Fear And Persuasion Essay

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William Curvino Mrs. Hook Pre AP American Literature 6 Nov 2013 Fear and Persuasion: Tools for Changing a Nation Jonathan Edwards and Arthur Miller changed the views of society with their writings using fear and persuasion. Both the authors of The Crucible and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” use fear and persuasion to influence their audience. The way that fear and persuasion are implemented in the two works is through different literary elements. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was written by Jonathan Edwards during The Great Awakening, and is about how God is massive and ruthless towards humans, and how God will send you to hell without hesitation for even the slightest of sins. The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller…show more content…
The author, Jonathan Edwards, gave this sermon to regain lost puritans through fear and persuasion, and he was successful partially because of his use of literary devices. Edwards uses imagery to explain how you are only a spider, dangling by a thread which is held in the hands of God himself over the fiery pits of hell. “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire”, said Edwards. (Edwards 154) These lines are strongly influential because of Edwards’ horrific use of imagery. Another literary element that Edwards uses in his sermon is personification. An example is “and the pit hath opened its mouth under them”. (Edwards 154) This line portrays the pit opening its mouth, which we know is the characteristic of a human. This use of personification helps give the audience a sense of fear because they feel that at any point a fiery pit could open up right under them, and send them right to hell. These two literary devices facilitated Edwards’ ability to implement fear on his audience, and thus persuade his audience to come back to the Puritan church and discontinue their
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