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Article Critique
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Castration of Rapists: Comparison of two Articles (Article Critique Sample)

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Student’s Name Professor Course Date Castration of Rapists: Comparison of two Articles The issue of castration of rapists and other sex offenders has dominated global headlines for a very long time. Arguments for and against the issue have surfaced to the public consciousness repeatedly with no end in sight. Macklin and Sanjeev continue this discourse through their respective articles Castration for Sex Offenders? It’s wrong and Child Rapists: Must be Castrated: Madras HC respectively. The styles in the two pieces of writing are markedly different with each bearing varying degree of effectiveness. Macklin’s article is more balanced and compelling and she has distanced herself from the argument. The tone is professional and the American writer has employed a wide array of rhetorical devices including ethos, pathos, and logos. Conversely, Sanjeev’s article is full of emotions and fails to articulate the pros and cons of castration for the sake of making a balanced case for the point of view. This paper will analyze and compare the two articles and demonstrate that both make compelling cases but Macklin edges in terms of making a compelling case for her position. Primarily, both articles agree that rape is a serious crime that offends the sexual rights of victims and violates the sense of humanity and decency that every human being is entitled to. Moreover, the two writers agree that presently, there is no punishment punitive enough to deter sexual offenders and ensure a sense of reprieve and justice for victims. Consequently, the society is in a constant state of debate over the issue as sexual offenders escape with less than they deserve. In India particularly, the setting of Sanjeev’s exposition, sexual offenders mock the law by walking scot free courtesy of good lawyers and lack of strict rules, all aided by a complicit society that is willing to look away from the issue rather than act. The status quo explains the rise of rape against children by more than 400% since 2008 against a conviction rate of 2.4% (Sanjeev, 6). Principally, there is consensus between the two articles that more needs to be done to curb the heinous acts of rape. However, the similarities in the two articles vastly end with the recognition that sexual offence if gross and not adequately punished, and differ sharply on tone. Macklin’s article is sober yet sharp and precise. She articulates the position that rape is the worst form of human violation without going overboard emotionally. She has established a professional and balanced tone that makes it possible for the reader to feel her pain without getting personal (Harris 56). The impersonal tone lends more credence to her argument. She desists from anger while at the same time expressing how angering sexual offences are. Moreover, she cites her evidence without overbearing it on the reader. The impersonal and professional tone makes her article compelling and easy to read even for those who fundamentally disagree with the premise of her argument. Conversely, Sanjeev’s tone is very emotional and hardly impersonal. The Indian writer has immersed himself into the subject and practically lost himself in it. The use of the personal pronoun “I” suggests that the issue at hand is personal. This technique enables him to create a strong personal relationship with the reader. However, it also distances the reader with a different view point from the premise of the argument. Understandably, regarding the tone in the articles, Macklin and Sanjeev are coming from two different backgrounds. Though writing twenty years apart, Macklin’s America was different from Sanjeev’s modern India. In the world’s biggest democracy, cases of child rape have been on an upward spiral. Public anger has repeatedly boiled over to numerous demonstrations amid the palpable feeling of a conspiracy to inaction. On the contrary, America has had a long history of prosecuting sexual offenders. The difference in their tones may therefore have basis in the situational realities of the two countries. The other conspicuous feature that differentiates the two articles is the rhetorical technique applied by the two authors. Macklin has used ethos, pathos, and logos to good effect to make a compelling case against castration. She starts by identifying the legal, ethical, and medical arguments for and against castration. She dispenses with the legal question by citing a law authority on the topic. She categorically states that castration does not fall within the constitutional requirement that disallows “cruel and unusual punishment” (Macklin, 3). This legal citation is an effective use of logos to provide a rationale for her argument(Harris 59). Contrasted with Sanjeev, who has cited numerous statements by Justice Kimbakaram, personal rather than professional opinion, Macklin edges it in terms of using logos. The differences in appeal to logic and authority are also evident elsewhere especially when the two articles delve into how retributive castration is as a punishment. Macklin cites studies to show that despite popular opinion, rape and sexual offence are not strictly caused by uncontrolled sexual urges. Factually, research clearly identifies hostility and aggression as the overriding causative factor for rape. Even if rapists are castrated, they would still use other means to channel their aggression. Conversely, Sanjeev ignores the fact that sexual offence is a mental health issue. He compares rapists to terrorists and calls for painful retribution without consideration to available empirical evidence. However, it is not lost to the reader that the two writers have made significant authority reference to religion and culture. Macklin has cited the biblical verse that calls for an “eye for an eye” to demonstrate that she understands the constant clamor for retributive justice. Similarly, Sanjeev has made a strong appeal to Indian cultural practice to argue that traditional castration is a more effective deterrent to rapists. About ethos, however, Sanjeev has been more effective especially in the way he has used rhetorical questions to create emotional connection with the audience. He has repeatedly posed questions to the reader indulging their sense of human decency and evoking anger at a glaring inaction in the face of unprecedented crime. Moreover, he has used words that are emotionally stronger than in Macklin’s article. Phrases and words such as ...
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