In “The Crisis, No. 1,” Thomas Paine uses metaphors to persuade the American public to continue supporting the Revolutionary war. Thomas Paine is considered by many to be the most persuasive writer of the American Revolution. In 1776, Paine enlisted in the Continental army to fight the British. However he may have contributed on the battlefield, Paine’s greatest contribution to the war effort was through his pen, rather than his “sword.” Paine’s essay, “The Crisis, No. 1,” exemplifies his compelling style of writing; in this case, he implements powerful metaphors to achieve the effect. To better understand the effect that these metaphors have upon the reader, it is necessary to examine those that are designed to dethrone British sympathies, as well as those designed to promote the revolutionary cause.
Throughout the entire reading, Paine ridicules the British government in an attempt to remove any British sympathies his readers may posses. He states, “…if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth.” Paine is referring to a recent Parliamentary act called the Declaratory Act of 1776. This act asserted Parliamentary power to legislate for the colonies and “…to bind the colonies and people of America…in all cases whatsoever.” The implied metaphor of slavery is one that is designed to evoke anger in the reader. Paine later goes on to claim that a British victory in the Revolution is unlikely because it is unimaginable to think that “…[G-d] has relinquished the government of the world, and given [Americans] up to the care of devils.” His link between Britons and the devil is another implied metaphor that deprecates the character and philosophies of the British government. Both metaphors paint a very disparaging pictur!
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