The text under analysis is an essay titled “Knowledge” written by G.N.M.Tyrrell. It is an example of the argumentative type of an essay, because the author introduces a problematic issue and tries to influence the reader’s attitude with the help of reasoning; nevertheless, it contains instances of narration which is resorted for providing a factual base. The writer aims to make the reader think of the impact of progress and evoke consciousness about the use of knowledge in him/her.
To be as convincing as possible, the author resorts to both emotional appeal and logical argumentation, which is linguistically echoed by the changing level of formality or informality. The writer builds a frame structure, locating expressive and informal fragments in the beginning and in the end, so that they enclose the objective logical middle part.
Here are the means used to ensure this kind of change.
The author engages the reader into a dialogue starting the text with a question-in-the-narrative. It is provided with an immediate answer, where we see the author’s certainty about the fact that we share the same point of view. Such an effect is achieved by the informal tone established by the colloquial character of the adverbs “surely” and “actually”. Besides, informality is ensured on the syntactic level by the structure of this sentence: it starts with a clause, which is rather a feature of spoken discourse. The idea of unity of the author and the reader is rendered most of all in the personal pronoun “us” (that suggests we should be personally involved in the problem). The pronoun is used a second time in the closing part of the text, where there is also found a reflexive pronoun “ourselves”. Together they guarantee a high subjectivity of these fragments.
Another element of expressiveness that is present is imagery, which is a powerful tool of convincing the audience. Thus, one of the means of achieving emotional impact in the last paragraph is the genuine metaphor...
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