William Farrell’s Men as Success Objects

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William Farrell’s “Men as Success Objects”

Identity is a subject commonly discussed within literature. In William Farrell’s essay entitled “Men as Success Objects” this subject is the object of much scrutiny. Farrell analyzes the role of gender in today’s society and states that male identity is in a condition where male insecurities about success, their appearance, and females have left most men in today’s society in dire straights. Compounded by prevailing ultra-feminist ideals, society has become saturated by the “men are jerks” mentality. This condition can be seen in various aspects of society such as commercials, television programs, even greeting cards (Farrell, 186). While some may not agree with his opinions on the state of male identity, Farrell uses a number of rhetorical strategies and literary devices such as an objective point of view, an intellectual tone, and appeals to both logos and ethos in order to effectively convey belief that men are treated as “success objects” in today’s society.

In discussing the subject of male identity, especially as compared to female identity, Farrell is very careful to remain very objective throughout his rhetoric. Part of his balanced approach to proving his argument, is the use of an objective point of view. Farrell’s deliberate objectivity can be seen in aspects of his piece such as his word choice, free of denotative language, his lack of any first hand anecdotes, a removal of any indication of his gender (except his name), and a strict third person style throughout his piece. All of these characteristics combine to make his argument effective to a large demographic of people, unlike many pieces on gender identity, whose audience is usually limited to at most a spe...

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...emotional appeal, Farrell improves his argument by making it objective, understandable, and relatable.

Debates over gender are always difficult to win. Each side has its own experience and it is impossible for the other side to completely understand the others perspective. In William Farrell’s essay “Men as Success Objects” the subject of male identity is discussed as objectively as a person of either gender could do. Through the use of an objective point of view, an intellectual tone, and appeals to both logos and ethos Farrell’s argument becomes both valid an effective. Through his use of rhetorical devices Farrell tells people what he knows and changes what they think.

Works Cited

Farrell, William. “Men as Success Objects.” Constructing Others Constructing Ourselves. Ed. Gruber, Sibylle et al. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. 2002. 185-88.

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