In her essay "Television: The Plug-In Drug" Marie Winn persuades modern families that watching too much television is detrimental to the family unit and children. “Television: The Plug-In Drug”, featured in Samuel Cohen’s 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology, is an excerpt from Marie Winn's book The Plug-In Drug: Television, Children, and the Family. Obviously, her book covers a wider topic, but this excerpt provides a good window to her main argument and shows just how persuasive that argument is. Through the use of logos and ethos, Winn shows that having multiple television sets in the home leads to the separation of a family, the loss of communication, family rituals, and proper child socialization. She also points out how people are oblivious to the harmful effects of their overconsumption of television. Marie Winn’s use of testimonials, study results, facts, persuasive diction, and undeniable reasoning forces the reader to see that overexposure to television can lead to the deterioration of a family and leave children ill-equipped in social situations. In the beginning of her essay Winn establishes ethos by discussing the advent and early days of television. She describes, in detail, how commentators thought the television would revolutionize the typical home and how children would reap benefits from watching it. Winn describes several early articles from the reliable The New York’s Times and other sources and focuses on how they all regarded television as favorable. By showing early views about TV, she ensures her readers that she has been familiar with the television revolution from the time it started. Winn builds upon her reader’s trust from there. Winn gains credibility and connects with her audience by carefully selecting the people that she quotes throughout the essay. She utilizes testimonials from mothers, teachers, professional therapists, and a variety of others because parental figures trust or can relate to them. Each quote affirms Winn’s point by...
Cited: Winn, Marie. “Television: The Plug-In Drug”. 50 essays: a portable anthology. Cohen, Samuel S. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2007. 457-466.
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