Henry David Thoreau's Speech Rhetorical Devices

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Sharing similar passions and philosophical ideas, it seemed only fitting that Ralph Waldo Emerson would deliver a eulogy for his deceased friend and former student Henry David Thoreau. Throughout his speech, Emerson is able to capture the essence of Thoreau’s life by sharing personal moments and stories that demonstrate what he stood for and believed in. Riddled with powerful words and phrases, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s eulogy of the late Henry David Thoreau effectively brings to light his dear friend’s transcendentalist views and values, leaving his audience with the impression of Thoreau as a strong minded individual who lived his life in the moment. According to Emerson, “No truer American existed than Thoreau,” and while this…show more content…
He states, “But, idealist as he was, standing for abolition of slavery, abolition of tariffs, almost for abolition of government, it is needless to say he found himself not only unrepresented in actual politics, but almost equally opposed to every class of reformers.” It is clear that Emerson is supporting the claim he made earlier in which that Thoreau is man who shapes his own values and cannot be influenced or pressured by society. Emerson later adds “Yet he paid the tribute of his uniform respect to the Anti-Slavery party”, highlighting the idea to the audience that Thoreau was not forced to help the Anti-Slavery party instead, he purposefully chose to aid the group by own free will. The concept presented by Emerson supports the conclusion Thoreau drew in an earlier essay titled Civil Disobedience. In this essay, Thoreau challenges the rules and laws instituted within America and feels that citizens must not simply follow the government blindly. In the eulogy, Emerson places emphasis that Thoreau would not conform to society and the ideologies that he held could not be
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