“The American Crisis” written by Thomas Paine, outlines the conflict between Great Britain and America, as the Americans struggled for independence. Thomas Paine’s argument and style affect his content through the use of various literary elements and writing techniques.
Paine uses a number of aphorisms to introduce his argument. By doing so, he captures the audience allowing them to take to means these brief witty statements on a personal level. “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph,” quoted Paine. By stating a number of aphorisms, he was able to hint the audience of what is to come throughout his copy. For instance, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” This makes the reader wonder and ask themselves certain questions that are later answered through the text. The aphorisms also leave room for a various number of interpretations that may all be accurate; “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” Through the aphorisms used in the introduction of Paine’s work, the audience was able to get a sense of the tone of the narrative.
Antithesis also allowed the reader to think about how two extremes can both relate to one topic. “The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike.” All of these descriptions can apply to the experiences of the Americans during the eighteenth century. This form of parallel structure that expresses opposites is used in simple yet elegant diction. “Whether the Independence of the continent was declared too soon or too long.” Antithesis sets a ponderous tone for the reader that helps them analyze the true intentions of the author on their own.
Metaphors and similes were both found throughout Paine’s text, in which he compared two unlike things. “ The continent must in the end be conqueror,” argued Paine as he explained the fight for freedom. He went on to express that “ the flam...