Buy Yourself Less Stuff Analysis

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An Analysis of: “Buy Yourself Less Stuff”
“If you could live in a 4,000-square-foot home and have one week of vacation a year, or live in a 2,000-square-foot home and have three weeks’ vacation, which would you choose?” In “Buy Yourself Less Stuff,’ an excerpt from “Money Can Buy Happiness: How to Spend to Get the Life you Want,” MP Dunleavy, the author, challenges the reader to rethink their consuming habits. Dunleavy accomplishes this through the effective use of rhetoric.
Dunleavy starts the essay by establishing her ethos, she borrows ethos from Richard Easterlin, an economist at the University of Southern California, by citing his study of whether or not achieving your desires will result in happiness. She further establishes it by
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The reader feels, as though they are on a level playing field with Dunleavy, she is never condescending in manner. She easily could have pointed out how wrong consumers are after citing a study; instead, she acknowledges the facts and statistics as though she is guilty as well. She effectively relates to the reader by using first person pronouns, placing herself in the same boat as the reader, “The ceaseless quest for moremoremore that drives our lives, dominates our thoughts, and erodes our quality of life.”
Some conclusions drawn can be disheartening to the reader, “That seems reasonable. You don 't quite have all the things you want, but you 're sure that when you acquire them, you 'll be satisfied,” and “Unfortunately, a buck can buy only so much bang.” Dunleavy continues to put herself in the same boat as the reader, drawing these conclusions appearing almost saddened. She is using Pathos to her full advantage as she empathizes with the reader and further convinces them that she is in fact on their
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Dunleavy makes a bold statement or uses a bold heading to draw the readers’ attention and create a writer reader argument in the readers mind. Once the argument is stated, Dunleavy effectively defends her statement with studies and logical reasoning. She builds her case throughout before ending with five thought provoking questions that were part of another study, continuing to build her ethos.
“Buy Yourself Less Stuff,” does exactly what it says, challenges the reader to buy less “stuff.” The main idea is that money can help buy happiness, or at least take a step in the right direction, if spent the right way. Dunleavy effectively conveys this throughout a well written piece that makes the reader reconsider their answer to, “If you could live in a 4,000-square-foot home and have one week of vacation a year, or live in a 2,000-square-foot home and have three weeks’ vacation, which would you

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