Thoughts in the Presence of Fear Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Presence of Fear" (2001) the author argues for the need to come to peace and terms with what we are as a society, wasteful, selfish, and entitled. He makes his argument convincing by stating something that can relate to everyone, and picks topics that covers almost every type of person that will end up reading this piece. He presents his argument relatively well by enforcing upon his readers examples of how as a society, we have become our worst nightmare, dependent on the suffering on the lack of well-being of others and our surroundings, and he does so in a way that makes his comments and opinions relatable to a large proportion of readers. It is this concept of making the reader feel comfortable and making them feel like the piece is written for them, that makes the author's argument persuasive.

The author's argument is very well-rounded in the sense that it provides the reader with a way to fully comprehend the issue at hand. He writes, "We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us" (XXIII). By providing ways to understand the potential problem and its target, he is providing his audience with a suggestion to make their own unbiased
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opinions based on complete research and comprehension than to jump to unsupported conclusions. His argument is persuading not only to think his ideas, but to think his ideas because one has enough evidence, knowledge, and exposure to make one's own assumptions. He is counting on the confidence that his readers will then place in him for not forcing his opinions on them, but instead will be thankful for allowing them to make up their own conclusions based on what they themselves see as appropriately fitting.

His plea to the public, to his readers, to think about the poor underprivileged that have gotten the shortest end of this stick, makes his argument that much more appealing to those who come from these types of backgrounds. He writes directly to them saying, "The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world's people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world" (II). By acknowledging that people are being oppressed by those who deem themselves superior, he is using a technique that again makes the readers feel comfortable with his writing and eases their doubts in anything that they might disagree with later on in his writing because he has already hooked them from the beginning with stating something that affects a large number of the population. He uses this to reel more people into being convinced by what he has to say.

Again appealing to those who might feel ignored in a society, he makes it a point…

Sources Used in Documents:


Wendell, Berry. Thoughts in the Presence of Fear. Orion Magazine. 2001 / Web

Stiff, James, B. And Mongeau Paul A. Persuasive Communication. The Guilford Press: New York, New York 2003. Print.

Camp, Lindsey. Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive Writing. A & C. Black: London. 2007. Print.

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