Walden

Persuasive Appeals in “Economy” and “Conclusion” 10th Grade

The autobiography Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau is a personal narrative describing how and why he performed his experiment of living at Walden Pond, close to nature. “Economy” describes Thoreau’s personal experience in the beginning of his time at Walden, while “Conclusion” sums up Thoreau’s beliefs about how people should live their lives. In the different sections of the essay, Thoreau uses the three basic persuasive tactics to convince readers that his beliefs are correct: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos invokes our rationale that people with personal expertise or experience on a subject are more credible than those without. Logos appeals to the rational part of our thinking because by nature we trust data and the idea of cause and effect. Pathos conjures up what we think and feel about different subjects using word choice (General). Authors try to persuade the reader using these techniques by appealing to various aspects of his or her thinking. In Walden, the section “Economy” and the section “Conclusion” share a common theme, which is that one can be self-reliant and live the simplest life possible in order to pursue one’s dream and ultimately one's spiritual freedom. In “Economy”, Thoreau uses logos...

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