Analysis Of Corn Pone Opinions By Mark Twain

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Throughout his short essay “Corn-pone Opinions,” Mark Twain begins to describe his elaborate views on ones self-approval, succumbing to the norm and societal trends. Beginning with an anecdote from his childhood in which he recalls the sermons of a lay preacher, Twain proceeds to discuss what he feels is a universal case of conformity and among the general population. “Broadly speaking,” he states, “there are none but Corn-pone opinions” because people tend to base their choices and preferences through association and sympathy rather than critical thinking and individual reasoning (4). A person’s opinions and personal preferences coincide with the “majority view” more than any originality or authenticity. The essay employs examples and cites evidence from the realms of fashion, literature, and dining etiquette to support his point that not only are people inclined toward …show more content…
His rhetoric is easy to follow mostly because his prose style is, by and large, very straightforward, even casual. In addition to transitioning well from the first to the third person throughout the essay, he adopts an easy-to-follow narrative arrangement of well-balanced paragraphs and cohesive sentences. This is not to say that his writing lacks variety; rather, it keeps the reader well-informed and well-engaged with a steady dose of stylistic devices and figurative elements. More than once does he use interposition and apposition to incorporate ironic contrasts within his longer statements while also using parallelism and antithesis on many occasions to drive home his major points. In several places he breaks up the flow of his narrative with rhetorical questions and concise sentences to offset longer ones. Several such blunt statements are used to conclude the essay by highlighting the dogmatic nature of “Public Opinion.” On the whole the essay is both engaging in its delivery and stimulating in its manner of

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