Rhetorical Analysis Of Louisa May Alcott's Death Of A Soldier

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Louisa May Alcott’s impassioned essay, “Death of a Soldier,” legitimizes the suffering of a wounded soldier named John, who was shot in the back during the American Civil War. Alcott saw John’s pain first hand as his caregiver in a hospital. His pain is instilled into the audience through Alcott’s evocative language. Through detailing her experience, Alcott wishes to inform her audience of the rewards of selfless action. John did not have to go to war, but he felt it was his duty to do so, just like Alcott did not have to care for the dying soldier, but did so out of compassion. When her story culminates at the end of John’s life, Alcott discloses that she was “. . .glad that, through its touch, the presence of human sympathy, perhaps, had lightened that hard hour” (3). Even in the misery of her patient’s death, Alcott found…show more content…
. .writhed around in [his] chair. . .” (1). The image of his wrestles contorting allows the audience to see just how emotionally effected Hitchens was. His audience feels sympathy for his distress and understands the extent of Mark’s effect on the author through the use of his striking imagery, hear the audience begins to understand the enormous force one can have on another. However great the effect of Mark’s death was on Hitchens, it cannot compare to the effect on Mark’s parents. Hitchens uses imagery again when attempting to illustrate the parents feelings, writing that they live in “a world that alternates very sharply and steeply between grief and pride” (2). Hitchens creates an image of another world, as if to say that in this world, one could never understand how the Dailys must feel. The world he describes is marked by opposite extremes, the image is just a window into which the audience could possibly see how the death of Mark effected his family, amplifying how one’s death effects those closest to him or
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