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The Negative Effects Of Walmart Essay

1308 words - 5 pages

“Up Against Wal-Mart” by Karen Olsson, a senior editor at Texas Monthly and who’s article appeared in Mother Jones, introduces her article through the perspective of a Wal-Mart worker. She focuses on the negatives of Wal-Mart by telling the real life struggles of different Wal-Mart employees. “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really.” by Sebastian Mallaby, a columnist for the Washington Post, focuses his article on what Wal-Mart critics say and attempts to defend Wal-Mart by comparing Wal-Mart to other retailers. Even though Karen Olsson and Sebastian Mallaby both examine the negative effects of Wal-Mart, Olsson berates Wal-Mart’s unfair treatment towards employees and the unlivable wages that the world’s largest retailer provides while Mallaby defends Wal-Mart’s actions with reasonable statistics.
Both authors talk about the negative views people have on Wal-Mart. However, each author has a very different style at approaching the topic. Karen Olsson’s article gives more of a personal aspect in her article by providing personal stories of actual Wal-Mart employees. Instead of picking out directly what is wrong with the Wal-Mart company, Olsson uses the stories to show the horrific effects that Wal-Mart has on its employees and the middle class. She even opens her article with “Jennifer McLaughlin is 22, has a baby, drives a truck…and works at Wal-Mart” (Olsson 606). By starting her article through a personal perspective, she provides an insight into the life of a Wal-Mart employee. Olsson’s article has a strictly negative outlook and shows no positive effects that Wal-Mart has to offer.
Sebastian Mallaby, however, structures his article in a completely different manner. He uses an approach of justification instead of stating his article from a positive or negative view. By doing this, he shows that Wal-Mart may seem terrible, but when comparing to other companies, there is not that big of a difference. Mallaby’s stance in the article begins with sarcasm and a very distinctive attitude. He makes comments such as “well, yeah” and “hello?” (Mallaby 620). He also provides extensive use of exclamation points and question marks that is intended to give off a mocking notion and make the Wal-Mart critics appear dim-witted. Mallaby then continues into the article, pointing out the flaws of Wal-Mart that critics enjoy harassing. However, with each example Mallaby gives, he provides a justification to the stance. For example, he agrees that Wal-Mart workers are paid dramatically less. However, “Wal-Mart’s ‘everyday low prices’ make the biggest difference to the poor” (Mallaby 621). By providing this information, he helps the reader infer that retailers need to make decisions between supplying cheaper items and providing their employees with exceptional wages. When comparing both articles, Olsson’s style of writing in her article did a better job of connecting with her audience because of the personalization in her editorial. However, Mallaby’s...

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