An Analysis Of Salmon Rushdie's Essay 'On Censorship'

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Salmon Rushdie’s essay, ‘On Censorship’, is unique in it’s use of rhetoric. Rushdie uses a conversational approach and an extended metaphor to persuade readers to follow his argument against censorship in writing. He begins by making his argument basic. Using simple language, Rushdie tells us “censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do”(Rushdie, On Censorship). The effect of this simple tone, causes readers to go ‘on guard’ asking ‘why can't I do what I want?’ He then uses that feeling to create a sense of relatability between the reader and authors. Stating that writers’ “want to gossip” and “want to complain” establishes a connection that then continues to flourish into an artificial sense of caring for the cause. Once a connection has been established, Rushdie offers quotes and humor to offer his argument in a slightly more formal manner. “If writing is Thing, then censorship is No-Thing,” and, of course, “No-Thing will come of No-Thing.” This approach gives the reader something to ponder and, though it is stated early on, it plants a seed in their mind to return to later on, long after they’ve finished the essay. An interesting, yet effective, tactic. Consider, if you will, Rushdie’s example of the air supply. Air is “all around us, plentiful, freely available, and broadly breathable,” so you breathe…show more content…
He uses nearly identical language to his previous paragraph to show that the liberty we have is taken for granted, because “black youngsters wearing hoodies in Miami,” “women in red states trying to make free choices about [their] own bodies, and writers who cannot express themselves due to censorship, don’t have the same liberties that we do. Even still, when we fall asleep “we assume we will be free tomorrow, because we were free today.” Rushdie makes a lasting impression with his statement, leaving his words to ring in the minds of his

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