In Defense of Darkness Rhetorical Analysis

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In Holly Wren Spaulding’s essay, “In Defense of Darkness,” her main claim is that we have fallen away from darkness and immersed ourselves in a society of lightness. Furthermore, she claims this has lead humans to lose touch with basic human emotion as well as the sensual and spiritual experience true darkness has to offer. Spaulding makes this claim evident through exceptional use of personal testimony and copious appeals to value. Spaulding begins her essay with a detailed personal testimony that describes the deep emotional connection she feels for darkness. In part of the second paragraph she states, “the sky and shore and water were all one inky darkness though stars sparkled on the watery surface,” (83). This description of the lake in complete darkness is used as an appeal to value. Spaulding holds a feeling of serenity towards the dark and emphasizes how she becomes one with nature and the darkness itself. Specifically she creates a connection and emotional involvement with the stars. In the following paragraph, Spaulding creates a contrast between life in the city and life in the country. She revisits the idea of the stars and how fascinating they can be so far away from the light of the city, where the only thing seen in the sky are satellites. This is the beginning of her argument that people in today’s age are much more interested in living in populous cities that revolve around technology and therefore lightness. Additional personal testimony given about Spaulding’s city friends visiting her house and gazing upon the “performance” of the stars, further suggests that while we humans can enjoy the simpler things in life, we still return to the illumination urbanism offers. Towards the end it becomes evident that Spaulding establishes the contrast between country and city also as a parallel to the contrast between dark and light. Spaulding uses the next few paragraphs to further communicate appeals to the value of darkness. She accepts that while...
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