The Crisis by Thomas Paine Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:28:14
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In the pamphlets The Crisis and The Word and the Silence Thomas Paine and Subcomandante Marcos formulated arguments based on the struggle between oppressive regimes and the commoners suffering it. Their purpose was to influence a justification to revolt in the common people as well as to establish how they needed to fight the oppression. The rhetorical devices used by Thomas Paine and Marcos can be compared in the sense that they both display anaphora, loaded language, and a credibility ethos to create an emotional, and inspiring tone to help their audience embrace revolt in a positive way. After coming to these conclusions, I was able to extrapolate a new insight on how Paine and Marcos were able to influence their opinions as well as understand their part in fighting oppressive government.

The first rhetorical device established by Paine and Marcos was anaphora, a device that repeats a word or phrase at the beginning of each sentence. The most notable use of this in Common Sense is where Paine stated The far and the near, the Home Counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike (3). This is anaphora because Paine repeatedly exclaims the at the beginning of each clause. What he meant using this device was that the fight in America to overthrow English oppression wasnt just a fight for the common man, but it was a fight for all people who live under Britain and this is proven by his use of the far and the near¦ home counties and the back¦ rich and poor¦ will suffer alike which helps his audience understand that the suffering caused by oppression will stretch to all people.

A similar pattern can be found in Marcoss essay where he used the word today¦ which repeats several times at the beginning of each paragraph. (1) He used this as well to explain that what is going on in the status quo (a struggle between governing officials and common people) is atrocious and must be eliminated. This is proven because he used today¦ in phrases that go on to say today we are a fundamental part of a country whose governing officials have a foreign vocation and look with disdain and repugnance at our past. They both establish an emotional tone of anger by stressing that the fight stretched to all people and that their suffering would continue unless they prolonged fighting.

This tone helped the commoners embrace revolt by explaining to the commoners that their suffering is caused by the oppressive government which in turn invokes anger into people which then gained a reaction from the people who now desired more battle. In addition, this device helped them in contributing to the cause by establishing their place in the battle to be no different from the common man. This is proven where Paine stated the far and the near¦ showing that he too was a part of the American Revolution even though he was far. Marcos did the same when he stated look with disdain and repugnance at our past which proved his understanding of what the Mexican government had done to the people.

The second rhetorical strategy implemented by these two authors was loaded language, a strategy that incorporates emotion into diction. Throughout their essays they used emotion in their diction with their purpose of influence in mind. Marcos used this strategy when he stated today we say we are indigenous, and we say it like giants. Today, 503 years after death from a foreign land arrived to bring us silence, we resist and speak. Today, 503 years later, we live¦ Long live the indigenous Mexicans! (3) Throughout this quote, Marcos placed phrases like resist, long live and we say it like giants as a part of his loaded language to explain that he believed Mexicans were still as powerful as their ancestors were and they could continue to be just as strong if they just continued to fight. This is proven where he said long live the indigenous Mexicans which establishes that he believed the fight was bearable and that they were destined to continue existence no matter how difficult the struggle was. Paine also uses loaded language for the same purpose. He said Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America.

Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. A man can distinguish himself between temper and principle, and I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion. (1) He believed that America was an amazing country, but it would never be able to reach that amazingness until it rid itself of Britain oppression which was ignorant to all other situations on the planet except for economics. This is justified by his use of happy as America and she has nothing to do but trade with him proving that he understood the value of a world that wasnt ruled by tyranny and suffering.

Paine used loaded language in this statement with a phrase comparing Americas situation to something supernatural when he said as I am that God governs the world showing that it would take mighty effort from the common people to overcome the burden of suffering so that they could truly be happy. These quotes helped Paine and Marcos establish inspiration in their audience by using victorious words that would inject adrenaline and courage. It helped the audience embrace revolt in a positive way by showing them an end result to their actions and a nationalistic view of their position as sufferers of oppression. This strategy also helped the authors assist in demonstrating this struggle by allowing them to incorporate national pride into people who had lost their pride from long periods of frustration with governments that didnt care to listen to their voice.

Finally, Marcos and Paine used ethos, the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology used to establish credibility. Paine demonstrated this use of ethos when he argued that I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, Well! give me peace in my day. Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace; and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.

(1) Paine was arguing that he also saw the breaking of peace against the people and that if it meant fighting to gain peace for all people who cant fight for their own peace then that belief alone would summon all men to strike out against injustice. This is proven when he finished the statement with this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty which showed that it only took an understanding of the peoples situation to invoke battle. Marcos also used ethos in his arguments where he stated This is the weapon, brothers and sisters. We say, the word remains. We speak the word. We shout the word. We raise the word and with it break the silence of our people. We kill the silence, by living the word. Let us leave Power alone in what the lie speaks and hushes. Let us join together in the word and the silence which liberate. Marcos believed that by using voice the common man could strike out against injustice and that anyone could become a part of the struggle, as well as the fact that they were all family in the fight against suffering.

He showed this when he said that they were brothers and sisters who could become a part of the fight when we raise the word and with it break the silence of our people. The authors both established a tone of credibility in the sense that they understood the struggle and were also a part of the fight, but they were merely an extension that helped the people understand that they could all play part in a big battle. This helped the audience embrace revolt in a positive way by giving them the tools to fight and the reasoning to strike out by guiding the audience to their tools of combat (the voice and manpower). It also helped them assist in demonstrating the struggle by exemplifying orderly chaos, a type of controlled destruction they used to guide the hearts of the commoners which was shown whenever they established their role in the fight as a leader that was also fighting in the same way that the people were.

Accepting struggle is one thing, but letting it prolong was another for these two authors. Globalizing their message of revolt through anaphora, loaded language, and ethos were very effective tools that allowed their audience to embrace their purpose. This helped me understand a new point of view on Subcomadante Marcos and Thomas Paine in their roles as revolutionary leaders who gave power to people who could not find it or were losing it.

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