Corn-Pone Opinions Essay

Words: 952
Pages: 4

Brooke Brown
Mr. Williams
English III AP- 7
21 November 2011
Corn-Pone; Conformity Mark Twain, although quite the comedian, makes a valid point in “Corn-Pone Opinions”. The observation of humanity and its tendencies to follow what society promotes is a relevant occurrence today. Twain leads on “. . . that it’s born of the human being’s natural yearning to stand well with his fellows and have their inspiring approval and praise . . .” (720). Humans are not equipped to stand their own ground; they prefer to follow the leader. Twain puts it simply, “we are creatures of outside influences; as a rule we do not think, we only imitate” (719). Twain clearly makes his point noticeable to his audience, holding back no opinion throughout the
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Humans, whether knowingly or unknowingly, fall into society’s trap of wanting the sense of acceptance. In return, they conform to the fashion, actions, and opinions to those around them. Twain, in order to continue his argument on conformity throughout “Corn-Pone Opinions”, uses the rhetorical device of anaphora. While talking about people and their tendency to follow those around them, Twain says, “They swarm with their party, they feel with their party, they are happy in their party’s approval; and where the party leads they will follow . . .” (720). In Twain’s mind people are of a social nature. Without the acceptance of others and without others approving their actions or ideas, people would not be able to function. By using anaphora and repeating the word “they” Twain emphasizes the point he is trying to make to people who conform. In another instance, Twain accentuates the word “it,” referring to the idea that when one has feelings one is actually thinking. He says, “Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it the voice of God” (720). Through this method of repeating a specific word, Twain clearly reiterates his point of view on conformity and allows the reader to better understand the hold society obtains to make people want to conform. People tend to view society as a comfort blanket, people tend to want their