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A World Not Neatly Divided

In “A World Not Neatly Divided” by Amartya Sen, she talks about the problems of classification. Most countries or cultures cannot simply be classified as one or the other, as this or that. Countries and cultures are blends of many ideas, religions, customs, etc. She maintains that our hope for peace lies in accepting the many characteristics that we all are, not in classifying everyone into one category. Making everyone fit into one category “impoverishes the world. ” She proves her points by example. She talks about India being defined as a Hindu nation when in fact; it has huge numbers of Muslims.

She talks about the two Muslim emperors and that our viewpoint about the Muslim world would be very different depending on which emperor was chosen to portray the Muslim world. The uses these examples to point out the benefits of not classifying people, but of letting pluralities exist. The ends by using some powerful language to talk about where the “main hope of harmony lies” and ends with the strong statement, “The robbing of our plural identifies not only reduces us; it impoverishes the world. ” She uses mostly fact to prove herself, and would appeal to Logos, the logical side of our nature.

She certainly means to persuade, and while I agree with her points, she did not necessarily present a persuasive argument. She was lacking any appeal at all to Ethos. Sen’s article is not very persuasive to me. While I agree with her ideas, she did not convince me as a member of her audience. In my experience, classification of people always leads to problems and stereotypes, but we tend to do it again and again. For example, when I try to classify someone into just one classification, it always seems to fail. If I were classified by only my religion, many important parts of me would be missing.

Understanding how important the diversity is in our world is very important, but again her appeals just don’t hit the mark for me. I believe she needs an appeal to the reader’s Ethos, an example that really riles us up. Maybe if she provided an example more personally more close to home, the reader could see the dangers of classifying and then be able to apply it to a more global situation.

Works Cited

Sen, Amartya, A World Not Neatly Divided, 2001. The New York Times on the Web, Retrieved November 28, 2007

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