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Corn Pone Opinions Essay

In Mark Twain’s essay “Corn­Pone Opinions” he uses different strategies to express his position on how people’s actions and thoughts are excessively influenced by others. He changes the pronoun “I” to “we”. Twain does this by first explaining his own opinion then addresses everyone else as a collaborative group in order to support his point. He basically states that people follow trends whether they like them or not. He gives a few examples to support his point. The anecdote that Twain uses of a young slave named Jerry that had such a talent for preaching helps introduce his argument in an interesting way. Twain carries the idea that men are made up of society’s thoughts and opinions.

Twain feels that everyone will accept the public’s opinions only for the satisfaction of one’s “self­approval.” Twain expresses to the reader that we all in a sense sacrifice our own uniqueness to be accepted by society. Corn Pone Opinions are the group of belief with which we each join as an impulsive mode to fit in, as Twain says, “the instinct that moves to conformity did the work. It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist; what is it’s seat, the inborn requirement of self­approval.”


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