Essays and other prose styles


Four Types of Writing

Alter Ego.

Essay – On “Restrained, Elegant Prose”

APA Citation. Comic Relief. Deus ex machina.

Double Entendre. Dramatic irony. Extended Metaphor. Fairy Tale. Figures of Speech. Literary Device.


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Pathetic Fallacy. Plot Twist. Point of View. Red Herring. Rhetorical Device. Rhetorical Question. Science Fiction. If there is no perception of a thing, then that thing cannot exist. Further, it is not the potential of perception that lends existence, but the actuality of perception. When Samuel Johnson flippantly kicked a rock and "thus However, Berkeley's empiricism was designed, at least partially, to lead to the question of who observes and perceives those things that are absent or undiscovered. For Berkeley, the persistence of matter rests in the fact that God is perceiving those things that humans are not, that a living and continually aware, attentive, and involved God is the only rational explanation for the existence of objective matter.

In essence, then, Berkeley's skepticism leads inevitably to faith. David Hume, on the other hand, was the most radically empiricist philosopher of the period. He attacked surmise and unexamined premises wherever he found them, and his skepticism pointed out metaphysics in areas that other empiricists had assumed were material.

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Definition and Discussion of Style in Prose

Hume attacked the weakness of inductive logic and the apparently mystical assumptions behind key concepts such as energy and causality. Are related events demonstrably causal instead of coincident? Hume doggedly refused to enter into questions of his faith in the divine, but his assault on the logic and assumptions of theodicy and cosmogeny was devastating. He was an anti- apologist without ever agreeing to be atheist. Later philosophers have seen in Hume a basis for Utilitarianism and naturalism. In social and political philosophy, economics underlies much of the debate.

Charles Davenant, writing as a radical Whig, was the first to propose a theoretical argument on trade and virtue with his A Discourse on Grants and Resumptions and Essays on the Balance of Power However, Davenant's work was not directly very influential. On the other hand, Bernard de Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees became a centerpoint of controversy regarding trade, morality, and social ethics.

Mandeville argued that wastefulness, lust, pride, and all the other "private" vices those applying to the person's mental state, rather than the person's public actions were good for the society at large, for each led the individual to employ others, to spend freely, and to free capital to flow through the economy. William Law attacked the work, as did Bishop Berkeley in the second dialogue of Alciphron in In , when a new edition appeared, the book was prosecuted as a public nuisance.

It was also denounced in the periodicals. John Brown attacked it in his Essay upon Shaftesbury's Characteristics It was reprinted again in Although there was a serious political and economic philosophy that derived from Mandeville's argument, it was initially written as a satire on the Duke of Marlborough's taking England to war for his personal enrichment. Mandeville's work is full of paradox and is meant, at least partially, to problematize what he saw as the naive philosophy of human progress and inherent virtue.

Adam Smith is remembered by lay persons as the father of capitalism, but his Theory of Moral Sentiments of attempted to strike out a new ground for moral action. His emphasis on "sentiment" was in keeping with the era, as he emphasized the need for "sympathy" between individuals as the basis of fit action. The idea, first rudimentally presented in Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, of a natural coherence between sensible beings being necessary for communication not only of words, but of emotions and states of being, was here brought out more fully.


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  • I. What is a Prose?!

While Francis Hutcheson had presupposed a separate sense in humans for morality akin to conscience but more primitive and more native , Smith argued that moral sentiment is communicated, that it is spread by what might be better called empathy. These ideas had been satirized already by wits like Jonathan Swift who insisted that readers of his A Tale of a Tub would be incapable of understanding it unless, like him, they were poor, hungry, had just had wine, and were located in a specific garret , but they were, through Smith and David Hartley , influential on the sentimental novel and even the nascent Methodist movement.

If sympathetic sentiment communicated morality, would it not be possible to induce morality by providing sympathetic circumstances? What it held in common with de Mandeville, Hume, and Locke was that it began by analytically examining the history of material exchange, without reflection on morality. Instead of deducing from the ideal to the real, it examined the real and tried to formulate inductive rules.

5 Rules for Answering ESSAY Questions on Exams

However, unlike Charles Davenant and the other radical Whig authors including Daniel Defoe , it also did not begin with a desired outcome and work backward to deduce policy. Smith instead worked from a strictly empiricist basis to create the conceptual framework for an analytical economics. As has been indicated above, the ground for the novel had been laid by journalism. It had also been laid by drama and by satire. Long prose satires like Swift's Gulliver's Travels had a central character who goes through adventures and may or may not learn lessons.

In fact, satires and philosophical works like Thomas More 's Utopia , Rabelais 's Gargantua and Pantagruel —64 , and even Erasmus 's In Praise of Folly had established long fictions subservient to a philosophical purpose. However, the most important single satirical source for the writing of novels came from Cervantes 's Don Quixote , , which had been quickly translated from Spanish into other European languages including English.

It would never go out of print, and the Augustan age saw many free translations in varying styles, by journalists Ned Ward , and Peter Motteux , as well as novelists Tobias Smollett , In general, one can see these three axes, drama, journalism, and satire, as blending in and giving rise to three different types of novel. Aphra Behn had written literary novels before the turn of the 18th century, but there were not many immediate successors.

Behn's Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister had been bred in satire, and her Oroonoko had come from her theatrical experience. Delarivier Manley's New Atlantis comes closest to an inheritor of Behn's, but her novel, while political and satirical, was a minor scandal. On the other hand, Daniel Defoe 's Robinson Crusoe was the first major novel of the new century. Defoe had written political and religious polemics prior to Robinson Crusoe, and he worked as a journalist during and after its composition. Thus, Defoe encountered the memoirs of Alexander Selkirk , who was a rather brutish individual who had been stranded in South America on an island for some years.

Defoe took the actual life and, from that, generated a fictional life. Instead of an expelled Scotsman, Crusoe became a devout Puritan. Instead of remaining alone the entire time, Crusoe encountered a savage named Friday, whom he civilized. The actual Selkirk had been a slave trader, and Crusoe becomes a far more enlightened teacher and missionary. Travel writing sold very well during the period, and tales of extraordinary adventures with pirates and savages were devoured by the public, and Defoe satisfied an essentially journalistic market with his fiction.

Defoe would continue to draw from life and news for his next novels. In the s, Defoe wrote "Lives" of criminals for Applebee's Journal. He interviewed famed criminals and produced accounts of their lives.

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

Whenever a celebrated criminal was hung, the newspapers and journals would offer up an account of the criminal's life, the criminal's last words, the criminal's gallows speech, etc. In particular, he investigated Jack Sheppard and Jonathan Wild and wrote True Accounts of the former's escapes and fate and the latter's life. Defoe, unlike his competition, seems to have been a scrupulous journalist. Although his fictions contained great imagination and a masterful shaping of facts to build themes, his journalism seems based on actual investigation.

From his reportage on the prostitutes and criminals, Defoe may have become familiar with the real-life Mary Mollineaux, who may have been the model for Moll in Moll Flanders As with the transformation of a real Selkirk into a fictional Crusoe, the fictional Moll is everything that the real prostitute was not. She pursues a wild career of material gain, travels to Maryland , commits incest , returns to England, and repents of her sins. She returns to the new land of promise for all Puritans of Maryland, where she lives honestly, with a great sum of money derived from her licentious life.

In the same year, Defoe produced a flatly journalistic A Journal of the Plague Year , and an attempted tale of a working class male rise in Colonel Jack His last novel returned to the theme of fallen women in Roxana Thematically, Defoe's works are consistently Puritan. They all involve a fall, a degradation of the spirit, a conversion, and an ecstatic elevation. This religious structure necessarily involved a bildungsroman , for each character had to learn a lesson about him or herself and emerge the wiser.

Although there were other novels and novelistic works in the interim, Samuel Richardson 's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded is the next landmark development in the English novel. Richardson was, like Defoe, a dissenter. Unlike Defoe, however, his profession was as a printer rather than a journalist. Therefore, his generic models were quite distinct from those of Defoe.

Instead of working from the journalistic biography, Richardson had in mind the dramatic cautionary tales of abused women and the books of improvement that were popular at the time.


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  8. Pamela is an epistolary novel , like Behn's Love Letters, but its purpose is to illustrate a single chapter in the life of a poor country girl. Pamela Andrews enters the employ of a "Mr.

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