Write me a persuasive story, please?

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"A chain of binary properties is set up and antithetically differentiated in terms of the inside/ outside polarity: properties of coolness, darkness, repose, silence, imagination and totality, associated with inwardness, contrast with the heat, the light, the activity, the sounds, the senses and the fragmentation that govern the outside" (De Man 370).

This quote is referring to a section of a story in De Man's essay entitled Swann' Way. When I first read this essay, along with the short story, I thought that one purpose of an author is to pursade a group of readers. What makes language become rhetoric? Is it the style of writing that the author uses or is it the scenes that are created in our minds?

The short story that De Man refers to is very complicated because it can be deconstructed in many ways. A section of the story states "It was hardly light enough to read" (Swann's Way) which can represent earth or human vision. In other words, we can define light as a particle that the earth gives off or we can say that light is how we see. One author may say that inside and outside is very similar, but I may say that the inside offers isolation and the outside gives freedom and a wealth of oppurtunity. Who is right? I would say the one with evidence to support their opinion. An author may be having a great day and think of inside and outside as two similar aspects, but on a bad day they may tear the two apart.

Finally, I ask what makes a room be "dark" and have "coolness" (De Man)? Is it the walls and the air filter system? When referring to rhetorics and literature, it is important to understand that any author wants to make the reader enjoy their literature so they try to persuade them by using interesting words, metaphors, and literary devices.

I will leave you with a question.

If De Man believes that Swann's Way contains rhetorics, then would you agree that we can deconstruct and find persuasion in any literature piece?

Click here for the web page devoted to De Man.

1 Comment

Derek, that is good a question. I do not think that all literature is persuasive. I think every piece of literature has a message and sometimes people may use that message to persuade others to believe certain things. Yet I do not think that it is necessarily every author’s intent to persuade readers.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on April 11, 2009 5:15 PM.

Ex. 8: Post-Structuralism: Transforming History through Meaning was the previous entry in this blog.

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