Saturday, February 25, 2012

Let's Go On An Adventure And Find a Job in China!

I lived in Shanghai, China for the past three and a half years of my life, and let me tell you, life is not as foreign as you may imagine it to be there. Believe it or not, I spoke just as much English there as I did while living in Canada. Of course the Chinese people take up the majority of the population, but for the past decade or so, expatriates from all over the world—covering places such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Taiwan, and etc.—can easily be found strolling the streets of Shanghai. Tourists? Nice guess, but it is more than that. A lot of these foreigners live, work, and have established their families in China. So why is it that they have chosen to leave their country? There may be multiple reasons such as a love of spontaneity, or a love of traveling, but ultimately, expatriates have moved to China to pursue their businesses, find prospective job opportunities, and to escape, perhaps, a struggling economy back home. At least this was the case for Jonathan Levine, a young man, “overeducated with a series of non-performingdegrees” and “fed up with the economic status quo in the United States.” He took action and moved to China. In Levine's "Go East, Young Man," he effectively employs a relatable tone, an active voice, and justifications of the counterarguments, to convince Americans suffering from the U.S.'s economic crisis, to move to China where new experiences and chances maybe found.

In his first paragraph, Levine immediately puts himself in the same position as his audience. He relates himself tothe “Occupy Wall Street protestors on TV, fed up with the status quo in the United States.” By doing this, he gives the audience a sense of relatability and the idea that he is just like all the other Americans out their who are victims of the economic crisis. The Occupy Wall Street protestors suffer from social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, corruption, and are highly frustrated by it—Levine found himself in the same boat, tossed to and fro by the rough waves of economic instability; which led him to address this issue. He captures his audiences’ trust and appeals to their troubled and protesting hearts by empathizing with them. By addressing their problem, he puts himself in their shoes; he then assures his reader that there exists an optimistic solution to all the frustration, headaches, and stress of unemployment by sharing his solution: move to China, where “job prospects are abundant.”

He further supports his position of relatability by appealing that he is really simply a typical, American guy. He is not extremely intelligent, rich, or prestigious, but an average guy, who like mostly every other American can speak English; thus, it scored him a job in China within a split second. “And guess what? I’m not that special,” he says in a tone that relates to the common man, “[but] demand for native English speakers is white-hot.” That’s what landed him “a job teaching American culture and English at Tsinghua University.” He continues to strengthen his position by speaking in a casual, everyday tone, which attracts all the many average, common man to find him relatable. Using this casualness, he expresses the positivity that has come from his choice of moving to China: “My work is fulfilling and my workload is manageable enough to give me time to travel. I have found friends among China’s large expatriate community, my colleagues and, of course, my eager students.” Levine professes to his readers that if he/she can speak English, like every other average American, China will treasure him/her like a gem. He boosts the confidence and esteem of his readers by using this relatable tone.

Levine uses an active voice throughout his article to put direct and distinct thoughts into the reader’s minds. Blunt, but bold statements such as, “leave America,” “China wants you,” “Pollution is bad,” forces an insistent drive into the readers mind. He does not try to beat around the bush to get the message across, and there is definitely not a sense of wishy-washiness in how he wants to get his message across. It is true that for the readers who have never considered leaving his/her home country to move to a completely foreign environment may find the concept surreal, frightening, or simply beyond his/her reach. To capture the readers’ surge of hope and motivation, he gives them no time to doubt, but expresses his own confidence in how he is able to call China his second home, through his active voice.

Finally, Levine solves the “what ifs” and “buts” that his readers might conjure up by justifying and addressing the possible counterarguments. He appeals once again to the readers’ perhaps, still debating hearts by giving them positive and optimistic assurances to their doubts. Because he also has first hand experiences of living in both America and China, he understands best the differences in the two culture’s social lives. He admits to the fact that “there are problems here, [in China]”; however, they can be insignificant and harmless. By admitting to China’s faults and justifying them, he supports his decisions in a non-biased way. “China is a nation that unapologetically rejects Western democracy.” Levine understands that safety and freedom would definitely be of high priority and importance to Americans moving away from the United States. However, he persuades readers that “Chinese citizens and the news media have as much freedom as they do.” By stating this possible fear of living in a Communist country, Levine also positively justifies the counterargument and leaves readers with a sense of security and assurance.

Another specific problem that may be pointed out by critics is China’s food safety system—“the most famous being the tainted-baby-formula scandal of 2008”—was straightforwardly brought up by Levine. He assured the readers that “China meted out swift justice in that case to the perpetrators,” and then compared China’s solution to the problem to an American—which proves to be relatable—food safety situation, that resulted in corporations harming their consumers and remaining unpunished. He added an additional rhetoric tool of inserting a link of the article to further support the tragic incident that occurred in the U.S. By exposing his readers to the same situations that could occur in America, he helped them become aware that food safety issues may happen everywhere, and anywhere, but what really matters is how they resolve it in the end

Through Levine’s effective use of a relatable tone, an active voice, and justifying his counterarguments, he is able to convince readers that China and the opportunities you can find there can be a suitable solution to the troubling recession Americans suffer in. He also urges reader to consider paying him a visit where they can experience a fulfilling job with a manageable workload, be enriched by the Chinese people’s patience, courtesy, and hospitality, a burst of spontaneity, and simply, a break from a loss of hope.

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