Conscientious Consumption

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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"Conscientious Consumption" In David Brooks' article "Conscientious Consumption" the idea of Being rich versus Acting rich is taken into account. Many rhetorical strategies and stylistic devices are used throughout such as irony, comparison and contrast, literary and historical allusions, along with the author providing specific examples throughout his text to support a theory or idea. The idea Mr. Brooks is supporting is that if you are truly rich you may : "care enough to spend the very most"; meaning you will spend whatever amount of money is required to not look rich, for fear of being mistaken as a "vulgar yuppie". You can literally afford to buy the work of the proletariat.

Irony is a very active theme in Brooks' "Conscientious Consumption". "Its vulgar to spend fifteen thousand dollars on a sound system and a wide-screen TV, but its virtuous to spend fifty thousand dollars on a utilitarian room, like the kitchen" The thought that it is crass, and ill mannered for one to spend a lot of money on something as superficial as entertainment products versus something as practical as a kitchen is a constant thought discussed throughout the article.

TVs and sound systems are provided for a viewer or listeners entertainment, they have no other purpose then the ones they serve for those who bought them, whereas a kitchen may be able to feed an entire family, so a kitchen is a necessity. "It is perfectly acceptable to spend lots of money on anything that is "professional quality", even if it has nothing to do with your profession." Though your profession may not be that of a mountain climber, or of a gourmet chef, it is accepted for one to buy a multi-layer jacket, or to spend thousands on converting your kitchen...