Michael Moore and John Gatto both argue the same basic principle, something is wrong with schools, but have different methods of going about it. Gatto is primarily a comic writer, while Moore is a loud, in-your-face writer, each with his own organization, tone, and methodology.
Moore believes the problem with schools is the manner in which they are run. In this, he varies from Gatto as Gatto believes schools are in essence a conspiracy. They both argue that schools are manipulating students into becoming better consumers. While they both give examples of corporate marketing in schools to support their points, Gatto believes mindless consumerism is the primary purpose of school which is achieved through a hierarchical cycle of boredom and marketing. Moore argues that it is the corporate world taking advantage of underfunding because political leaders who blame teachers for problems with education, do not appropriate the required funds to schools..
Their tool sets also vary. Moore uses a very critical, judging tone. He does this through occasional impudence toward those he criticizes. Gatto is also very critical, although he primarily criticizes through his sarcasm and humor. Both methods are able to keep the reader interested although Gatto’s method is effective in appealing to the reader’s sense of humor. This is because while Moore’s humor is very critical and dark at times to make the reader think more deeply, Gatto’s humor is lighthearted to give the reader a greater sense of entertainment. Each of their methods has a downside, however. Moore’s method can make him sound unprofessional while Gattos can make him sound childish. This can cause each of their methods downsides to make each reader respectively seem less credible.
Another tool each uses is that of facts and figures. While Gatto relies heavily on historical facts, Moore predominantly uses statistics. Both methods are efficient although in different ways. Gatto’s method works because it forces the reader to use his common sense thus increasing their focus on his message, but it has a downside in that he does not always relate how history can apply to the present when there have been many changes in society from the 19th century to the present. Moore’s method is efficient in that it is straightforward and relevant in the present.
Moore and Gatto also both use exemplification but in different ways. They both give examples from their lives. Moore’s examples are used to mock school administrations, while Gatto’s examples are meant to give lessons or ideas of how education should be managed. Both uses of examples are effective for the respective writers, although, while Moore’s is most effective with audiences who share his bias, Gatto’s is most effective in bringing others into sharing his bias.
Moore organizes his arguments so that one flows into the next. He does this purposefully using the manner of an easily distracted school teacher. Every argument he uses leads into the next...