Some notes on Hazlitt’s “On the Pleasure of Hating”
I think the main thing which gives an essay its power isn’t the rhetorical aides so much as the point of it – it has to reveal something about the human condition, make you feel like you should be doing something better, essentially. The rhetoric does help though!
Father Forgets by W. Livingston Larned – barely a page long, but one of the most powerful essays I have ever read – full text is below.
I think, because it is written as a letter it feels more immediately palpable, and the remorse, directed at you the reader and assumed little boy, is searingly clear. The exclamations are used sparingly, but to enormous effect
A Story of a Fuck-Off Fund by Paulette Perhach – again a lot of 2nd person, – you know it’s hypothetical, but the certainty of the tone – that this is what happens to you – crawls in under your skin.