Are Busy Bees Making Honey or Just Buzzing Around?
By Mary Anne Enriquez
Prepared for Dr. S. Ogden
February 2nd, 2012
When choosing an article to analyze, I was immediately drawn to Barbara Erhenriech’s article ‘The Cult of Busyness’ (Prose Model, 1997). This article appealed to me as it holds such relevance and connection in my own life. The topic of the article is busyness as it relates to success. I will be discussing the audience, purpose and arrangement of this article and show that the author captures her target audience through persuasive discussion.
Although this article was published in ‘Prose Models’ (1997), which is a ‘collection of essays and rhetorical writing’ (Amazon.com), I do not believe the sole intended audience is the reader of superior writing. This article could easily have been published in Chatelaine, Readers Digest or Macleans, as it appeals to and targets busy people, and those who know them. The first two paragraphs of the article recount an experience, and it is in this experience that Erhenriech finds her audience. Many readers will recall times when they have been on either end of a similar phone conversation. Therefore the larger audience is the busy parents, career focused, committee attending people that fill every working persons social circle. As we know, audience and purpose are intertwined (Strategies For Successful Writing, 2010. p. 5) and the author develops this by establishing her purpose and drawing the audience in at the same time.
Erhenriech’s purpose is somewhat murky at first as the reader isn’t sure if she is mocking the busyness or appreciating the struggle. As she builds her essay it becomes clear that her purpose is to shed light on what she calls the ‘Cult of Busyness’ (Prose Models, 1997). She ‘persuades the reader’ (Reinking et al., 2010, p. 4) not through...