Rhetorical Analysis

The amount of money that a job pays shapes countless aspects of a person’s life. C.E.O.’s of billion dollar companies can live luxurious lifestyles, while minimum wage workers sparingly spend their incomes, unable to afford extravagances. Ehrenreich’s Serving in Florida recalls her experience of working two low income jobs. Unlike others, she willingly chose to live this way, as she wanted to experience the hardships and expose social injustices. In this essay, Ehrenreich echoes her exhausting work in two jobs, both in which she was treated unfairly. Her rhetorical devices and appeals strengthen her argument, which is prominent through narration. Varied syntax and diction create tone, which helps the reader connect with the author. Her purpose is to show the world the daily struggles of low income workers and to bring about change Overall, she achieves this purpose by reflecting on her own experience and incorporating her co-workers’ lives.
The mode of narration appeals to both ethos and pathos. Narration forms a bond between her and the reader, so it is like she is telling the story to a close friend. This is an effective appeal to ethos, as she seems more credible and readers are more willing to believe her. She also builds on credibility at the beginning; her choice to leave her comfortable middle class life to experience poverty already influences readers to believe she is an honest, altruistic person. In addition, her strong appeals to pathos strengthen her argument because readers feel empathy for the lower class. Comments such as “For six to eight hours in a row, you never sit except to pee” (143) and “If the manager catches you in a idle moment he will give you something far nastier to do” (137) convey the brutal conditions of low-income jobs. In these quotes, she expresses the managers’ desire to make money, ignoring the over-worked waiters’ pains. Ehrenreich’s simple yet powerful sentences appeal to pathos by showing how basic activities,.