Rhetorical Analysis Of Serving In Florida By Gregory Mantsios

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The American dream is a dream of a land in which one can prosper with ambition and hard work. This idea has created many illusions for some because in reality the American dream is proven to be something that is rarely achieved. No individual is guaranteed success or destined for failure, but it is apparent that women, people of color, and those born into poverty will face greater obstacles than others, despite being a greater part of the American population. An author that tackles the issue of class in the United States is Gregory Mantsios. In his essay, “Class in America-2009”, Mantsios aims to prove that class affects people’s lives in drastic ways. Mantsios serves as a primary text for, “Serving in Florida” by Barbara Ehrenreich.…show more content…
She vividly describes the living and working conditions of lower income people in a costly city. Ehrenreich compels her audience to listen with the use of ethos and pathos. Ehrenreich establishes ethos, simply due to the fact that her argument is structured around something she experienced. Being personal allows the audience to form a connection with her because they can relate. Despite how awful her living and working conditions are, Ehrenreich is able to make light out of her situation by incorporating humor, “Picture a fat person’s hell, and I don’t mean a place with no food” (267). Humor causes the audience to be more drawn to her narrative. Additionally, Ehrenreich establishes pathos by describing the inhumane working conditions in which many Americans must endure in order to survive. Employees are fearful of losing their jobs if they do not meet the certain demands of managers who unfairly exert control on them. This all can result the audience to feel empathic towards not only Ehrenreich, but others who are forced to work under these conditions. Ehrenreich’s narrative proves to be compelling and successfully is able to get the audience to recognize the hard work of low income individuals. Furthermore, she addresses a common misconception among Americans, that those living in poverty are not hard working people,…show more content…
Mantsios’ compares the profiles of different Americans lifestyles in his text and develops the idea that an individual’s class standing can affect their livelihood in detrimental ways, “The lower one’s class standing, the more difficult it is to secure appropriate housing, the more time is spent on routine tasks of everyday life, the greater is the percentage of income that goes to pay for food and other basic necessities, and the greater is the likelihood of crime victimization” (293). Mantsios explains that one’s class standing can affect the chances of survival and success. Ehrenreich describes her own housing experiences as a low income worker. To reduce her overall costs and to obtain a second job, Ehrenreich moves closer to Key West. Ehrenreich has just enough money to pay the rent and deposit on a tiny trailer at the Overseas Trailer Park. It is unpleasant, but it was what she could afford, “By reputation, the Overseas park is a nest of crime and crack…” (274). Low income workers have limited options when choosing a home, where their best options are places like the Overseas park. Mantsios’ claims on class standing can be validated through Ehrenreich’s personal experiences living in an unsecure, but convenient area. If Ehrenreich had a better class standing, she would not live in
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