Essay on "words as weapons" comparing Thomas Paine's Crisis Number 1 and Patrick Henry's speech.

Essay by NiStaHigh School, 10th gradeA, November 2002

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After the colonists in America decided that they were going to attempt a move towards freedom from British rule, they found themselves facing several different problems. Many of these problems dealt directly with the threat of a British invasion to quash such a revolution. However, the major problem was an internal one. The feelings varied among the different classed people. Many of these people may have viewed British rule as tyranny. Realistically, however, it would seem unrealistic that thirteen colonies, made up of mostly farmers and craftsmen, would be able to launch such a great revolution against the world's most powerful nation. Two great patriots of this time were able to motivate people enough, to go out and risk their lives. These two Patriots were Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry. These patriots used a method of writing that inspired people and incited them. They used "words as weapons" to hurt the British by turning people against them.

One of Paine's major works is known as "The Crisis, Number I." The "words as weapons" theory is used in this work on many occasions. Paine wrote with fervor and passion. His idea of a land free from British tyranny was developed through his writing. "The Crisis" was written in an elegantly simple voice, which allowed colonists with less education to understand his points. It was written in common, everyday language. In it he not only outlined the problems and struggles with Britain but also argued about them. He started out by telling people that "These are the times that try men's souls". He made the point that wise people would not allow themselves to be oppressed by British rule. He wanted the reader to become angry and outraged as that of his fellow patriots. Paine knew that the average colonist was...