9/10/10 AP English Period 2
AP Essay: Question 2 (“On the Want of Money”)
William Hazlitt’s colorful word choice and creative syntactical structures utilized within the passage serve as the means for him to develop his position about money: that a “want for money” is certainly the fountain of much sorrow. Hazlitt conveys the vital nature of money and its essentialness through his word choice. “Literally and truly, one cannot get on well in the world without money.” The “literally” and “truly” are set apart from the rest of the sentence, acting as a definite introduction to the text. Either word on its own would convey the meaning of the sentence, but Hazlitt’s use of both makes them stand out, separating the ideal from the real. While—ideally—it should be easy to get on with the world without much money, in reality, it is hardly easy to get on well with money, let alone without it. Hazlitt conveys the hardships that accompany a state of poverty in his work with his highly “real” vocabulary selection: “to have your acquirements carped at and doubted”, “your good things disparaged”, to be “an exile in one’s own country”, and to try all things “with all your pains, anxiety, and hopes, and most probably fail.” Each of the words presents a sense of rejection at every level, and Hazlitt utilizes such words to convey his position that the want of money doesn’t make life more difficult solely in the “need” stand point, but it also taints the views others have on an individual, mainly as a measure of class. It is not merely through words that Hazlitt presents his message on the necessity of money, but also through his syntactical structure. His sentences are long and highly segmented, which is evident in how the entire excerpt is only three sentences long and filled to the rim with semicolons. Each of these highly complex sentences, however, brings the difficult obstacles that the “want of money” can present to light, and in a...
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