February 11, 2016
In Calvin Trillin’s “Villain of the Month” (February 11, 2016), he addresses a recent controversial decision made by Martin Shkreli to significantly raise the price of a “life-saving drug,” suggesting that Shkreli is one of the most despicable villains of our time. Through a story-like formatting, Trillin draws parallels between a stereotypical work of fiction and the current political system, with Shkreli playing the villain. Trillin compares Mr. Shkreli to other “pharma chiefs,” in order to accentuate Shkreli’s lack of concern for the general public’s interest and safety. Given the humorous tone of the piece, Trillin is writing to a vast audience consisting of anyone who is not an advocate for Shkreli, knowledgeable or uninformed about the recent controversy.
Despite Trillin’s lack of elaboration on the subject, the piece’s intriguing satirical nature encourages readers who are unaware of the political conflict to further research the subject. Trillin gives readers just enough information to persuade them of Shkreli’s avariciousness, but not enough to fill the uninformed in entirely.
In this piece, you vilify Martin Shkreli, comparing him to other people in his field to accentuate his lack of concern for the general public’s interest and safety. If Shkreli is the villain, who is the hero of this story of public opinion?