English III AP- 7
21 November 2011
Mark Twain, although quite the comedian, makes a valid point in “Corn-Pone Opinions”. The observation of humanity and its tendencies to follow what society promotes is a relevant occurrence today. Twain leads on “. . . that it’s born of the human being’s natural yearning to stand well with his fellows and have their inspiring approval and praise . . .” (720). Humans are not equipped to stand their own ground; they prefer to follow the leader. Twain puts it simply, “we are creatures of outside influences; as a rule we do not think, we only imitate” (719). Twain clearly makes his point noticeable to his audience, holding back no opinion throughout the whole piece. He explains that throughout the lives of those inhabiting the earth; many fashions attend the cycle of entering and leaving the social status of being wanted. People willingly allow such to happen. One year one will find oneself enjoying a certain blouse while society mocks them and the next year society will have welcomed said blouse without batting an eyelash. Human beings constantly yearn to be accepted by society; this feeling tends to be in their nature and they cannot simply make the feeling disappear. People sacrifice their own morals in order to gain society’s approval and often, “self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people” (719). With such actions, people follow the perfect mold of little sheep Twain creates throughout “Corn-Pone Opinions”. Society enjoys taking the morals of humans and ripping them away as if their morals were the ones creating damage and not society itself, unmistakably stated by Mark Twain himself. Through using examples and rhetorical devices within “Corn-Pone Opinions”, Twain states humans are virtual sheep, continuously following their shepherd, society.
To make his argument even more resilient, Twain uses multiple examples of everyday life for his audience...
Cited: Twain, Mark. “Corn-Pone Opinions.” The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Ed. Renée H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. (717-721). Print.
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