Analyzing Essay 'What I Lived For' By Henry David Thoreau

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In Henry David Thoreau’s Essay “Where I lived and what I lived for”. He uses many different rhetorical strategies to gain the audience’s attention and get his point across about how he thinks about the world. He uses Pathos, Imagery and similes; he uses an abundance of these rhetorical strategies throughout his writing. These three are important because they help make his argument stronger and allow the audience to understand what he is trying to get across. Thoreau strongly uses pathos throughout his essay in ways that might not be obvious but definitely grasp the attention of anyone reading. In the text it states “I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation unless it was quite necessary.”…show more content…
It states in the text “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…” When he says “suck out all the marrow of life” he’s using imagery to allow the reader to get a mental picture. He helps one’s mind grasp the image of him doing such a thing, in your head it’s just what he wanted and that allows him to give you more to imagine which brings the text alive. He’s simply stating that he wants the best out of life and that’s what anyone should want. When he states “to cut a broad swath and shave close” it allows you to receive an image of one shaving but being on the verge of cutting him or herself, this is just explaining that he wants to live the best he can and essentially to the fullest. Another example of imagery is “… by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and needless expense…” He does a great job at explaining this in detail, in just one sentence the reader is allowed to picture so much in their mind. When he says “unwieldy and overgrown establishment” allows the audience to grasp that image of a place that has too much power and control and one might agree with his opinion. And when he says “ruined by luxury and needless expense” an image of a person wearing jewels or having spent money on fancy watches to watch as they grow old. He’s allowing for the reader to understand his argument and what he thinks of certain things in his day to day

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