Rhetorical Analysis Essay- “Civil Disobedience”
The public should not obey and respect a faulty, harmful or malfunctioned government. The essay “Civil disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau alerts the public of that idea and expounds upon it in a variety of ways. With his authorative, rebellious and mainly condescending tone, compelling point of view and diction he inspires the readers to espouse his distaste for the U.S. government and their unjust treatment of the American public.
Why follow and associate yourself with a stronger, more powerful institution then yourself that is impure, less than perfect and abuses their powers? With that idea implanted into the audience’s mind, Thoreau proceeds to exercise diction while fully getting his point across. “..But at once a better government” demonstrates not just a show of authority but an immediate request for the government to be improved. Additionally, Thoreau uses many (maybe excessive) rhetorical questions beginning with “Why”, when highlighting folly methods used by the government and when exposing the unfairness of the U.S. government’s laws. Notably, Thoreau utilizes the rhetorical strategy mixed metaphors to instruct the people how to disobey the government in the sentence “Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”
A very significant aspect that needs to be taken into account while examining Thoreau’s essay is the time in which he created it- 1849. The Mexican War is taking place which Thoreau utilizes to demonstrate how the government “abuses” their powers. Boldly but surprisingly, Thoreau does not just criticize the government, he criticizes the people too, with the fact that they have a tendency of not taking initiative to rebel against the government immediately and individually. He says “Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them.” Thoreau urges the people to not be afraid to resist and...