In Defense of Darkness Rhetorical Analysis
In Holly Wren Spaulding’s essay, “In Defense of Darkness,” her main claim is that we have fallen away from darkness and immersed ourselves in a society of lightness. Furthermore, she claims this has lead humans to lose touch with basic human emotion as well as the sensual and spiritual experience true darkness has to offer. Spaulding makes this claim evident through exceptional use of personal testimony and copious appeals to value.
Spaulding begins her essay with a detailed personal testimony that describes the deep emotional connection she feels for darkness. In part of the second paragraph she states, “the sky and shore and water were all one inky darkness though stars sparkled on the watery surface,” (83). This description of the
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Almost half way through her essay she states the claim rather simply as an answer to the previous question, “The answer is fairly straightforward: When we are estranged from the dark, we lose access to vital human emotions and sensual experiences including wonder, awe, and humility,” which were all expressed earlier in her personal testimony (85). Following her claim, Spaulding declares “darkness bleeds the boundaries between myself and that which is just beyond my physical form,” (85). This continues her idea of the peacefulness darkness can offer, while also reveling its more spiritual presence. Also, she considers sleep and dreams, things that we associate with nighttime and darkness. However, her mention of dreams is also another parallel to darkness as dreams are similarly out of our control and mysterious. In addition, the darkness of sleep is a time when we are at rest and away from the chaotic activity that takes place during the day.
In clarification, Spaulding exclaims that her essay is “not a manifesto against light,” because of course it has become such a part of our society (85). Merely she is suggesting that we do not spend all of our time wrapped up in the busyness of the day and take time to enjoy the enchantment and relaxation night has to offer. Another example in this section referencing a counterargument is the connotations humans have developed with