Critical Analysis of Lyla Fox's essay, "Hold Your Horsepower"

Essay by femmefatale27High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

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In Lyla Fox's "Hold your Horsepower," I am reminded of an ironic saying about teens who get jobs to pay for their cars and cars to get to their jobs. It's a vicious cycle. You see, if they quit their job, they can't pay for their car and if they lose their car, they can't go to work and if they can't go to work, they lose their job and...etc, etc. This claim is put forth with a lot of emphasis on teens having jobs, while still trying to maintain their academic career. There are many holes in Fox's rationale. She uses emotional language and loaded words to make her audience feel guilty. Her appeals to parents insinuate their fault in the dropping grades of their children. She bases her entire essay on the premise that students solely have jobs to make their car payments. This is simply not true.

She does not take into account the many other reasons why any particular student may need a job or car. Nor does she use any kind of research or statistics that are attainable and easily available. Fox's evidence is credible, but she simply did not use enough to successfully make her argument.

First of all, there may be financial reason why a student has to work, regardless whether or not they have a car. There are teens who work out of necessity, whether it be to help the family pay bills or make ends meet or purchase necessities for themselves such as clothing, food and personal items. Some teens must work in order to insure they have money to go to college. Fox does not even consider those kids who, out of necessity, are required to be financially independent. Likewise, she does not realize...