American Crisis No.1
By reading the Article “The American Crisis: Number 1” written by Thomas Paine, an audience can easily recognize the authors purpose as well as the many other rhetorical strategies and writing elements cleverly used. In this persuasive piece his strong beliefs are echoed to people of this new country as a means of encouragement and patriotism. As Paine expresses this great new independence that was given to them by God and only God, he uses several incredible writing elements such as a strong vocabulary choice, incredible figurative language, and all three rhetorical strategies.
The theme of independence rings true as Thomas Paine incorporates vigorous vocabulary choices in his work. Paine uses the strong word impious to make his point. For example he says “Even the expression is impious for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.” (Paine 108). Independence is expressed through the word impious as it reverberates that it is not Britain in charge but rather only power comes from God.
He also uses a substantial word such as celestial to grab the readers’ attention. “Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated” (Paine 108) as an example of passion. The word celestial points to angels and perfection; this once again signifies that power only comes directly from God. Paine once again shows strength within his vocabulary with the word eloquence. As an example “Yet it is folly to argue against determined hardness; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice.” (Paine 110).
Ironically Paine is using the word eloquence as he is eloquently writing saying that no matter how eloquent they speak the words have no meaning to a hardened heart. Through the use of solid vocabulary Thomas Paine expresses his heartfelt message of true independence. The theme of independence continues in Thomas Paine’s work as he uses the writing element of figurative language. Paine uses a simile as a means of making a point in a more enhancing way. For example “My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light.” (Paine 110).
This shows a beautiful picture that his reasoning is clear and perfect about the importance of independence. He also uses personification in his writing to give his words life. “Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods” (Paine 108) to show an example. Paine makes heaven as a person showing that the price has already been paid and freedom is given freely to the people. Paine uses symbolism as well to express the beauty of liberty.
For instance he says “for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coals can never expire.” (Paine 109). He shows how liberty can shine as a flame but never be completely destroyed. These examples of figurative language paint a clear, beautiful picture of what liberty truly means. In “The Crisis No.
1″ Thomas Paine uses pathos, logos, and ethos to make his point more clear to the audience. The emotions of the audience are snagged when Paine incorporates pathos in his writing. As seen in his work “If there must be trouble let it be in my day; that my child may have peace.” (Paine 109). This tugs at the emotions of the readers and makes them feel what Paine is feeling.
Ethos is used in this article to show ethics by Thomas Paine. He uses for example “A common murderer, a highwayman, or a housebreaker, has a good a pretense as he….” (Paine 108). He is using not only common man but other men as well who are different to show that we all are equal and have freedom. Paine uses logos throughout the article. For example “that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better.
” (Paine 108). Logos is used to target a reader’s logic; this example shows time and a certain number. Rhetorical strategies are incorporated in every writer’s writing; they are what ties in the main point. Using incredible figurative language, outstanding vocabulary and all three rhetorical strategies Thomas Paine succeeds in showing that we get our independence and freedom from God and God only. I learned by reading Paine’s article that he incorporates many different writing styles all together and makes them all flow.
I also learned that to be successful in writing a writer must not only understand the different devices but develop their own ways of using the devices and elements.