Analysis of Thomas Paine's "The Crisis (#1)"

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  • Topic: Abuse, God, Radicalism
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  • Published : October 24, 2010
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In “The Crisis (#1),” Thomas Paine’s trenchant assertion declares that the colonists must now demand their independence. Paine’s formal, or religious diction, long, often interrupted sentences, and scathing invectives against the king and royal supporters contribute to his elaborate, yet verbose argument.

The document begins with the telescopic sentence: “THESE are the times that try men’s souls,” which is contrary to the rest of the sentence lengths he uses. This makes the beginning omnipotent and interest the reader right off the get go. Paine then begins degrading Britain for its tyrannous disposition towards America. He uses capital letters to emphasize words such as freedom, tax, and bind when first presenting his argument. He also introduces strong, negative diction, such as celestial and impious, that will continue throughout his writing.

In the second cohesive section, Paine begins with the paralipsis “I will not now enter into as an argument”, and then proceeds to dispute his theory while demeaning the King of Britain, comparing him to “a common murderer, highwayman, or housebreaker.” The religious diction, used to reinforce the King’s abused power, contrasts the negative point he is trying to delineate. An example is when he writes “ God Almighty will not give up on a people to...destruction.” Furthermore, The callous invectives, like private murderer, describing the Tories chastises the truth that they are secret traitors and should be treated as such.

The next group mainly describes the difficulties faced by the Americans in war. Every extensive thought is interrupted with details of before the battle. This strategy accentuates the complications and doubts presented in the beginning stages of an army attempting to fight against organized soldiers. Continuing the same accent, Paine authors “…both officers and men, though greatly harassed and fatigued, frequently without rest, covering or provision, the inevitable consequences of a long...
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