Critical Analysis of Nathan Heller's Article on Amos Yee

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Submitted By maxelliotchen
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In “Amos Yee: YouTube Star, Teen-ager, Dissident”, Nathan Heller gives his insight and thought regarding the arrest of Amos Yee, a 17-year-old Singaporean film maker. In his article, Heller argues that Yee should be taken more seriously and that the Singapore government should not try to suppress the thoughts of her citizens. However, Heller’s arguments are hindered due to the fact that he displays a biasness in favour of Yee and his ignorance and prejudice regarding Singapore and Singaporeans.

Throughout Heller’s article, he displays a severe biasness in favour of Yee and frames the situation such that it looks like Singapore is trying to terrorize Yee. The tone he uses to describe Yee is one of pity and empathy whereas he describes Singapore in an extremely negative tone. Throughout the article Heller claims that Yee’s arguments are well-judged and supported by analytics. However, he fails to elaborate on what is meant by well-judged and does not prove any of Yee’s points to be credible. While this is an article regarding Yee’s court case, the author seems fixated on Yee’s previous work. He highlights Yee’s past achievements and praises him highly, even going as far as saying “Yee is something of a cinematic prodigy” and “It is easy to lose a lunch hour in such homemade productions”. Heller’s overall tone and description regarding Yee makes it clear that he favours Yee in many ways and this discredits his argument greatly.

Heller’s ignorance regarding cultural and political complexities in Singapore leads him to make hasty generalizations about Singapore and Singaporeans. Heller claims that Singapore is “a society that tends to disdain intellectual risk” and that Singapore “has a well-guarded culture of political deference”. It is clear that the Heller has little knowledge of Singapore’s political history and the complex culture within Singapore and makes…...

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