November 20, 2012
In the pamphlets “The Crisis” and “The Word and the Silence” Thomas Paine and Subcomandante Marcos formulated arguments based on the struggle between oppressive regimes and the commoners suffering it. Their purpose was to influence a justification to revolt in the common people as well as to establish how they needed to fight the oppression. The rhetorical devices used by Thomas Paine and Marcos can be compared in the sense that they both display anaphora, loaded language, and a credibility ethos to create an emotional, and inspiring tone to help their audience embrace revolt in a positive way. After coming to these conclusions, I was able to extrapolate a new insight on how Paine and Marcos were able to influence their opinions as well as understand their part in fighting oppressive government.
The first rhetorical device established by Paine and Marcos was anaphora, a device that repeats a word or phrase at the beginning of each sentence. The most notable use of this in Common Sense is where Paine stated “The far and the near, the Home Counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike” (3). This is anaphora because Paine repeatedly exclaims “the” at the beginning of each clause. What he meant using this device was that the fight in America to overthrow English oppression wasn’t just a fight for the common man, but it was a fight for all people who live under Britain and this is proven by his use of “the far and the near… home counties and the back… rich and poor… will suffer alike” which helps his audience understand that the suffering caused by oppression will stretch to all people. A similar pattern can be found in Marcos’s essay where he used the word “today…” which repeats several times at the beginning of each paragraph. (1) He used this as well to explain that what is going on in the status quo (a struggle between governing officials and common people) is...