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Power of the written word

Discuss ways individual attitudes can be changed by reading essays about the workplace. Use specific examples from at least one of the attached essays to illustrate your thoughts.


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One way that attitudes regarding the workplace can be changed by reading an essay is due to the way the writer uses diction (word choice) and imagery to convey his feelings about the occupation in question. Sometimes the writer can, by skillful use of language, make a particular occupation appear glamorous and appealing, and can downplay the negatives that are also associated with that occupation. The truth of the matter is that every job has positives and negatives. However, a good writer can play up the positives and make even a questionable job appear palatable, such that the reader overlooks, or forgets to consider, the negative aspects.

Another way this can be done is when the writer compares occupations, and makes one job appear awful, discouraging and onerous, and another career attractive by comparison. This is what happens in the short story "My Lack of Gumption," by Russell Baker. Baker's essay tells of his first attempt at a paying job, as a magazine salesman for the Saturday Evening Post. He begins by laying the groundwork for his audience, we his readers, by establishing quite convincingly that he was a boy of marked disinclination to apply himself to activity, much preferring inactivity ...

Solution Summary

Analysis of a short story and its power to change attitudes of readers towards the workplace. Examples of how writers influence attitudes through the use of diction (word choice) and imagery to convey their own aattitudes regarding the workplace.