Home Writing What is the difference between an essay and a paragraph

What is the difference between an essay and a paragraph

FIFTY What is the difference between an essay and a paragraph AGO, when I was a boy of fifteen and helping to inhabit a Missourian village on the banks of the Mississippi, I had a friend whose society was very dear to me because I was forbidden by my mother to partake of it. He was a gay and impudent and satirical and delightful young black man -a slave -who daily preached sermons from the top of his master’s woodpile, with me for sole audience.

He imitated the pulpit style of the several clergymen of the village, and did it well, and with fine passion and energy. To me he was a wonder. I believed he was the greatest orator in the United States and would some day be heard from. It is the way, in this world. I listened to the sermons from the open window of a lumber room at the back of the house. You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is. I can never forget it.

It was deeply impressed upon me. Not upon my memory, but elsewhere. She had slipped in upon me while I was absorbed and not watching. The black philosopher’s idea was that a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter.

He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions — at least on the surface. I think Jerry was right, in the main, but I think he did not go far enough. It was his idea that a man conforms to the majority view of his locality by calculation and intention. This happens, but I think it is not the rule. It may be that such an opinion has been born somewhere, at some time or other, but I suppose it got away before they could catch it and stuff it and put it in the museum. I am persuaded that a coldly-thought-out and independent verdict upon a fashion in clothes, or manners, or literature, or politics, or religion, or any other matter that is projected into the field of our notice and interest, is a most rare thing — if it has indeed ever existed.

A new thing in costume appears — the flaring hoopskirt, for example — and the passers-by are shocked, and the irreverent laugh. Public opinion resented it before, public opinion accepts it now, and is happy in it. Was the resentment reasoned out? Was the acceptance reasoned out? The instinct that moves to conformity did the work.