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Earl Shorris On The Uses Of A Liberal Education Essay

Unformatted text preview: politics their limitations are endless. Throughout this article Earl Shorris uses an overall ethos appeal, creating trustworthiness in himself, in turn getting the reader to agree with his views. Shorris questions political education in low income regions. He appeals to the reader through pathos by creating the impression that the students in the class are not economically well off. This creates vulnerability in the reader, giving the sense that these people need help. It creates the fairytale story that people want to hear, the helpless being helped by the hero Earl Shorris and at the end triumphing over all odds. He does all this but stays within the genre of the piece; he stays in the lines of an academic magazine article. The structure of the article creates logos, he explains how his original ideas were altered, and organizes his paper explaining the events that took place when carrying out his experiment....
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After the initial relieving sensation Shorris's essay has on the reader thanks to the happy ending of the story, one starts analyzing the core of the author's work. We wonder what the purpose of his research is and what the author wants to convey by ending the paper on a light note, full of hopes towards populations from lower classes.

Is Shorris overly naĂŻve to suggest that a liberal education allows one to overcome the divide ?

Upon reading Shorris' article, "II. As a Weapon: In the Hands of the Restless Poor," a few obvious interrogations come to light. Firstly, we will ask ourselves how the power of a liberal education helps overcome the gap between opposite socio-economic classes then, we will see why education is not the answer to every issues poor people encounter.

In his paper, Earl Shorris is an advocate; he makes an apologist argument in favor of the poors and states that liberal education is "the way out of poverty". Studies from the United Nations have shown that female education and eradicating poverty work together. Needy people are likely to remain poor intellectualy because of their environment; if their relatives have never been educated, they won't feel the need to get an education to get through life. The rudiments of education are important though, and through the character of David Howell, we see how the work of Shorris affected his political life: "... I asked myself 'What would Socrates do ?' ".

However, History has proved that intelligence doesn't always come with years of collegiate studies; Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein (who was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics) and even Bill Gates never received a degree yet accomplished great things in life.

In the text, Shorris establishes a paradoxe: "Starvation and drug addiction are both bad, aren't they ?" One can apply the same prerogative to poverty and a lack of education; people in need of money will need not spend it on educational costs when they can barely afford food for themselves. This way, young adults in poor communities will find a job, help their families out and try to survive with the little money they make instead of wasting their time in classes they are not interested in. Moreover, Shorris's paper highlights the little interest free classes attracts in poor communities "...not one of them applied for admission to the course".

Shorris's studies shows the reader that a change is possible in any community, that human beings are not defined by their classes nor living environments although the poors have a tendency to believe that education is out of their reach. The first rule of education should be: do no harm. The level of intelligence and the ability to think is not reserved for people who can afford to go to school but to anyone who is willing to put the effort into what they endeavor.

Thanks again !

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