An Analysis of On Laziness written by Christopher Morley In the rhetorical essay “On Laziness”
An Analysis of On Laziness written by Christopher Morley
In the rhetorical essay “On Laziness”, the author Christopher Morley points out lazy helps avoid a lot of problems. Morley’s purpose by giving out explanations and personal thoughts on laziness appeals to logos and ethos respectively. Morley through linguistic appeals with his audience indicating that indolence is what everyone should consider and practice.
Morley adopts the analogy of rhetoric to begin his persuasive essay by appreciating laziness and recognizing it as a benign factor in human affairs. For example, “One should be careful to distinguish laziness from dignified repose.” Through quoting the words of O. Henry, Morley further establishes ethos, connecting his own concept in a shared persuasion with this famous and talented writer. The purpose is to appeal to pathos in some of society’s most desired objectives, enlightenment, happiness, and relaxation, which is attainable into any human psyche that can guarantee these qualities.The tone of Morley is shrewd, yet friendly, like a wise mentor spreading his doctrines to benefit his pupils. Morley uses articulate vocabulary in his diction, using the rhetorical method in his speech to manipulate the audience into believing that the subject to whom he presents is as sophisticated and intelligent as his language.
Besides, Morley uses the rhetoric skill of imagery to clearly state that laziness brings about good effects and should then be praised and ennobled. For example, “the bustling man… who is asked to solve the problems of other people and neglect his own.” “People respect laziness.” This quote shows that indolence’s character is established and given an irrefutable, and admirable reputation. Everything knows about laziness, but this essay rather done condoning it, celebrates this human trait by exclaiming how the happiest men are often the laziest. It guarantees the readers something valuable for nothing, or rather from doing nothing. As the common man, the writer achieves this scheme by being able to communicate with the common man, who knows their own traits for his own. It rejects the ambiguous purpose of listlessness and shows the audience how the topic relieves stress and trouble in life by simply expanding on what we have naturally experienced and longed for once again. Laziness is such an attractive path that it becomes so without any action. “acquired laziness” may sound paradoxical, but by Morley’s definition, it is a determined way of life, not a lack of strength or determination, but a premeditated choice.
Last but not least, Morley juxtaposes two examples while contrasting historical events to give more credibility to his argument while portraying laziness is a good thing to gain support. For example, Germans waged a war to conquer the world. The quote shows “if the Germans were as lazy, indifferent, and natural as their neighbors, the world would survive.” The Germans waged the war because they were not lazy enough, which affected the chaos of the whole world. Morley clearly shows the negative effects of laziness, suggesting that laziness can avoid many unnecessary problems. The effect of making a good use of this historical event, can enhance the credibility of the article. Through human history, the audience benefit from laziness. Morley also presents a vivid example of Doctor Johnson who is a well-known scholar and use excuse to practice his own laziness to illustrate the validness of being lazy. “Doctor Johnson, who was one of the greatest philosophers, was lazy.” Morley immediately establishes credibility, because who wouldn’t trust a doctor? Also, it is noticeable to see how Morley instantly links philosophy with laziness, the purpose is to inspire type of revered thoughtfulness that is linked with philosophers.
Christopher Morley’s essay On Laziness firstly adopts the analogy of rhetoric to begin his persuasive essay by appreciating laziness and recognizing it as a benign factor in human affairs. And then Morley uses the rhetoric skill of imagery to clearly state that laziness brings about good effects and should then be praised and ennobled. Last but not least, Morley juxtaposes two examples while contrasting historical events to give more credibility to his argument while portraying laziness is a good thing to gain support and he also presents a vivid example of Doctor Johnson to make his persuasive example much stronger.