Rhetorical Analysis Of It Is Cheaper To Be Poor By Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

Investigative journalist, Barbara Ehrenreich, in her article, “It Is Expensive to Be Poor”, expounds on the repercussions the lower-class face on a daily basis. Ehrenreich’s purpose is to educate the audience about the reality the poor face day-to-day. The author creates a formal tone in order to have middle-class and older Americans understand the unfortunate reasons as to why the lower class is in their position and the difficulties they face to move on.

In the beginning of the article Ehrenreich begins to explain how years ago the government attempted to fight the “War on Poverty”. Giving examples the audience may be familiar with, she explains how in 1964 underfunded programs begun but did not go much far. Ehrenreich explains how, in some ridiculous way, the government claims the poor is in their condition all on their own. Claiming that they have no one to blame but themselves, politicians also said that: “the poor are shiftless, irresponsible, and prone to addiction.

They have too many children and fail to get married”. Ehrenreich is likely to reach her audience so well because she uses a good reliance of all ethos, pathos and logos. Ehrenreich also uses her platform, The Atlantic to reach her audience through this wellknown and trusted magazine also appealing to ethos. She also uses social and political references to help her audience better understand her argument. Her Ehrenreich’s skilled investigative journalism helps the audience easily understand her argument and why she is making it.

Throughout the article, Ehrenreich uses her credibility to help the audience under the harsh reality the poor encounter. Besides her own personal encounters, she uses a well trusted platform therefore already building credibility before even reading the article itself. Ehrenreich uses The Atlantic magazine and the business section to better reach her audience of middle-class older Americans. This is Ehrenreich’s audience because this section of people does not relate to people in poverty especially women.

Throughout the article, most politicians, whom are usually conservatives, gave the lower-class the most grief about why they’re in the position they’re in: “the War on Poverty still managed to provoke an intense backlash from conservative intellectuals and politicians”. Never been poor, older middle-class Americans tend to be ignorant to people in poverty and assuming that they’re the reason they’re in that position. As Ehrenreich states in paragraph six: “The Great Recession should have put the victimblaming theory of poverty to rest.

In the space of only a few months, millions of people entered the ranks of the officially poor-not only laid-off blue-collar workers, but also downsized tech workers, managers, lawyers, and other once-comfortable professionals. No one could accuse these “nouveau poor” Americans of having made bad choices or bad lifestyle decisions” Ehrenreich begins to explain her personal experiences in poverty: “I took jobs as a waitress, nursing-home aide, hotel housekeeper, Wal-Mart associate, and a maid with a house-cleaning service” which contrasts to the article and her credibility.

She understands first hand having to take on these entry-level jobs especially being a woman. Besides the financial consequences these people face, they also endure physical pain from their back, to their knees and feet. Throughout the article, Ehrenreich also uses facts to prove her have the audience further understand her argument. She explains the choices President Lyndon B. Johnson made and the programs starting in 1964 that seemed to work at first but was quickly a fail.

Headlines such as: “The original welfare reform bill—a bill, it should be recalled, which was signed by President Bill Clintonincluded an allocation of $100 million for “chastity training” for low-income women”. Ehrenreich uses specific facts to capitalize the ‘War on Poverty” and reveal the true outcome as to what happens to these men and especially women in poverty. The rhetor herself goes even more in depth with this article by featuring a woman on the front of the article who is a single mother that can relate.

With the use of pathos, Ehrenreich feels for those unfortunately in this position. Ehrenreich uses a formal tone so that the audience can understand the seriousness of this issue and the action that needs to be taken against it. Besides her intended audience, the tone is set so that all types of audiences can realize the severity of this disastrous on going issue. The author relates to pathos throughout the article, she frequently feels for these people and gives cause and effect as to how it’s so difficult to move out of their state of poverty.

After reading this article, the conclusion the audience is supposed to reach is to not fault poor people for being poor. Realize that they have a story and how difficult it is for them to survive. Women and especially those of color help us survive as well and they’re truly at the top of our society. By Ehrenreich using all three rhetorical devices, it helps with the effectiveness of the article because all types of audiences can relate and understand the article better through those appeals.

In conclusion, Ehrenreich appeals to the use of ethos by giving her personal experiences to relate to the lower-class. She uses pathos by understanding how hard these people work feeling for the repercussions they face and logos to further educate the audience on the government’s role in their position. Because of her writing style the author is able to successfully reach her audience in the article. The author’s main purpose to inform the audience that the poor aren’t poor because they want to but that they have no other choice but to be.