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Blue Collar Brilliance: the Connection Between Intelligence and Career

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Growing up in the 1950s, Mike Rose spent his childhood in a diner where his mother, Rosie, worked. As he observed all of the workers, he was interested by their adjustment to concur with each other. Being first generation to attend college, he majored in psychology and studied the connection between intelligence and formal education by analyzing the differences in blue-collar and service jobs. Rose realized there was no connection between one’s ability to work effectively one’s IQ or level of education.

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Rose’s purpose in writing this essay seemed to be have a connection with his personal experiences and the blue-collar workforce. Aside from the authors personal observations, the context was to lay out the difficulty and a large amount of different tasks that the average blue-collar worker achieves, and the competitive level of intelligence and skills needed to accomplish them.

The strategies used by Rose are shown to captivate the reader throughout the essay. He uses strong language in order to catch the reader’s attention, such as combining terms like “brilliance” with “blue-collar” together. To have a higher level of education and working a white-collar job in our society and culture nowadays is considered having intelligence. The author describes a personal experience on how his mother worked in a diner, solving problems, and serving to customers. The author goes into further detail elaborating about how all the tasks and daily duties his mother would do was so much more complicated than it seemed and how his mother was brilliant at her job, despite not having an extensive, formal education.

Rose uses to ethos by putting the reader into his point of view. The author presents himself as just another man with a high amount of respect towards his blue collar family, who are successful, putting him in a position of authority and good will. Rose seeks out the stereotype and attempts to understand the stigma behind blue collar work. With his methods of attempting to understand what people call common work, he builds a connection with the audience, appearing to be more believable. Rose uses pathos throughout his essay in the form of anecdotal evidence, using observations, personal stories and thoughts about the blue-collar workforce, connecting his thoughts to the readers. Using primarily personal stories and observations creates a more personal connection and relation for the essay, making the writing more believable. Rose uses logos by providing logistic information to describing how anyone can be intelligent equally. 

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