Brazil: A Look at it's Social Issues

A class project in Mr. Smith's English 10 at Cardinal Newman HS

Project Overview

Project Proposal

Name: Hunter Brooks

Period: 1

Nation of your choice: Brazil

Rationale (or explanation why you are curious about this country): My friend has relatives from Brazil and I am very interested in learning more about their culture.  He has told me about some of the things there such as: the food, beaches, and the people.  The beaches are supposed to be beautiful, filled with beautiful people.  The food there is different from what we traditionally have here in America.  I feel like I do not know enough about this beautiful country and I want to know more.

Summary (of what you already know about the history, geography, culture, and social issues):  I know that the food in Brazil is very good.  I have been told that there are many types of pizzas.  The beaches are a great place to spend time and relax.  The sport that Brazil is known for is soccer.  They typically are very competitive and do really well in the World Cup.  Basketball and volleyball are two other sports that are also popular.  I recently read an article that said that Brazil is running out of water and they are working to conserve it.

Prediction (about what you think you will discover or hope to discover during your research):  I predict that I will find out more useful information and greater understand the culture.  I hope to deepen my understanding because I would like to travel there in the future and experience what it has to offer me.  I predict that I will discover many positive things in my research, but also some negatives too.  I have heard about the favelas, which are houses that are for the less fortunate people.  They are houses that are stacked on top of each other that also house the drug lords.  There is controversy because the police have killed people that were suspected to have been drug lords, but were in reality just normal people.

Discussion (of the importance of this nation in the global community, i.e., the “so what?”): Brazil affects the world on a global scale in many ways.  Its main exports are iron ore, soybeans, crude oil, sugar, and poultry.  These help most countries, like America, with all of these.  I personally eat poultry products and sugar often and am thankful for being able to have access to these resources.  The iron ore is also used in tools and many other ways.  Brazil deserves a lot of respect for providing all of these rich resources for the rest of the world.

New York Times Topics: Brazil

#1 They Say, I Say

Student Name: Hunter Brooks

Period: 1

Title of article (in quotation marks): "'Bullet Caucus' in Brazil Signals Political Shift to the Right"

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): New York Times

Essay Author: Simon Romero

Date of Publication: 14 January 2015

Essay main idea/thesis statement: The author states, "In Congress, about 21 legislators now form what is called the bancada da bala, a “bullet caucus” seeking to bolster gun ownership and repeal laws keeping teenagers from being tried and sentenced as adults, among other conservative measures."

Quote: Simon, himself states, "Brazil's police kill an estimated 2,000 people a year, but it remains rare for officers to be convicted of wrongdoing in such cases."  Simon believes that this is too high of a number, that police are getting away with senseless killings

Comment: I agree that 2,000 is an incredibly high number of people that the police kill every year because I have researched this statistic in regards to the U.S.  The F.B.I. says that U.S. police kill on average about 400 people per year.  400, in my opinion, is a high number of casualties per year by law enforcement.  Many of the Brazil law enforcement's casualties are gang related.  The cops try to just kill the gangsters, but they often also mistake innocent civilians for gang members and kill them.  The police need to be more careful so that they are positive of who the people are before putting to death.  This is a serious issue in Brazil and a change needs to be put in action.

#2 They Say, I Say

Student Name: Hunter Brooks

Period: 1

Title of article (in quotation marks): "Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil's Largest City"

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): New York Times

Essay Author: Simon Romero

Date of Publication: 17 February 2015

Essay main idea/thesis statement: When talking about one of the leading struggles, the author says, "In Brazil's largest and wealthiest city, a more dystopian situation is unfolding: The taps are starting to run dry."

Quote: Simon Romero believes that "The majority doesn't get indignant with anything," he said, "as if we're comfortably strolling toward our own demise."


Comment: I agree that we waste way too much water, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe that there is no harm in wasting water.  This quote is totally correct in the sense that as humans, we are so comfortable with wasting water.  Humans are very wasteful and we tend to not care because we still have water at hand today.  We don't think about the consequences of our actions and what the future will entail.  We need to put water rationing in place in the United States to keep it where it is now.  We do not need the water to get in the U.S. where it is in Brazil.  We need to learn from Brazil's troubles, so that we won't have any of our own in the future.

#3 The Big 5

Title of article (in quotation marks): "Suicides Spread Through a Brazilian Tribe"

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): New York Times

Essay Author: Charles Lyons

Date of Publication: 2 January 2015

1. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE (Focus on who. Who wrote the text? Who was it written for? Why did the writer write it?)  The author wrote this text in response to the amount of suicides that take place in a tribe in Brazil.  It was written for the audience that is interested and awakened by this cultural problem.  He wrote this to inform the audience of the dilemma and work to solve the problem.

2. CONTENT AND THEME (Focus on the what. What is the text about? What is the author’s message?)  The text is about a troubled tribe in Brazil filled with kids that feel they have nothing to live for because farmers have taken their land, so they have no way of making money.  These kids commit suicide in response to this trouble that they face.  Where there is one tribe riddled with suicides, there most likely are more that have not yet been discovered.  This problem of adolescent suicides is a global issue.  The author's message is that we need to help the members of the tribe get their land back.

3. TONE AND MOOD (Focus on the how. What is the writer’s tone? How does the text make the reader feel? What kind of diction is used to create a certain tone/mood?)  The author's tone is a depressed, sad tone.  It makes the reader feel sad and want to help the tribe.  The author uses words and facts that surprise the reader and make them wonder how these things can really be happening in the world.  The reader feels sympathetic for the tribe.

4. STYLISTIC DEVICES (What stylistic devices does the writer use? To what effect? Common devices: irony, sarcasm, rhetorical questions, figurative speech, analogy, metaphor, etc.)  The author uses rhetorical questions to make the reader wonder the answer.  This makes the reader read closer in search of self assurance.  This makes the meaning of the text that much deeper.  The reader might read the text multiple times to try to further their understanding in the text.

5. STRUCTURE (What kind of text is it? What structural conventions are used?)  The text was persuasive, trying to make the reader agree with the writer that there is a problem.  It is also very informative because it includes many facts and it states the problems of a Brazilian tribe.  The text layout includes many short and choppy paragraphs.  This includes a clear thesis statement and leaves the reader with a good message at the end.

#4 The Big 5

Title of article (in quotation marks): "Drug Trade Transforms and Amazon Outpost"

Title of newspaper (underlined or italicized): New York Times

Essay Author: Simon Romero

Date of Publication: 10 December 2014

1. AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE (Focus on who. Who wrote the text? Who was it written for? Why did the writer write it?) The author is a person who understands the extent of the terrible, gruesome crimes that take place in Manaus, Brazil.  This article was written for the people that have lost their lives and the people that have to live with the increasing drug related trouble that people have to live with in Manaus.  He also wrote this to make a change about this problem at hand in Brazil.

2. CONTENT AND THEME (Focus on the what. What is the text about? What is the author’s message?)  The article is informing the reader about how the drug trade along the Amazon River in the city of Manaus is ruining the city.  Mr. Hatoum, a person interviewed in this article, said, "Manaus was systematically destroyed, replaced with a city with slums so deadly that I fear to even set foot in them."  The drug trade in Manaus is also responsible for an increasing homicide rate.  The author's message is that Manaus is in major trouble because of the malicious activity of the drug dealers.  The author thinks that there needs to be a stop to this if it isn't too late.  The police need to get more involved than they currently are to put a stop.

3. TONE AND MOOD (Focus on the how. What is the writer’s tone? How does the text make the reader feel? What kind of diction is used to create a certain tone/mood?)  The writer's tone is sad about the harsh realities of life.  The text makes the reader feel sad that such terrible things are going on in this area of Brazil.  He uses brutally real facts that make the reader feel sympathy for the people that have to be around the criminal behavior that takes place there.  It also makes the reader question how people could be so evil.  The author uses words to describe harsh facts that make the reader wonder how there could be a city in the Brazil that contains this much hard ship.

4. STYLISTIC DEVICES (What stylistic devices does the writer use? To what effect? Common devices: irony, sarcasm, rhetorical questions, figurative speech, analogy, metaphor, etc.)  The device that the author used in the article is imagery.  The author  uses this device to give the reader images of the troubles along the Amazon with the references to the drug trade by certain gangs.  The crimes that they commit typically lead to the deaths of others.  For this reason, police should do more to intervene with the gangs' progress to save the citizens of Manaus.

5. STRUCTURE (What kind of text is it? What structural conventions are used?)  The text was informative about the brutal drug trade that is going on today in full force.  The article includes short and medium-lengthed paragraphs that all start new fresh ideas about the topic.  The author does a great job at keeping the reader interested with facts that are hard to comprehend.  These facts support the idea that the world can be a cruel  place if the wrong people get power.

Letter to...

(Click "media" and embed the link to your Google Doc Letter)

Hunter Brooks

9261 Piccadilly Circle

Windsor, CA 95492 USA

March 20, 2015

Amazon Est Civil Police

180 Pedro Teixeira Av.,

Dom Pedro, Manaus - AM, 69040-000, Brazil

Dear Débora Mafra:

Hello. My name is Hunter Brooks and I am currently a sophomore at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, CA, USA. I am writing from the United States in regard to the drug trade progression along the Amazon River, such as in Manaus, Brazil. I would like you to consider the idea of sending out more police forces around the heavily drug affected cities. Also, you could use the large intervention strategy that the United States has used in the past. I would appreciate it if you would write me back your opinions.

I have recently read an article from The New York Times that is titled, Drug Trade Transforms an Amazon Outpost, written by Simon Romero, and published on December 10, 2014. In this article, the author talks about the struggles that the state of Manaus in particular is plagued with in regards to drug trafficking and the gruesome crimes that seem to reoccur in this city. Certain gangs fight for dominance in the cities, which end in shootouts and fatalities. Although many key traffickers have been caught, including a police chief, it seems that new members take the spots of those that get arrested.

I agree that there needs to be something done in response to the drug trafficking, a point that needs emphasizing since not all people understand the dangers of the gangs that are trafficking these drugs. The progress of the gangs needs to be slowed greatly, if not stopped completely. If it is not stopped at its source, then it can and most likely will spread fast across the nation. I am concerned that there should perhaps be more police forces that roam and oversee the poor areas of Manaus, so the drug traffickers cannot thrive.

I would appreciate it if you would consider my ideas of sending out more forces and perhaps doing more to intervene with the gangs. Thank you so much for your time and work. I would appreciate it if you get the time, to write me back with your opinions.





Sincerely,



Hunter Brooks

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

It is very interesting that Brazil's police is getting away with more than 2,000 killings a year and the Brazilian government is not doing anything about it. I thin that the Brazilian government needs to take action to stop all of these police killings. How do you think they could prevent this? Overall, it looks great man! Good job!

2 years ago
0

How do you think that the number of casualties could decrease by a way of the people getting more involved? great job