The time period straw man refers to a shape of casual fallacy used in arguments and debates. A form of rhetorical device, straw guy is primarily based on refuting the argument of one’s opponent on a view he doesn’t share. When the subject desires to show that his or her attitude or argument is superior to an opposing argument, he uses straw man argumentative fallacy.
It is taken literally, deceptive the target audience into questioning the difficulty has misunderstood the opposition’s argument or position. In England, straw man is also typically acknowledged as “Aunt Sally.” Read on to learn extra approximately straw guy in literature.
Use of Straw guy in a Presidential Speech
“It became a touch cocker spaniel dog in a crate he had sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl – Tricia, the six 12 months old – named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like any kids, love the canine and I just need to mention this proper now, that no matter what they say about it, we’re going to maintain it.”
(US President Nixon’s “Checkers Speech” in 1952)
U.S. President Richard Nixon gave this straw man response to his critics, who accused him of taking money illegally from election campaign budget for private use. They in no way criticized him for receiving a dog as a gift; however, this argument have become successful despite being an informal fallacy.
Examples of Straw Man in Literature
Example #1: Oedipus Rex (through Sophocles)
Monster! Thy silence would incense a flint. Will nothing loose thy tongue? Can not anything melt thee, Or shake thy dogged taciturnity?
Thou blam’st my temper and seest not thine own Wherewith thou artwork mated; no, thou taxest me…
: Yea, I am free, strong within the energy of truth.
Who become thy teacher? not methinks thy art.
Thou, goading me in opposition to my will to speak.”
Oedipus is a strong-willed man or woman that doesn't like to be proved wrong. At first, whilst the clever man does no longer reveal the truth, Oedipus continues begging him. He finally uses straw guy with the aid of announcing that a blind guy is not sensible, in particular when Teiresias points at him as the cause of the tragedy befallen the citizens of Thebes.
Example #2: The Crucible (by means of Arthur Miller)
“Procter: I have no love for Mr. Parris. It is no secret. But God I honestly love.
Cheever: He plow on Sunday, sir.
Danforth: Plow on Sunday!
Cheever: I think or not it's evidence, John. I am an reputable of the court, I cannot hold it.
Procter: I – I even have once or twice plowed on Sunday. I actually have 3 children, sir, and till remaining year my land supply little.”
Cheever and Procter argue over the innocence of Procter within the court. Cheever brings up the difficulty of religion to overshadow the difficulty. Cheever’s straw man argument appeals to feelings and prejudices, as opposed to cause and intellect.
Example #3: A Modest Proposal (via Jonathan Swift)
In “Modest Proposal,” Swift has used the straw guy argument to persuade readers. He, in fact, responds to the governmental issue of handling an increasing population, and gives a solution via this informal fallacy. It is a straw guy objection, with which the writer reminds readers that lowering population is an overall goal anyway.
He introduces an excellent objection that there are some of methods to restore the problem, as he presents the idea of giving the kids of the bad to the elite elegance as food. Though this idea isn't always logical, it makes his argument powerful, as readers are led to think approximately real solutions to the real problem.
Example #4: Othello (by means of William Shakespeare)
And have you ever mercy too! I in no way did
Offend you in my existence, by no means cherished Cassio
By heaven, I noticed my handkerchief in ‘s hand.
O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart,
I noticed the handkerchief.”
In those lines, Othello does now not listen to his trustworthy wife, instead using straw man fallacy to refute Desdemona’s argument. He just talks out of emotions and anger, instead of using his highbrow reasoning.
The use of the straw man device is very not unusual in literature, history, political debates, advertising, and all the ones fields of lifestyles in which arguments approximately distinctly charged emotional issues arise. Since it's miles an attempt to undermine the argument of an opponent, writers and audio system use it to belittle or weaken the opponent’s position, to make it liable to an argumentative attack. It will be annoyingly powerful as, in response to this, the opponent may be lured into expressing something contradictory.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw