Confessions, By Saint Augustine Essay

1250 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
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 characterizes Augustine as an honest character. Firstly, throughout Confessions, Augustine lowers himself before God and the readers with great modesty, confessing his wrongdoings at every stage in life such as throwing tantrums as a baby and sneaking food from the kitchen as a boy. Augustine starts almost every chapter of the first three books with a declaration of his own ignorance, lust, greed, immaturity, etc. and ends with the Augustine praising God. For example, in one chapter entitled “Pear Theft”, Augustine starts by confessing his greed and sin of stealing pears and then shames himself for not turning to God—a “perfect repose and a life without turmoil” (37). This pattern of confession and praise is clearly stylized and creates…

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