One device he uses to come across to the reader is anaphora. His love of nature was clear and he had an eye for detail. Thoreau shows us this through his statement, “It was the most ethereal flight I had ever witnessed.” This claim shows how much beauty he saw in nature. It was almost too perfect for this world in his eyes. He then brings up questions like, “O Death, where was thy sing? O Grave, where was thy victory, then?” Thoreau is leaving the reader wondering with these questions. Thoreau is questioning nature now. When he goes in depth with anaphora it makes you think: why does nature leave a sting? Why is death apart of this world?
To Henry David Thoreau, nature serves as a reminder to take a break from the fast paced style of life. Thoreau is a transcendentalist writer who isolated himself from society to live a life at his own pace. The title of his work, Where I Lived and What I Lived For, presents the purpose of his writing. Thoreau expresses where he resided and his reasoning for living there. He successfully achieves his purpose through the use of aphorisms and paradox. He begins his essay with direct and simple vocabulary that clearly states his purpose. He “went to the woods” in order “to front only the essential facts of life”. His destination and intentions are clear. His diction represent his way of thought where details are not needed. His use of aphorisms
Thoreau is a hugely influential character in the history of America, helping to define American thought and continue to inspire our modern ideas and authors. “Countless contemporary nature
The first strategy used by Thoreau is imagery that makes an ethos appeal, meant to plead to the reader’s conscience, ethics, morals, standards, and values. In this passage, Thoreau relates life to how free and undeterred Nature can be. He wants humans to live life without fearing the small things and just thrive inside the big picture. This passage uses Thoreau’s ability to persuade to appeal to the reader’s conscience, “Let us spend one day as
Thoreau sought to embed feelings of anger in the morality of the individual towards inaction. Thoreau taunted, “If we were left solely to the wordy wit of
How does Thoreau support his claim that “a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it” (par. 4)? Identify at least three rhetorical strategies Thoreau uses, and use quotations as examples.
1. Based on your reading of “Civil Disobedience,” what kind of person does Henry David Thoreau seem to be? How would you characterize his state of mind and emotion as he composed this essay? Cite specific examples from the text to support your claims about
In Rebecca Solnit’s essay entitled The Thoreau Problem, the American writer analyzes the problematic response and formation of Thoreau’s reputation. She claims that the scholars and critics refuse to acknowledge the multidimensional aspect of Thoreau’s actions, not being able to see that he could be both a revolutionary figure who is able to inspire activists, as well as a man who was passionate about natural histories. In isolating these two parts of Thoreau, a reflection of the American thought is shown that there’s no belief in multifaceted ideas in regards to the environment and social justice. However, Solnit has stated that this notion is false and detrimental to society as well as nature, stating
Thoreau has a very strong appeal to ethos, which shows the audience that the author is reliable and credible. He uses his firsthand experience with the American government by way of his night spent in jail for refusing to pay a tax that he did not agree with. He is also a well-known philosopher and naturalist. These two combined appeals to ethos make a better chance
One of Thoreau’s purposes within the chapter, is to parallel humans and animals and their actions. Using stylistic features such as questioning, tone, and language which are influenced by the historical time period, Thoreau explains rather than blatantly states his views and opinions. Allowing for logic within his argument, vouching for its validity at the same time. The use of allusions within the passage of the “Ant War” compares the wars of humans to the ones in nature; Bunker Hill, the Trojan War, and the American Revolution being a few. Adding sarcastic commentary such as that the ants fought for principle “...as much as our ancestors, and not to avoid a three-penny tax on their tea,” (Thoreau 248) implies that the wars of humans are not any more
Thoreau pleads to his reader’s feelings by talking about what he regards as demeaning to the American people, especially the Government’s prisoners. Thoreau then talks about the men who work for the government, which he describes the men as being
“…this government never of itself furthered any enterprise…” (Thoreau, 1). Thoreau states his belief that the government never has its people in mind and only takes action when it will benefit the few rather than the majority. In this elaborate rant, Thoreau criticizes the government and the people who fail to make change in the country. Thoreau heavily relies on ethical and logical appeals to convey his clear message. “This is the whole history of ‘My Prisons’” (Thoreau, 10). Although Thoreau talks about how it is unethical for the country to go to war and promote slavery, to get people to sympathize with him, Thoreau summarizes his experience in jail for partaking in civil disobedience and not paying a tax. This anecdote depicted the country in a terrible light due to Thoreau’s description of the hateful jail experience. Although this strategy does emotionally appeal greatly to the audience, the full essay isn’t effective. Thoreau discusses many topics ranging from his personal experiences to flaws in the government, people, and legislature. In the eighteen pages of “Civil Disobedience”, Thoreau does not use transitional phrases when he switches between topics. Rhetorical questions’ abundance distracted the readers and it more than likely made them forget about the central theme. “Now what are they? Men at all? Or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?” (Thoreau, 2). Rhetorical questions are used to evoke thought, but the use of some of them when they are not even related to the main message can distract the audience and make them think about something completely different. Thoreau also alluded to different events and people of the time. He also tended to allude to specific excerpts in literature in which he felt were related to what he was discussing. “Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, as his corse to the rampart we hurried; not a
The very beginning of this passage feels welcoming because of his love for society, but at the end of the sentence, it started to feel morbid after his bloodsucker simile. It is a complete flip on the mood of the first sentence. Thoreau then proceeds to talk about the difficulties of conversation in small areas. He is displeased because his room is not big enough to hold a conversation of his liking. Afterwards he wonders why his neighbors have such large houses and he compares them to vermin.
Thoreau’s essay represents his beliefs about the government in 1849. He uses several logos with credible examples, and uses the emotions of the audience to support his argument. The first example of logos he uses is when he says, “The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.” His claim is that it is unconstitutional to have an army standing or ready when everything is peaceful. The government should act under this same rule; if there is peace then the government should not be standing so to speak. Throughout the essay he continues to provide credible examples of why the government abuses its power and is useless; such as when he says “Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its
Thoreau discusses the issue of how we spend our time and energies. It is obvious that his townspeople are not as economical as they spend many hours working very hard to accomplish very little, showing a false sense of economy. Thoreau believed that all attempts to redeem mankind form its problems were