Easters Island has vanished, gone and is never coming back. Despite this fate planet Earth is still a blank slate. “Who is to say we won’t succumb the same fate? ” -Jared Diamond. Diamond comes across his main point in his writing of “Easter’s End”. He strives to get the point across of the end of civilization for the Eastern Islanders in comparison to here on planet earth in several dramatic ways. He makes convincing arguments to his audience using his tone and the diction he uses.
He argues that we, being people of planet earth, have succumbed “adaptive failure” as one. Diamonds audience (being middle class, aimed toward younger generations) is drawn into his deep analogies and sense of urgency. In a magazine article it’s all about who you’re writing to and how it’s perceived and I think that Diamond achieved this in his writing. It seems that Diamond wanted to write something that general educated middle class people would understand but also with people who were in the younger generations.
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Due to the fact that Diamond was trying to set an example of urgency and edging that we must do something now before the younger children become like the Islanders with no place to turn to due to lack of awareness. He stressed to inform others but because it was put in a magazine article it also have a sort of entertainment for people who may seem to be interested in the planet or interested in saving it as well. However he did make some very persuading arguments that led me to believe that he wanted to persuade you to join the bandwagon. Get with this now or this could happen to us!
Somewhat creating a false dilemma or making negative assumptions about what the islanders did that we shouldn’t do or else! One thing that definitely stuck out to me was his detailed yet interesting diction. “Oral traditions of the islanders are rife with cannibalism; the most inflammatory taunt that could be snared at enemy was the flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth with no wood available to cook these new goodies, the islanders resorted to sugarcane scraps, grass, and sedges to fuel their fires”. For me this quote painted a nasty yet real picture in my head.
Imagining that all you know is too eat other people of your clan or family or your enemy as a threat was definitely a “woe this is a messed up island” moment. The fact that he applied the two main sources of life together amazes me how well Diamond uses his sense of what he knows humans will tick at. Such as the main parts of the average life: family, shelter, food. Something that he knows everyone can relate to and have some sort of pity and horror that it could happen to us gives me a good image of what it could look like for us here on earth. By now the meaning of Easter island should be chillingly obvious. Easter Island is Earth writ small” this quote made the rest of the writing so much clearer to me. His word choice is what really stuck with me though, because of the way it was said it was more deep and sincere. In a way he uses a sense of pathos because he wants your feel something rather than just reading it. The word “chillingly” actually made me reread the sentence a few times because I wanted to make sure that I got the whole meaning of the sentence.
I felt as if he wanted to say you should be scared or have anxiety about it without actually saying you should be scared. A couple times I felt as if he wanted to hide the emotions of how you should be feeling in a single word or phrase. For another example in the phrase “Our risk is of winding down, slowly, in a whimper. ” He expressed it in way that made me feel as if I should be reading it slowly and feeling somewhat sad or glum. The way Diamond interpreted the islander people was very high status. He stated them to be smart, organized and resourceful.
Such as when they didn’t have certain items they would use other items, hence why they turned to go to cannibalism when no crops were being grown or no animals left on the island. The people of Easters Island were no fools at all in fact they have raised some skeptical questions asking how they could reach such resources when they were limited to what they had. Organization is key definitely for the people of Easters island because they were in the middle of nowhere so, where do you find the massive stones used to make statues for high status islanders?
This was something that Diamond told the audience in the writing is that the islanders were under- estimated because they had no real back round history to go off of like the other eras of failed civilizations. Diamond tried to send a lot of messages to his readers. I think he wanted to make sure that we were aware that even the most prosperous and rich cultures can fail so why couldn’t we? How do we grow as a society and people but not overpower out ability to stay self-sufficient?
Why not fix it now instead of in 100 years when your kids’ kids become in danger and wondering why their elders didn’t fix it earlier. His message is strong and he wants us to move on from others mistakes that our past eras couldn’t do. We can no long rely on prayer and others to do something because than we will become just another era of failure. “They found themselves in pristine paradise. What happened to it? Why didn’t they look around and realize what they were doing and stop it before it was too late? What were they thinking before they cut down the last palm tree? This statement reminded that they had something great and beautiful but didn’t know what they were actually doing before it was too late. For being written in a magazine article he has somewhat of an idea that he can relate to the audience in a lot of ways, Such as relating them to the houses in Hollywood. He also strives to appeal to our sensory a lot using words that make us feel different emotions. A good example of this is using his son in the writing, because a typical person would want to help because kids are helpless and can’t do it themselves.
Diamond leaves a lot of pity out the writing like he never once says ‘well feel bad for us or poor little us”. This also makes him a good rhetoric writer because he never puts his own feelings just his thoughts. Something that I started to think about was what was different about this era that they weren’t being threatened by something that wasn’t alive. The more doomed they were for not fulfilling the basic needs to being a living human being, the harder it was to keep everything in good order. It was the threat with no voice and something they didn’t see coming.
Unlike the past failed civilizations where they were threatened by real live people or natural disaster it was something they actually caused on themselves. This mostly made sense when Diamond stated “The Easter islanders had no books and no histories of other doomed societies. Unlike the Easters islanders we have histories of the past—information that can save us. ” We have 5 things that Diamond claims we either completely fail as a discourse community or we adapt to and live on: environment, climate change, friendly relations, hostile relations and culture& politics.
In Diamonds eyes the Islanders didn’t meet the standards therefore it was the end of their own civil lives. Diamond takes a big stand, using ways of emotion to fulfill the feeling of urgency and deep thoughts. He brings a great deal of questions in our past as well as Easter Island’s. Convincing arguments are made by Jared with interesting diction, pathos and sending a message to his readers to want to think critically when cutting down that tree or taking more of something than you need because our lives, as we know it could disappear because of a silent threat.