IB in English Language and Literature Paper 1 SL Outline

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In the article, “The Pitchforks Are Coming … For Us Plutocrats”, Hanauer proposes that the Plutocrats (the 0.01%ers or rich folks) should spearhead the fight against inequality in America and bridge the gap between the 99.99%ers (the ones with the pitchforks) and the plutocrats.

In his argument, Hanauer claims that by making the 99.99%ers richer, the plutocrats become richer in return and also save their lives.

Even though the author of this article is a Seattle based billionaire- entrepreneur, he uses history from various parts of the world to resonate his sentiments.

Audience (effect on audience)

This article is meant for both the 99.99%ers and the 0.01%ers.

For the plutocrats, it reminds them that though they may be at the top currently, they will not be there forever. The have-nots are coming for them- both socially and financially.

For the 99.99%ers, it reminds them not to be intimidated by where the 0.01%ers currently are; with hard work, patience and calculated risk taking, they could get to where the rich folks are.

Basically, it is very easy to bridge the gap between the rich folks and the 99.99%ers, all it takes is for both sides to take the initiative

Purpose (authorial intent)

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the causes and remedies for the expanding gap between the haves and have-nots in the world.

The author uses practical examples from history to show the audience that although whatever he seems a very long shot, it is totally plausible.

Content/ theme:

The growing gap between the haves and haves-not

Learning from history

The strength of the 99.99%ers

The vulnerability of the plutocrats against the less-fortunate

Tone/ mood

Hanauer’s tone is encouraging particularly at the beginning for the article. He tells his audience his past success to give them the notion that anyone can get to where he is.  

The author is also calm and focused. Though he has all the reasons to panic since the other side is coming for them with pitchforks, he believes something may change in the future- only when the plutocrats see the positive of the bridging the gap.

Stylistic features and their effect on the audience

Allegory- the author uses the term Pitchforks throughout the text to show how the have-nots are coming for the rich folks. Pitchfork is a tool that was used during the French revolution by peasants as weapons.

Antithesis- Hanauer writes, “It’s not if, it’s when.” In this statement, the author warns his fellow billionaires that it is just a matter of time before they are overthrown by the underclasses

Anti-Climax- Hanauer begins by building tension. He shows how bad the situation is in the country; how the gap between the unfortunates and the fortunate is at an all-time thus getting the reader worried. He however makes matters better by reminding them that a bridge can be built.

Euphemism- in describing the less fortunate, the author did not call them poor, he referred to them as the 99.99%ers

Language and its effect on the reader

The author uses very simple English but somewhat formal language to pass across the message.

However, in some instances, he uses colloquial language in his text; for example, he used the term “bonkers” which is more informal than crazy.

Introduction (including thesis and outline of my points)

The author introduces the text on a positive and interesting note by recounting his past life experiences and how he managed to claw his way to the top.

From the introduction, it can be foreseen that the article will focus on the journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur and business man.

Though the author does not provide a concrete thesis from the beginning, reading the whole text shows that the thesis was

“If inequality keeps rising, the less fortunate will create an uprising against the rich folks and therefore a bridge needs to be made sooner rather than later. The bridge will be beneficial for both the 0.01%ers and 99.99%ers”


The author describes the situation as it is in the world. He uses various historical examples e.g. From the French and Russians as evidence for his claims.

His paragraphs are arranged exquisitely such that one matter leads to the next and this makes it easier for the reader.

Furthermore, Hanauer uses paragraph headings to make it even easier for the reader to go through the article.


The author concludes the text with exhaustion to show how self-defeating and unnecessary the gap between the haves and have-nots is. He is afraid that if nothing is done, matters can get very bad, very fast.

He is however, still hopeful that if both sides are to pull up their socks, the gap can be bridged and be beneficial to both parties.


“If inequality keeps rising, the less fortunate will create an uprising against the rich folks and therefore a bridge needs to be made sooner rather than later. The bridge will be beneficial for both the 0.01%ers and 99.99%ers”


The 99.99%ers- they are less fortunate in the society as compared to the 0.01%ers. They are expected by the author to come for the rich with pitchforks if no steps are taken to make them richer.

The 0.01%ers- the billionaires of the society who currently control about 20% of the total economy of America. They are “filthy” rich and live in their “own gated bubble world”.


The narrative is set in the modern America showing how the country is divided into the rich and less fortunate.

In some instances, the author travels back in time to the 20th century to show us his journey from a humble employee at his family business to the filthy rich billionaire he currently is.

Additionally, he goes back to 1980 when the 1%ers controlled 8% of the total economy of currently in order to compare it to the current situation.

August 21, 2023

Business Economics Life

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