The Speech, Smile Or Die, By Barbara Ehrenreich Essays

The Speech, Smile Or Die, By Barbara Ehrenreich Essays

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Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of the speech “Smile or Die,” she uses this speech to inform her listeners about the ideology of mandatory positive thinking and how it is not always the answer. Ehrenreich talks about what people are forced to learn and how they are forced to think: if they want something bad enough, no matter what that thing may be, that wishing for it and having a positive attitude will put it in their possession. Wanting something bad enough is all it supposedly takes, yet Ehrenreich has an opposite perspective and she educates her audience on her opinion of “thinking positively” using her own personal experiences such as cancer, background knowledge and real-life examples. She wants people to understand that being positive is not in fact the answer to the problems in the world, especially those problems dealing with terminal illnesses or people who have lost their jobs, yet being realistic with yourself and the situation you 're in is what will get you out of a negative situation and into a positive one. Especially those problems dealing with terminal illnesses or people who have lost their jobs. Ehrenreich did a tremendous job at using both her battle with breast cancer, medical career and real world examples such as the Occupy Movement and mandatory positivity in the workplace to get her point across, yet her use of sarcasm/humor was not understood by her spanish speaking audience and therefore caused her to not completely engage their attention.
Ehrenreich is able to establish her credibility in her speech by using her battle with breast cancer. Ehrenreich tells about her attempt at reaching out to others with the same condition for knowledge and support she says, “my first thought was to reach out to othe...


... middle of paper ...


...nstant sarcastic remarks may have been thoroughly lost on the crowd.
Ehrenreich main point in her speech was that positivity is not the solution, but instead being realistic with yourself and your situation is the key. She uses various methods to effectively get this point across, she uses her credibility to allow her audience the pleasure of knowing that she is a reliable source who has been through negative situations and knows what she 's talking about. She also uses logical real world situations to explain just what is wrong with the ideology in the first place. Situations such as the Occupy movement, all the protesting and people being fired in the workplace for not being happy enough. Although Ehrenreich 's use of sarcasm and humor may not have been effective on her spanish speaking audience she effectively got her point across with the use of her other methods.

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