Rhetorical Analysis: On the want of Money

Topics: Rhetoric, Want, Appeal Pages: 2 (761 words) Published: October 17, 2013

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Money is of major importance in today’s society. If you have an abundance of it, it could vault you into a life of friends, leisure, and fame. Contrarily, a lacking of it could leave you with absolutely nothing but shambles. Indeed, that is the point William Hazlitt attempts to make in “on the want of money.” By using appeal to prosperity, contrasting of ideas, and the idea of ethos, Hazlitt effectively persuades the reader that money is needed to achieve their desired goals. Humans are naturally greedy. Whether you’re religious and believe Adam + Eve as the causation for that or simply view that subjectively about the world, the point stands true. Hazlitt attempts to appeal to people’s desire to be prosperous by using the words, “extravagant”, “landlady”, and “law-stationer”. Granted, most individuals don’t view the words are necessarily meaningful, however, with Hazlitt’s time period reigning in about the 1800’s, those words were regarded in a particularly high self-esteem, and to be associated with that you had to be wealthy, a trait in which many desired. Hazlitt also uses a condescending tone to describe those who don’t have the money as being far less better off. Words like “querulous, and dissatisfied” emphasize that point. Overall people naturally want titles and fame, and by appealing to that sense, Hazlitt emphasizes the need of money to do so. By contrasting ideas, or effectively using antithesis, Hazlitt effectively contrasts the ideas and positions between those who had wealth at the time and those who didn’t. Consider for example the statement..”to live out of the world, or to be despised if you come into it.” Hazlitt analyzes the difference between people wanting to be around you versus living by yourself with nothing but despair. In addition, he appeals to the reader’s fear of failure by effectively listing and contrasting the reader’s dreams with their fears. “to be jostled by the rabble...
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