Methods of Persuasion When one thinks of government controversy, you cannot help but think of the United States. This issue is usually about how the government deals with one's rights. Throughout history there have been many that have struggled for freedom against our so-called controversial government. Three writers each had their own specific experience with this government. Although each of these arguments relies on different methods of persuasion, Henry Thoreau, Virginia Wolf, and Fredrick Douglas all suggested that there is definitely something wrong with the United States's ystem of government. The following essay will address these author's arguments and discuss how the role of each writers' methods of persuasion played an important role in convincing the readers as well as getting their attention.
After spending a night in jail Henry Thoreau talked about the problem with the government and how they dealt with rights. The reason he was put in jail was because he refused to pay taxes that he believed was being spent on the Mexican War. Throughout the text he shows how much he disliked the way government was going. Thoreau had a strong belief that the system was going the wrong way and the only way to put it back on track was to rebel against the rules, just as he had. He wrote that in order to make the changes we must take chances and make sacrifices even if it landed us in jail. Thoreau uses a monologue as his method to persuade the readers.
The main goal in his writing is to convince the reader that this unjust government exists and that we must make an attempt to change it. Thoreau uses a lot of metaphors to try and get his message across to the people. Thoreau discusses how the people had no moral judgment and did whatever the government asked of them. If that is the case they might as well make mindless dummies to carry out the same tasks. Thoreau also describes the government as a machine causing friction. He compares the friction given to the machine to oppression and robbery saying that if that were what the machine needs to run itself then why would we need such a machine.
Thoreau uses metaphors throughout his text to make it easier to persuade and convince the people that our governmental system is very screwed up. Virginia Wolf's issue with the unjust and controversial government is that of the oppression women faced during the Renaissance. She states that no matter how smart, talented, or artistic women were, it didn't matter because they were held back from ever being anything more. The method that Wolf uses to persuade the people is that she takes on another persons view, that of William Shakespeare's sister, Judith Shakespeare. To make herself more convincing, she makes her tone sound like that of a historian. In Shakespeare's Sister, she discusses how no woman could have ever written a play because they were always deprived from using their talents or being recognized for them.
She writes about how even though women could have been born with any given talent, it would have been impossible for them to pursue their dreams due to how society at the time functioned. She argued that society at the time could never accept a woman as being a successful writer or scholar, because that's the mentality government gave the people. In the whole text she has a very polite tone of going about things. The only thing she wants let the people know is the truth. Fredrick Douglas's goes about things very simply and direct, he uses the first person tone as his persuasive method. He basically gets down to the point in his writing and does not stop to have flashbacks.
There are points however where Douglas describes people and attitudes to give the reader an understanding of what he had to endure. He writes about how having a slave can make the sweetest, kindest, most loving person go bad. He is very descriptive when describing the transformation of the person. Douglas writes this way so that the people will have no difficulty responding to what Douglas wrote. After reading all three works we can come to a conclusion that the controversial government of the past still exists today, granted not as harshly as before but it's still there.
Women are still oppressed and at times need to use me as a ladder to succeed. However there have been many cases in which women have made their dreams a reality without the help of man. In a way some people are still slaves as well. Not the kind of slavery that existed before but since minorities and lower class members have to put up with so much without being able to stand up to the society that's holding them down.
Like Thoreau stated, as long as the people don't rebel and take their chances a change is far away from happening. All three writers made the same argument but used different methods to persuade the people. Thoreau using a tone of hostility, Wolf using a very subtle tone, and Douglass using a simple and direct tone, all these tones and arguments contributed their method of persuasion of the people..