls a Persian man “Osama” and blames him for terrorist attacks. Lundegaard states that many people probably have thoughts similar to the statements in the movie, but rarely ever make the thoughts known to others. He also says the movie has another problem: “it assumes that by showing us the two extremes of a single character it’s giving us a full character.” He demonstrates this through a few examples from the movie including scenes when Matt Dillon’s character humiliates an African-American woman and later risks his life to save hers. The author states that seeing two extreme sides of a character does not give a good view of the full character.

Lundegaard warrants his claim with the principle that a movie with these problems should not be nominated for an Academy Award. The warrant is based on ethos because the author of the article is a fairly well-known film critic, so he has credibility and authority on the subject (Gass). The warrant is backed by an unstated and accepted generalization: in order for a film about an important issue to be nominated for the award, the film is required to portray a truthful account of the issue.

The qualifier is in the beginning of the article, where Lundegaard offers several other movies that could be considered candidates for the award. Among the movies suggested are The Squid and the Whale, The Constant Gardener, King Kong, and Wedding Crashers. He feels so strongly that Crash should not be nominated for an Academy Award that he goes as far as cynically suggesting to leave the fifth spot blank. He adds, “Better to say nothing and be thought a fool.”

The author provides little room for rebuttal to his argument. He states that the subject of the film is great, but quickly counters by stating that it presents the subject untruthfully. Also, at the end of the article, he states that the movie raises some important issues but does not present any assistance in solving them.

“It’s the ABC Oscars: anything but Crash” employs the basic elements of the Toulmin Model. These elements are necessary in a successful argumentative article. The overall analysis of this article using the Toulman Model illustrates why the author is effective in explaining his position.

Works Cited

“Erik Lundegaard.” Rotten Tomatoes 2006. 28 Feb 2006

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Gass, Robert, Ph.D. “Toulmin Model of Argument.” 28 Feb 2006

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Lundegaard, Erik. “It’s the ABC Oscars: anything but Crash.” 28 Feb 2006. 28 Feb 2006

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