William Hazlitt's On The Want Of Money

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Well-known nineteenth-century author, William Hazlitt, in his essay, “On the Want of Money,” describes his position about wealth. Hazlitt’s purpose is to convey the irony of money; being in want of money and not having money can both cause altering effects. Hazlitt furthers his position by using rhetorical devices such as imagery, word choice, and metaphor. Hazlitt divides his essay into a parallel structure, focusing one part of his essay on the consequences of desiring money, and the other to describe the consequences of having money. In his essay, William Hazlitt first focuses on the consequences of desiring money. To support his claim, Hazlitt uses a distinct word choice. In the first sentence of the piece, Hazlitt writes “Literally and truly, one cannot get on well in the world without money,”(lines 1-2). His use of words like “literally’ and “truly” emphasize that individuals without money will live an unhappy life. The desire for wealth will…show more content…
"To be of want of it...is to live out of the world, or to be despised if you come into it;" (lines 2-4). William Hazlitt compares the desire of money to ultimate rejection by society. Hazlitt explains that individuals who want more money will never gain the approval or the status of the wealthy. Another example of his use of metaphor is, "To be in want of it...it is to be compelled to stand behind a counter, or to sit at a desk in some public office, or to marry your landlady, or not the person you would wish;" (lines 16-19). He compares the never-ending anguish of wanting money to having to work a low-level job or never being with the person you want. Through his example, Hazlitt conveys the message that money is controlling by compelling you to do things you don't want to, and the people who desire wealth will do anything to get it, even things that bring them
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