November Class Topic: Common Sense

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November Class Topic: Common Sense

Post  Vasilisa on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:45 pm

Assignment: Below is an excerpt from Paine's Common Sense. Read the text and discuss the following questions in your reply, using reference to the text whenever possible.

A) What is Paine’s overall argument? Do you think his argument is effective?
    His argument is that Britain ruling the America, 13 colonies, is not allowing 13 colonies to grow and develop. Britain sees only a trade market in the 13 colonies and benefits only herself. To prevent America’s decrease as a nation they should go against Britain and attain independence through a revolution. I think this is an effective argument because Thomas Pain uses its reader’s head and heart to state the reason why the America should become independent.

B) Discuss where Paine appeals to his reader’s logic and where he appeals to his reader’s heart. Why are both appeals important?
    In this document Thomas Paine had appealed to both logic and heart of a reader. One of the examples were he convinces logical thinkers is; "I have heard it asserted by some, that as America hath flourished under her former connection with Great Britain that the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect.” Then he compares that a baby wouldn’t eat meat after it was born, it would drink milk. Paine states that 13 colonies would develop more with out Britain power and says that the only reason they cared about them was because the America was their main source of trade.
    The part where he touches our hearts was; "We have boasted the protection of Great Britain, without considering, that her motive was INTEREST not ATTACHMENT; that she did not protect us from OUR ENEMIES on OUR ACCOUNT, but from HER ENEMIES on HER OWN ACCOUNT, from those who had no quarrel with us on any OTHER ACCOUNT, and who will always be our enemies on the SAME ACCOUNT.” This touches the emotional side of the reader making them angry at Britain for not worrying about the citizens of 13 colonies, making the citizens realize that Britain is just using them.
    Some people believe in facts and proven information, while others believe in feelings. This is addressed for both kinds of people. Both appeals are important because if you a logical person and Paine would just talk about feelings, you wouldn’t care. This makes you realize for what your fighting by giving you the facts and the emotions give you the vitality to do so.

C) Paine's work is a persuasive argument that had an electrifying effect on the American population. Can you think of any other examples of persuasive writing that had a similar/comparable effect?
    Yes, Martin Luther’s 95 theses had similar effect. It was written in an understandable language for most citizens, same as Common Sense. He made people rethink their opinions by giving them facts. At the end, man had changed their opinions about churches and religion, same as monarchy and Britain.


Vasilisa
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