Mark Twain's Advice to Youth

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Rhetoric is the study of effective thinking, writing, and speaking strategies and is an essential part of writing. To be valuable, a text must be developed and written with a clear perspective and purpose in mind. For most writers they first have to find the function their writing will serve in its particular context. Writers then need to express this purpose and choose specific rhetorical strategies which will achieve it. Writers use many different strategies such as symbolism, style, tone and voice. In Mark Twains “Advice to Youth” his style and tone really allow for him to capture his audience. Twains humor allows for the young audience to relate to what he is saying. This humor also helps them to connect with the speaker by allowing them to feel more comfortable. Twain also uses repetition in a unique way that allows for his speech to have a specific structure, that further enhances his writing. When looking at Mark Twains Advice to Youth one very obvious strategy that he uses is humor. By doing so, Twain really captures the young audience that he was expected to speak to. Twain starts off his speech by saying “ Being told that I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make, they said it should be something suitable to youth—something didactic, instructive or something in the good nature of advice”-395. Even as Twain begins his speech, he starts on a lighter note which allows the listeners to connect to what he is reading. In a way, the advice that Twain gives is sort of mocking the traditional rules that you are told when you are young. The first piece of advice that he gives is to obey your parents, however he than adds in the line, “when they are present.” By saying this Twain is poking fun at the youth. I think what Twain was trying to say is that people who claim that they obey there parents, really don’t. Maybe when there parents are around they are polite and courteous. However, Twain is saying how you act when...
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