Muir Man's Place In The Universe Analysis

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Contrasting the light, Muir offers bleak descriptions of the cheerless sicknesses to which nature has succumbed. Muir describes a scene as “a beautiful countenance destroyed by some dreadful disease” (“Reservations” par. 3). Though the isocolon of beautiful and countenance, he creates flowing tone; however, it stops from the harsh consonance of “dreadful disease,” bringing attention to this change. Muir contrasts the dystopic nature-free land in saying “[humans] may disappear without any burning or extraordinary commotion whatever” (“Universe” par. 7). By claiming a lack of dystopia, he appeals to his audience’s ethos; he creates a inner conflict about, as the title of the piece suggests, “Man’s Place in the Universe.” Muir uses irony for a similar purpose: to create difficult moral dilemmas to put emphasis on a…show more content…
In speaking of “special destruction,” his choice of diction contrasts special’s positive and destruction’s negative connotation (“Reservations” par. 12). Muir enhances irony through personification when he says “[the tree] was skinned alive … to show how fine and big that Calaveras tree was” (“Redwoods” par. 1). By using “skinned alive,” he appeals to ethos and pathos by making the action seem morally wrong, thus invoking feelings of pity. Muir continues his mourning of the tree like an epitaph: “This grand tree is of course dead, a ghastly disfigured ruin, but it still stands erect and holds forth its majestic arms” (“Redwoods” par. 1). Once again, this serves the ethos and pathos by drawing stronger, human-like qualities out of the tree, elevating the audiences emotions. Muir does not only touch people’s passions and emotions; he reaches
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