Cause and Effect

Thus far we have seen paragraphs that develop reasons to support the topic and those that develop effects. Often, however, cause and effect are more intimately related. Many things are simultaneously causes and effects, as when the result you expect an action to have is the reason you do it. In Kennan's paragraph above the dire consequences of the automobile are why he worries about it. The journalist Pete expresses much the same point in the para graph, explaining that what the car has done to our society makes it "one of our jailers":

In fact, the automobile, which was hailed as a liberator of human beings early in this century, has become one of our jailers. The city air, harbor-cool and fresh at dawn, is a sewer by 10. The 40-hour week, for which so many good union people died, is now a joke; on an average day, a large number of people now spend three to four hours simply traveling to those eight-hour-a-day jobs, stalled on roads, idling at bridges or in tunnels. Parking fees are $5 to $10 a day. The ruined city streets cost hundreds more for gashed tires, missing hubcaps and rattled engines.

Frequently cause and effect compose a chain. A gives rise to B, B to C, and so on. Thus B would be both the effect of A and the cause of C. This paragraph about the effect of television in the 1950s on boxing (what the writer calls "the Sweet Science") develops such a series of causes and effects:

The immediate crisis [of boxing] in the United States, forestalling the one high living standards might bring on, has been caused by the popularization of a ridiculous gadget called television. This is utilized in the sale of beer and razor blades. The clients of the television companies, by putting on a free boxing show almost every night of the week, have knocked out of business the hundreds of small-city and neighborhood boxing clubs where youngsters had a chance to learn their trade and journeymen to mature their skill. Consequently the number of good new prospects diminishes with every year, and the peddlers' public is already being asked to believe that a boy with perhaps ten or fifteen fights behind him is a topnotch performer. Neither advertising agencies nor brewers, and least of all the networks, give a hoot if they push the Sweet Science back into a period of genre painting. When it is in coma they will find some other way to peddle their peanuts. A.J. Liebling

Liebling treats both reasons and consequences. The initial cause is the use of television to sell products, the ultimate effect is the deterioration of prizefighting. But linking these are several conditions, each the effect of a preceding cause and the cause of a subsequent effect:

Initial cause: i

Effect:

Effect: 4-

Effect:

Final effect:

The hucksterism of television Too many prizefights Disappearance of the small fight club Inadequate training of young boxers Deterioration of professional boxing

All this is clearly conveyed with only a single transitional adverb ("consequently"), used to signal the chief result.

Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.

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