“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” This quote from Bruce Lee goes thoroughly follows Henry David Thoreau’s argument in his essay titled “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.” Thoreau believes that each person should cherish the individual; in order to do so, the trivial details must be left alone. According to Thoreau, “After a night’s sleep the news is as indispensable as breakfast…And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper.” Because reading or, in the modern era, watching the news has turned into a habit, many people have incorporated it into their daily routine along with eating breakfast. Habits are extremely hard to break. Many people tend to bite their nails when they’re nervous; if they are asked why they do it, they will not even realize that they had been chewing on their nails viciously. It takes time to break a habit, and it is nearly impossible with all the constant reminders surrounding them, particularly when it comes to performing meaningless tasks. Thoreau believes that it is these tasks that end up taking precedence is a person’s life and drain it until there is hardly any time left for things important to the individual.
Core Question 1: Why does Thoreau consistently repeat the word “simplicity” such as in paragraph 2, page 277?
Thoreau states, “Our live is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity simplicity!” In these lines, Thoreau is stating that an excessive amount of detail drains one’s life and withers it into n...
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...es several rhetorical strategies in order to convey the idea that people often rush through life, causing it to be nearly meaningless to the individual. His use of allegory, repetition, and rhetorical questions appear most throughout the entire argument. His appeal through religion also strongly appeals to the audience. He states, “In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages.” In this line, he is referring to God’s holy ways and the methods in which he is considered divine. This is directly contrasted with Americans’ tendency to speed through life. He is bringing all of his audiences together through this appeal and causes his audience to find a reason to follow through with this argument.
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