In Russell Wangersky’s article “An accident of birth”, the author underlines how feeling proud of and fortunate to be born and reared in Canada should be in the mind of any of its inhabitants, whom he considers to be privileged to benefit from work and education. To bear out his point, Wangersky refers to his personal experience in a taxi where the driver –a new Canadian witha solid secondary education background –reveals how satisfied he feels to have had the chance to move to Canada and raise his family, in spite of being unable to continue with his previous career. Although such a dramatic but encouraging story from the driver’s side would make anyone open their eyes and feel contentment for their –material or not –possessions in general, Wangersky’s title “Anaccident of birth” makes reference to how the driver should have actually be born in Canada considering he appears to be part of a little number of Canadians who thank for been where they are –according to the author’s implicit argument behind his thesis. However, bearing in mind that one’s childhood experience is the fundamental foundation of one’s personality and character –as per Sigmund Freud, thefather of psychodynamics, would say –whether this driver had not actually grown up where he did but in Canada instead, for example, the chances that this man would have become that particular taxi driver (greatly thankful for his life) and told his story to Wangersky are practically null. Analyzing the progression of the writer’s article through the three major ideas he displays to attain histhesis in the end will also allow catching sight of some of the mundane actions he reckons individuals concentrate on their everyday life.
To begin with, the daily hassles ‘busy’ people have to deal with make them loose perspective of their surroundings. This is in fact illustrated by the first three paragraphs of Wangersky’s work. Despite being a personal story, the author adopts an impersonalvoice and a descriptive tone in order to depict a general statement of human behavior regarding their stressful lifestyle –characterized by a succession of negative points, such as bad weather, the traffic on the roads, or external noises that culminate in the spillover making someone want to “[take their] life into [their] hands”. However, what lies behind this idea is the loss of empathy towardsothers that are stuck in the same traffic jam facing the headaches produced by the same noise; others like the middle-aged taxi driver who has been surviving this type of situation for about two decades of his life. Wangersky, thus, criticizes the drama most people decide to live in by looking at the most negative aspects of their lives, as well as the egocentrism that blinds them fromunderstanding and feeling compassion for the rest of their neighbors.
Afterwards, the journalist portrays the vague stereotype individuals hold about taxi drivers in general by using the same technique of the impersonal but generalized voice. Because of the little interest clients usually exhibit about the driver when benefiting from a taxi’s service, only two characteristics seem to go with them: whetheror not they are “gregarious” and the type of small and superficial talk they might bring on (refer to paragraph five for a further illustration). All of this reveals nothing but the shallow aspect of human conduct when dealing with what they only consider as a “service”, and not the fact that an emotional being (like them) is offering that particular service.
Nonetheless, finding out about thepersonal aspect of someone’s life might not only surprise the listener, but teach them a valuable lesson –Wangersky suggests. The writer actually shows the breakage between this moment and the previous ones by providing the article with more dynamism by quoting the taxi driver, and thus, bringing the scene closer to the reader. Regardless of the fact that this man did not have the chance to...