A Beautiful Piece Of Chalk
Analogy, contradiction, and irony are some of the important rhetorical methods that many authors use to portray their ideas. In “A Piece of Chalk” (1905), G.K. Chesterton demonstrates his adept writing ability in using those methods as a means of appeal to convey that everything is beautiful and valuable in its own way. His piece of writing not only exemplifies the use of contradiction, humor, analogy and metaphor, but also succeeds in using relevant support and evidence.
Initially, the first rhetorical technique that Chesterton uses is contradiction. We sometimes hold prejudiced views, along with implicitly wrong definitions, towards the world. The author first states the falsifications, and then contradicts them by describing the simple, pure, yet undeniable beauty of those notions. Chesterton says about the white color, “It is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black” (133). In the process, the author is able to make his points emphasized. Moreover, he notes in his essay that, “[v]irtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell. Mercy does not mean not being cruel, or sparing people revenge or punishment; it means a plain and positive thing like the sun, which one has either seen or not seen” (Chesterton, 133). He continuously talks about the notion that people usually evasively understand as trivial and trite, affirming their grace and charm. Beside contradiction, humor also effectively contributes to his narration. In the first paragraph, Chesterton talks about the conversation between the narrator and the old woman. He came up to look for brown paper for his drawing, but the woman insisted on thinking that he wanted to wrap up parcels. Even when she realized his primary purpose, this kitchen owner still could not capture the value of brown paper to the painter (Chesterton...
Cited: Chesterton, G.K. “A Piece of Chalk.” 75 Readings across the Curriculum. Ed. Chris Anson. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006: 132-4. Print.
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