On Compassion Analysis Essay

947 words 4 pages
Compassion at Play
Are people born with a complete quandary when it comes to compassion or is it something that has always been there? Barbara Lazear Ascher, born in 1946, writes, “On Compassion.” Having lived in New York City, Ascher is able to take first hand examples from the city to show the affection people have towards each other. Ascher is able to illustrate that compassion is something that has to be taught because of the adversity at people’s heels by including tone, persuasive appeals, and the mode of comparing and contrast in her essay, “On Compassion.” The tone of Ascher’s essay can best be described as thoughtful and reflective. Ascher is able to achieve this tone in her quote, “He wears a stained blanket pulled down to his
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She writes about the Greeks and how they mastered compassion through plays, and then compares it the mother who gave the dollar and the French woman who gave the food. Ascher includes rhetorical questions in her essay. The rhetorical questions draw attention to the audience. Ascher’s quote, “Pity? Care? Compassion?” (47), the audience connects to the strategy the Greeks used to enrich compassion into their society, and compares it today’s way of learning compassion. The audience instantly questions the way we are learning compassion today and wonder if it is as effective as the Greeks learning’s. When Ascher writes with the mode of comparing and contrasting she emphasizes the major change in compassion since the Greeks time era. The audience is able to grasp the tremendous change that has occurred. Compassion is still something that is being embedded in people’s minds today; it just is not through plays like the Greeks did for their people. Compassion is learned when a homeless guy pleads for money or a hungry man is in search of food. One cannot simply walk by these needy people without feeling empathy for them and a need to assist them. Ascher writes “On Compassion,” and portrays the empathy strangers have towards one another by writing about events she experienced in the city. Ascher is able to enliven these


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