Rhetorical Analysis Of Thomas Paine's The Crisis

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In the winter of 1776, during American Revolution, the still young America faced three major dilemmas: their seemingly imminent defeat, the moral debate between the Whigs and the British loyalists, and the panic and confusion of the American public. In efforts to settle the three American dilemmas, Thomas Paine wrote The Crisis No. 1 in December of 1776. In his work, Paine aimed to calm the American public and convince them to stand up to the British, and turn the war into an American victory. Paine was very successful in this, and his paper was proclaimed as one of the most persuasive works of the American Revolution. Paine’s The Crisis is so persuasive because of Paine’s use of three rhetorical devices: ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos, pathos, and logos are three means of persuasive appeals were developed by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle (“Ethos, Pathos, and Logos”). Ethos, or ethical appeal, is persuasion through the credibility of the author. Generally, readers tend to believe people who they deem knowledgeable or experienced. Pathos is persuasion through the appeal of the reader’s emotion, often influenced through strong word choice. Logos is persuasion through reasoning, clarity, supporting evidence, and logic. These three elements are used in nearly
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He starts by analyzing the past, saying that if any mistakes were made, they “have none to blame but ourselves” (IN TEXT). However, he counters this with the idea that they cannot change the past, but embrace its effects and move on. Next, he appeals to the logic of his Puritan beliefs. Paine says that he believes that “God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction” (IN TEXT). This gives the reader a sturdy base to place their hope, which he later increases by calling the king out for his murderous and unethical actions, and claims that the king has no grounds to seek support or solace from
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