Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong with Vocational School?”

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Hannah Dickinson Mr. Thomason ENGL 1020-116 15 September 2014 Analysis of Charles Murray’s “What’s Wrong With Vocational School?” Charles Murray is writing to The Wall Street Journal, which is a huge and very diverse audience to whom to present such a controversial argument. The point Murray is trying to make is that vocational schools are more effective and logical courses of action for young people entering the job market than is the conventional 4-year-university track. In championing the cause of vocational schools over college, Murray uses logos, appeals to authority, though his tone makes him come across as a little condescending. This may almost damage his argument overall. Murray’s argument is persuasive through his use of…show more content…
He challenges widespread expectation of all middle-class Americans: “‘vocational training’ is second class. ‘College’ is first class” (Murray 632). This passage, while appearing to offer a simple definition to the reader in order for him or her to be informed of the subject matter argued herein, already states his position in the matter. Murray, possibly on purpose, taints his definition with diction illustrating his bias. This could possibly damage his argument, because though he cites different perspectives, the trouble with expectation, and a solution for these people, making him look like a hero in a way, he also shows himself to be almost prejudiced in the argument. Conversely, later championing “the underdog,” as he paints those with lower IQs, could potentially make up for his somewhat brazen attitude for some members of his large, and no doubt very disparate, audience. His argument does use pathos a little; citing the lower IQs, and that the people who own them may struggle trying to bend to American culture’s demand for a Bachelor’s Degree, tends to tug on the emotions of the reader, probably intentionally. This helps Murray a lot, for throughout the argument he has seemed very sure of his argument, and as earlier mentioned, often disdainful and lofty regarding the subject matter. Though an elitist, Murray is intelligent in his

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