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Analysis Of Christopher Phillips The Human Cost Of Refuge

A change in perspective or approach has drastic impacts on the effectiveness of any argument. A war has been raging in Syria forcing its native people to other countries for refuge. Sweden was one of these said countries that had opened their doors wide to those who needed it. However, just opening the door and saying “Come on in! ” was not an appropriate plan. Sweden quickly realized their mistake and their unpreparedness for the mass influx of refugees and was forced to try anything necessary to deter more refugees from entering the country.

Many now use Sweden as an example of what not to do when and if presented with such a considerable refugee increase further in the future. Christopher Phillips’ article,” The human cost of sanctuary,” originally published in World Today. Oct/Nov2012, Volume. 68 Issue 8/9 Magazine, has a stronger argument for the need to improve refugee housing provided by Sweden, surpassing Gormley’s article in ethos, logos and pathos strategies.

An expert in their field’ does not immediately refer to scientists, sometimes it refers to someone who has had first-hand experience, much like the main focus of Gormley’s article, “It’s Swedish for confused” originally published in Maclean’s Volume 128 Issue 45 book. The article is solely focused on one Syrian refugee’s, Mohammad Mahsoun, experience with the living conditions that Sweden had provided. Many times throughout the article Mahsoun is quoted, on his experience with the previously discussed topic, such as others who live in the migrant center.

Seeing as this was the only source Gormley used, however, it is difficult to identify if this story has reliable evidence behind it. Without confirmation or further background, it is extremely difficult to determine if this is an accurate account of what life is like in the refugee’s current housing. With such a limited amount of credibility, Gormley’s article pales in comparison to Phillips’ use of the logos strategy. Although Phillips’ article may not directly talk with well-known experts, his statements are continually backed up with recounts of first-hand experiences from Syrian refugees themselves.

Phillips did not limit his article to a single person, with only one perspective on the crisis at hand. At one point in the article, Phillips decidedly goes further into one family’s story providing real accounts of the extent and resources that these countries have been providing. “My eardrums were blown out when a government shell exploded next to my furniture shop. Thankfully the [Jordanian] government paid for the hospital,” (para. 8). This account, among multiple others, gives substance to Phillips’ article while it also recounts real experiences that many have been forced through during this crisis.

These first-hand stories not only support the points made by Phillips, they serve to give depth and heart to his argument. Shannon Gormley expertly incorporates facts throughout the telling of a refugee’s life in the meager camps that have been scrounged up by the Swedish government. However, it is not up to par with Phillips’ increasingly more passionate article. Gormley does attempt to interest readers when she writes in her (2015) article, “At one end of town stands an apartment for northern lights chasers; on the other lies the Hotell Porjus.

Between them live 350 villagers and 150 refugees,” (para. 5). This is a glaring attempt at connecting with the reader’s emotions through the pathos persuasion strategy, but it is an attempt that falls flat. The article is lacking a key component that makes readers feel for those that are being written about. Not only does Phillips’ article show credibility in its statements with the logos strategy, it also incorporates astonishing facts in a way that only further strengthens his argument.

Immediately at the start of Phillips’ (2015) article, we are given, “ In August alone 100,000 Syrians headed for the relative safety of neighboring states, almost doubling the number seeking refuge since the unrest began to 235,000,” (para. 1). Phillips uses this fact and transitions directly into one family’s story of hardship and their reasons for leaving Syria. A father, after losing his son, feared for his two daughter’s lives and risked everything just to give them a shot at a better future.

Phillips then continues with the father’s story, “We hid in the forests for three months, preparing to cross,’ said Ahmed. ‘We managed to avoid any Syrian troops and climbed over the border at night. Then we were stopped by a Jordanian soldier and I was scared he might send us back as we had no papers. He just said ‘alf ahla’ [a thousand welcomes]. I wept,” (para. 5). This account not only appeals to the emotional argument, it also is seeded in facts of what it took to get refugees to safety. It is an excellent blend of fact and emotion that serves to persuade readers into action.

Shannon Gormley bases her whole article around the story of a single Syrian refugee to demonstrate the terrible conditions many are forced to live in. The article is introduced in the perspective of Mohammad Mahsoun and his confusion of his surroundings. The details of disorientation give readers enough to be able to picture themselves in Mahsoun’s shoes. The article continues down this path, detailing his life and what he goes through on the day to day basis; however, it lacks the connection to Gormley’s argument.

Furthermore, keeping focus on the emotional aspect of the article shrouded Gormley’s argument from view. Gormley continually pointed readers towards the hardships the subject of her article experienced, rather than the problem the article is persuading readers to help solve. Instead, readers were treated to a sense of connection with the refugee and almost no connection to the problem hardly raised in the article; the decrepit state of refugee housing conditions. Phillips on multiple occasions uses first-hand experience from refugees to give readers a unique view on the refugee crisis in Sweden.

Instead of just stopping at one account of the Syrian crisis, Phillips continued to give multiple examples, delving deeper into the issue at hand rather than only scratching the surface. First introduced is the account of a father who traversed wilderness for three months just to get his children to safety, showing hardships refugees face. Additionally, later in the article, Phillips uses another refugee’s account which paints the camps similar to prison.

They state, “ ‘It is our prison! says Mohammad, a teenager from Aleppo outside Kilis camp, ‘The guards treat us badly and life is too expensive,” (para. 13). This continues to drive forward the author’s point of what the cost of sanctuary is. The quote itself gives readers a glimpse into the life of another and the consequences the actions of many can have on a population. With the different points of view, readers have a more dynamic view of the problem at hand. Both Shannon Gormley’s and Christopher Phillips’ articles bring a sensible argument forward.

However, The support for both articles are not equal, and Phillips brought a variety of different first-hand experiences to light each highlighting his points wonderfully. It goes without saying that both of these articles are persuasive and that each writer wants to motivate the readers to take action. Gormley’s article falls just short of being inspirational or motivational, it lacks a key component that pushes readers to actually do something about the problem. When compared against each other, these two articles and their use of ethos, logos, and pathos vary to a high degree.

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