Bruce Catton's Essay 'A Study In Contrasts'

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Comparison and Contrast Analysis “A Study in Contrasts” In his essay “A Study in Contrasts,” Bruce Catton effectively delineates the extreme contrasts between Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grand and Robert E. Lee, but also describes their surprising similarities. Cattons’s purpose in employing comparison and contrast in his essay is to describe the differences in the two Civil War generals from the North and the South and how their colossal differences reflect the sectional tensions that lead to the war, but also how they have remarkably similar fighting qualities that help pave to road to peace after war. For instance, he corroborates that Lee was an aristocrat that valued tradition and culture. Catton states that Lee believed that men were …show more content…

Catton uses a metaphor, “Lee was tidewater Virginia…” to reveal that Lee embodies the region that he is fighting for in nearly all aspects. Likewise, Catton utilizes a sentential when he states, “Life was competition” to summarize his statement that Grant believed that men earned success and privileges through hard work and competition. A hyperbaton, “Daring and resourcefulness they had, too” is employed by Catton to emphasize their qualities and how they are alike. Catton utilizes mainly cumulative sentences such as, “America was a land that was beginning all over again, dedicated to…” He uses these longer sentences to add detail and description. Catton also appropriately utilizes a formal diction to address the immensely significant historical conflict. For example, he uses words and phrases such as poignant, chivalry, obeisance, and burgeoning to further reflect the serious issue at hand. Through his essay, Catton predominantly focuses on the immense polarities between Lee and Grant, but he also delineates that, in fact, they also had many similarities that allowed for a smoother transition from war to peacetime in the United States. He effectively achieves this comparison through his strategical organization and usage of descriptive sentences and rhetorical

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