Jon-Michael Poff Mrs.

Lisa Huff 10 October 2007 AP English Language & Composition Hazlitt Passage (2nd Draft) Hazlitt’s sarcastic and dismal tones point out the consequences that accompany a lack of money. Realizing that money is necessary, the author uses humor to bring to light the problems that a shortage of money can bring. The author’s diction illuminates the hardships brought about by a lack of the almighty dollar. “Laborious employment” only brings about a life without “credit or pleasure,” or “leisure, [or] freedom, [or] ease of mind and body.” To gain money, people work difficult, strenuous jobs, only to be rewarded with discontentment. In their acquisition of money, the poor must forego those luxuries which they are sure that money will someday bring. Ironically, a life without money is equally as bad as a life spent trying to acquire it. Without money, “envy, back-biting, and falsehood” “[plague]” people’s lives, putting them in “constant distress.” Believing that money will bring a life full of happiness and bliss, people set out on a quest to obtain it. That quest is full of negative consequences, which only intensify as their search deepens. The author’s syntax goes from a single blunt sentence to an endless sarcastic stream of clauses, and finally to a witty, moderately long sentence.

In the beginning, there is a short direct sentence: “one cannot get on well… without money”. Stating the obvious, the author reveals the simplicity of his point, including no hidden messages. This sentence represents a life without bells and whistles, and it reflects the simplistic reality that people cannot live without money. In the middle, there is a long, dismal sentence with repetition of “or” and polysyndeton. The seemingly never ending sentence represents the never ending struggle for money and reflects the hopelessness of those in poverty. The continuing phrases seem to imitate the unpromising pursuit for money. In the end, there is an ironic and humorous sentence that provides a medium in sentence length between the first and second. The sentence represents the ironic consequences of a life lived pursuing money. A poor man goes through life unnoticed and barely scratches his way by, but when he dies, he gains the importance that he so desired while still alive. Though he never had penny to spare, “wiseacres” erect a monument—possibly worth more than he ever earned—in his memory. The short-long-short pattern of sentences within the passage reflect the life of those without money—little beginning, never-ending search for wealth, small ending. Hazlitt exposes the destitute lives of those in poverty, showing their hard lives in a dismal, yet humorous way.

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