Analysis of Studs Terkel's Book and the World of Work

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Many people in today’s society find themselves guilty of believing the common misconception that money can buy happiness. They go to school to become a doctor, lawyer, or other high paying job, with money and social status as their only incentives. Many will find that they have fallen into a trap, when they start earning their large salary, but still are not happy. While there were many messages present throughout Studs Terkels Working: a graphic adaptation, the most important reoccurring message seemed to be that having pride and dignity as well as working at a job that fulfills one’s life passion or is simply enjoyable are more important qualities than earning a large salary and having a high rank on the social ladder. The interaction of words and images facilitates a pull of emotions out of the reader, thus making his messages about work, including why money does not buy happiness, more clear and powerful. The message that working at a job that one enjoys is one of the best ways to live a happy and fulfilling life is depicted in many of the interviews both through the text and the visuals. The people in the book that dreaded going to work every day and didn’t have any passion about what they did had a very different voice than people who did. The overall tone and mood of their interviews based on the visual and textual connections, was depressing, as opposed to the others who enjoyed their job, which were much more cheery and uplifting to read. For example, Brett Hauser hates his job and dreads going to work every single day. He complains about every aspect of the job from his boss to his coworkers. He explains how he hates how “everybody was putting everybody down” and how his boss actually made him feel guilty for taking his break (71). The visuals really help depict the hatred and negativity of the supermarket where he works, illustrating him with a constantly unhappy and angry look on his face. When he talks about how everyone puts everyone else down, a...
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