The American crisis by Thomas Paine

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During 1776, the United States was at war to gain its own independence from the hands of the tyrant King George III and his kingdom. As the fightt continued, the spirits of the U.S. soldiers began to die out as the nightmares of winter crawled across the land. Thomas Paine, a journalist, hoped to encourage the soldiers back into the fight through one of his sixteen pamphlets, “The American Crisis (No.1)”. In order to rebuild the hopes of the downhearted soldiers, Thomas Paine establishes himself as a reliable figure, enrages them with the crimes of the British crown, and, most importantly evokes a sense of culpability. The initial paragraphs of Paine’s pamphlet establish to his audience that he is a reliable figure. While Paine talks about the journey they have gone so far, he tells his audience about their status in the war so far by saying, “we did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we were in a dependent state” (108). By starting out with igniting the start of getting the audience angry, Paine then goes on to kill the flame a little by blaming the audience of their position so far, but is able to keep his audience on his path by blaming himself in his words by using the inclusive pronoun “we”. Continuing on by saying that, “the fault if it were one, was all our own… But no great deal is lost yet”, then goes on to have his audience still on his path, but then starts to build himself up as a reliable figure by saying that he believes that they are not finished yet and evoking the spirit that they can do it. Besides this initial effort to have his audience trust and believe his words, a common enemy begins to be established between Paine and the audience in which he goes on to say, “God Almighty will not give ... ... middle of paper ... ...hat his audience is still with him, Paine ends with an either-or-fallacy to emphasize to choices that they could either, “by perseverance and fortitude [they] have the prospect of a glorious issue” or, “by cowardice and submission… a ravaged country – a depopulated city… [their] homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians”(111). Here Paine wants to make sure his audience feels that there is only one chance in the next battle, or it is over for all of them. His use of language here at the end of his pamphlet is somewhat indicative of how much of the language in this pamphlet is aiming towards the idea that there is one last chance for the audience to act by invoking a sense of culpability upon them. Work Cited League, Ian, ed. “from the Crisis, No.1-Thomas Paine.” Elements of Literature-Fifth Course. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2000: 108-111.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how thomas paine, a journalist, encourages the soldiers back into the fight through his sixteen pamphlets, "the american crisis (no.1)".
  • Analyzes how paine's pamphlet establishes to his audience that he is a reliable figure by establishing to claim god is with the audience and that god will not give up on them.
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