Critical analysis of "Dangerous Minds," by author John Pekkanen

Essay by AAReject721College, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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Critical Analysis

In the article "Dangerous Minds," author John Pekkanen uses Authority, Emotion, and Fact in a non-biased manner to discuss the topic of medical treatment of severely mentally ill individuals.

Pekkanen's authority in this piece is clearly identifiable to the reader. He is good faith reporter; he states no views at any point in the article. He remains outside; aloof if you will, of the article at all times. There are no uses of the words I, us, them, etc., indicating that he has a particular stand on the issue. He has researched for this piece very carefully, taking relevant news and surveys from the last couple of years and piecing them together in an informative manner.

The author's use of emotion in the article is evident within the first five words of the article. From these words the reader can tell that they are about to be told a story, five stories to be exact.

The first story is the murder of Kevin Shifflett. Gregory D. Murphy, Kevin's assailant, grabbed him from behind and slashed at the boy with a knife. He then hit the child's great-grandmother with the end of the knife and stabbed a fifty-one year old woman that tried to help. Kevin, who had been stabbed eighteen times, died at the scene (Pekkanen 135). The second story is of Russell Watson. Who fantasized he worked for the CIA, and was being hunted by snipers and the Navy SEALS. He was under the impression that the government was sending him messages through the fillings in his teeth. After being locked up in an institution, he blasted his way into the U.S. Capitol Building, which led to the deaths of Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson (136). The third story is of the murders of...