Nonviolent Protest Analysis

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Protest literature has become an effective form of nonviolent protest in American culture. As proven by the analysis done by Michael True in the 1993 piece titled “The Tradition of Protest in American Literature”, protest literature is not a new concept. “The tradition of nonviolent protest can be traced back through American history to the Declaration of Independence. It has been given notable expression by numerous writers and poets in the last two centuries” (True, 1993). Protest literature uses subtlety and imagery to capture the audience’s attention, and gives an inside point of view of the event being protested. Despite its nonviolent nature, protest literature as evidenced by the text “Culture Jam” by Kalle Lasn is an effective form …show more content…
Lasn intended to inspire people to go against the commonly accepted lifestyle of mass consumerism by participating in events. The events he discusses in detail within his book are TV Turnoff Week and Buy Nothing Day. TV Turnoff week is a week in which Americans cut off their television sets to reduce the amount of consumerism they intake. A similar purpose is the intent of Buy Nothing Day which is a fight against corporate brands by inspiring the lack of purchasing of products. In regards to the reasoning behind Buy Nothing Day Lasn stated, ““In the global marketplace of the future the price of every product will tell the ecological truth” (Lasn, pg. 86). This is used to strike fear in what will happen if the readers do not take action. These two specific events among many others mentioned in “Culture Jam” prove the effectiveness of protest literature because they awaken the inner conscience of readers in an attempt to inspire them to work towards a greater …show more content…
This is an effective technique in protest literature because it creates a message and experience that others long to share and thus creating a chain reaction. This has been the case with many other forms of protest literature including Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”, Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, and “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. The most powerful example in “Culture Jam” is in the section mood disorders where Lasn describes a family camping trip with the absence of technology: “There are no signs of life. The kids’ senses have become so deadened from disuse they can’t touch, taste, smell or see that they are in a marvelous place. To them it doesn’t feel marvelous. It doesn’t feel like anything at all” (Lasn, pg. 4). Protest literature such as “Culture Jam” is effective in creating a cause worth talking about. Emotional language such as deadened and marvelous in this scenario plays upon the reader's emotions and makes them sympathize with the children creating an awareness of the side effects of American consumerism which is a toxic problem that must be

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