Augustine Confessions Rhetorical Analysis

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It is impossible to write a book about the self without bias; each statement is crafted to appear a certain way. Consequently, readers must evaluate if statements made about the self are true or simply crafted through rhetorical devices. In one of the first books written of the self, Saint Augustine, later the Bishop of Hippo, writes of his conversion to Catholicism using a blend of rhetoric and scripture to persuade readers to evaluate their own selves. In his book, Confessions, Saint Augustine utilizes humility, contrast between the past and the present, and parallels from earlier passages and the Bible in order to create a persuasive stylized performance of his conversion to Catholicism. Humility plays a crucial role in Confessions and …show more content…
First, Augustine draws a parallel between himself and a passage from the Old Testament in the chapter “Pear Theft”, in which Augustine is persuaded by his friends to steal pears from a local tree. The parallel between Augustine’s retelling and the story of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis is both evident and purposeful. Adam is persuaded into taking the forbidden apple from Eve, leading to the eventual banishment from the Garden of Eden while Augustine is peer-pressured into stealing pears which signals his metaphorical banishment from enlightenment and acceptance of …show more content…
One night, Monica has a dream in which a youth approaches her in distress and comforts her by saying “look up and see” (55) and when Monica looks up, she sees Augustine on the same level. This passage on first glance seems little more than an Old Testament-like dream. Nevertheless, the dream coincides with Augustine’s conversion in the garden too similarly to discount the passage. Similarly, in “The Garden” a youth calls out to Augustine at a time of great distress saying ‘arise and look’, which results in Augustine finding strength and comfort in

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