Freakonomics

Freakonomics Rhetorical Analysis 11th Grade

Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner claim, is a newly invented field of study that address the unexpected questions that others fail to explore. As a result, their book discusses and relates a variety of strange yet important topics, such as cheating sumo wrestlers and teachers, the Ku Klux Klan and real estate agents, and abortion and crime rates. However, although many of these relate to highly charged issues, the authors present an engaging writing style that subdues this tension and avoids offending the reader.

One of the more controversial topics discussed in the book concerns realtors and their skillful utilization of “the information asymmetry [they enjoy]” (73). Although it seems unavoidable that fingers will be pointed and real-estate agents will be put under a spotlight of shame, the authors skillfully incorporate generalizations about humans that shift the “blame”, creating a sense of impartiality. While there is emphasis placed on certain words to show impact, like the monetary loss to K due to “his own agent’s intervention”, Levitt and Dubner calm this sharper tone shortly afterwards by shrugging it off and suggesting that everyone abuses information similarly in their daily lives, and not only experts...

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