In his article, Blue-Collar Brilliance, the principle argument that Mike Rose aims at putting across is that there exists various forms of intelligence other than just intellectual. Nonetheless, he explains that intelligence is closely related to formal education for instance the type of education one has acquired, and for how long. True to his teachings many people appear to be in agreement with the notion or the belief that, the types of jobs that requires less school normally requires less intelligence. In simple terms, Mike Rose believes that most of the people believe that blue-collar jobs are for the les intelligent. On the contrary, he wants to show them that their approach to this issue is wrong. To justify this claim, he uses a perfect explanatory opening of the article that clearly describes his mother Rose Meraglio (Rosie) who used to work as a waitress in the 1950’s. In this paper, I will seek to analyse the rhetorical strategies that Mike Rose’s uses in this article so as to be able to effectively convey his intended message to his audience. People should desist from classifying other workers as being either intelligent or not, since this creates separation and will injure the smooth flow of operations in a given organisation.
The first rhetorical strategy that Mike uses in this article is the use of an effective opening that is descriptive and very detailed in nature. The description of his mother Rosie creates a perfect description of what a blue-collar job entails. Through this thorough description of his mother’s job as a waitress at different coffee shops and restaurants, we come to learn that even the blue-colour workers portray a high level of intelligence. She depicts a lot of intelligence in how she carries out her activities as a waiter, she has trained her mind not to forget the customers’ orders and at some point she might be having orders from six different tables with at least two people who have ordered different types of foods. Mike says that, his mother used to multitask and rarely would she become confused. The story of Rosie makes us realise that the blue-collar workers largely employs intelligence while performing their duties. Most likely, many students might feel more attached to the story because it is rich in detail that ultimately draws them in, some of them questions the pathos of introducing his mother in the story as a way of connecting with his readers emotionally.
Mike brilliantly clarifies the general misuse of the word intelligence especially by scholars, politicians and white-collar sector whom are known to define blue collar workers as being illiterate and less intelligent. He is totally opposed to this notion and that is why he decides to use the experiences that his uncle Joe has garnered in the course of his carrier as a foreman who left school in the ninth grade. He explains how his uncle managed to move from being a simple assembly worker to a supervisor who makes vital decisions in his department at the General Motors. Mike argues that the blue collar workers also uses the same tools as used by the white collar so as to solve certain issues that may be facing their organisation. He went further to compare lawyers, scientists and entrepreneurs’ intellectual dimension with that of the “working-class” group. He points to the idea that even the hair stylist, plumber, waitress and the carpenter uses some level of strategy so as to be able to effectively perform their day to day activities. I highly concur with Mike’s argument that even the blue-collar workers do a lot of reading in regard to instructions and manuals for any form of updated information.
At some point in this essay, Mike uses the rhetorical strategy of opposing views. At paragraph 9, he gives opposing views when he is giving details about the “assumptions” of the lower intelligence in workers from the blue-collar section. He clearly points out how most of the revolutionary thinkers perceived mechanics as mere “illiterates who were incapable of participate in the government”. He further says that he has heard the management calling the blue-collar workers “dummies”. Nonetheless, in paragraph 27, he is quick to acknowledge that there exists some form of writing among the blue-collar workers. The writings are mostly abbreviated, repetitive, routine, and infrequently require any interpretation. Using this rhetorical strategy, Mike is able to argue his case from different angles. He appears to point out the ways in which people might think that he is giving too much credit to aspects of reading and writing amongst the blue-collar workers. It is for this reason that he fails to assign any of his points to any particular group of people, in the whole article he uses the predictive “they say” instead of specifying the target person. The blue –collar workers gain social intelligence due to working with other people in solving issues at the place of work and also their intelligence occurs as they interact or do their daily activities.
In my opinion, I agree with Mike’s idea on education, however, I also contradict some of his opinions that he put across in the article. Arguably, education should never be measured by going to school. Knowledge can be found anywhere irrespective of whether one has gone to school. Mike uses the strategy of being neutral when talking about the issue of education. He praises it but also does not entertain the people who look down upon others as weaker intellectually. It is not advisable that people learn through trial and error, getting an education is a noble endeavour. I support his argument that the all people should seek education first. It is very important for an individual to not only possess the required understanding of their field of study but also the overall ideas as well. Everybody, irrespective of their race, age, social statues and gender should be given access to decent education. However, I do not agree with him on the issue that education is the only basis that can enable a person to get a fulfilling job that would make them get by in life.
Mike’s strategy is a great way to convey a message such as this that can easily evoke emotions among different people. He does not really fight against the people who boost of their education and also does not support lack of education by the blue-collar. Although most people especially the ones who refer to themselves to be having the “conventional wisdom” believes that in order to make it big especially in American, one ought to possess a college education. While this argument is true, that you will need an advanced degree such as medicine, MBA or a doctorate so as to be able to join the most paying fields, it is also possible for a person to get a well-paying job without the degree but with on-job training. It is very encouraging that most of us are taught at tender ages the great importance of education so that when they are of age, they would land lucrative jobs. This is important because education and ignorance affects the society in equal measures. If we fail to have to have educated individuals in our society, then we will experience that more people have been pushed out of the job market. This trend would indicate a decline in economic performance.
In conclusion, through the use of varied rhetorical strategies, I believe that Mike rose has effectively managed to deliver his massage to his audience. He used stories from family members so as to create the sense of emotion in the whole story. I found it brilliant to use both the story about his mother and his uncle who quit school work in the railroad. This article will be a source of motivation to the people in the blue-collar jobs. I also believe that intelligence does not solely come from academics but also through experience. At times, it is usually not the wish of a person to abandon higher education. Higher education is known to be expensive and thus not always affordable to all the citizens. We should respect diversity. In general, I am of the opinion that acquiring higher education is definitely an honourable and worthwhile endeavour, however this does not guarantee any one success. Therefore, going to college is not the only source of a fulfilling life.
Rose, Mike. "Blue-Collar Brilliance." Blue-Collar (2009).