An Analysis of “Blue-Collar Brilliance” Essay

786 WordsAug 2, 20134 Pages
An Analysis of “Blue-Collar Brilliance” Mike Rose has spent most of his life watching those defined as “blue-collar” workers with much appreciation. He would watch his mother, Rosie, and his uncle, Joe, work to their fullest potential with skills he had never really seen anywhere else except in their “blue-collar” world. Mike believes that the way his family worked, as well as others considered “blue-collar”, are intelligent in their own ways and are underappreciated compared to the way he sees them. Mike begins by stretching out his mother’s life as a hard working waitress. He points out all of the things he watched her do like “[take] customers’ orders…, [walk]… through the room with plates stretching up her left arm…, [removing] a…show more content…
Rosie “quit school in the seventh grade” and Joe “left school in the ninth grade.” (Rose 395) Mike believes that it is more assumption than fact that, “Intelligence in closely associated with formal education.” (Rose 395) He says that, “We reinforce this notion by defining intelligence solely on grades in school and numbers on an IQ tests.” (Rose 397) He also says that, “Scholars have often looked at the working class [and] have generally focused on the values such workers exhibit rather than on thought their work requires.” (Rose 395) Mike clearly believes that those of a higher class do not see that those of a lower class do have a sense of intelligence compared to those who only have one sense of intelligence. Instead of having either book or street smarts, in a sense, those who are “blue-collar” workers, have both. As Mike even began to study those who worked around the same level as that of his family, he began to piece together his belief that those of the “blue-collar” work force did have their own intelligence from “waitressing and hair styling to plumbing and welding.” (Rose 396) He noticed more and more of them portraying their own intelligence through their work. He says we “[separate] the body from the mind” instead of having them work together. (Rose 397) It was
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