The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The intention is to spark a revolution for Communism.  The authors wrote this to inform the Proletarians of the benefits of Communism and encourage them to embrace the call to action: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution.  The proletariats have nothing to lose but their chains.”

Marx and Engels begin their manifesto using the appeal to logos by explaining some of the history behind the divide of classes: the bourgeois and the proletarians.  By starting off with facts of history, this gives the audience members the context they need to understand the author’s claim and the reasoning behind it.  This history lesson flows right into an explanation of how history has shaped the modern societies of these two classes.  Using the appeal to logos gives support to the author’s intention and allows the readers to fully grasp the concept of the need for a Communist revolution.

The appeal to pathos is also seen in The Communist Manifesto, often along side the rhetorical device of imagery.  An example of this is the quote “The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe.  [The bourgeoisie] has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage-labourers.”  This gives the reader the imagery of the halo being taken away from these members of society that all people depend upon.  It also allows the audience to impose the question; if the divide between classes can destroy these people, what will it do to me?  The authors continue using the appeal to pathos when writing that the bourgeoisie has removed the values of family life and turned it into nothing more than “a mere money relation.”  This would evoke emotions in those with children or those with young siblings because it would remind them that class division will only hurt their family more.

I like the ending of The Communist Manifesto when it says, “WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES UNITE!”  I find this conclusion interesting because it is the call to action and the fact that it is in all capital letters makes me think that those who read this in the time it was written must have gotten excited after reading it.  It shows how passionate Marx and Engles were about this revolutionary idea.

–Maria Schroeder


Intention: Marx and Engels purpose for this essay was to explain the historical reasoning for their suggested revolution, and what movements Communists support.

Marx and Engels use strong diction throughout the essay to add strength to their convictions. Saying “In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusion, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation,” is far more powerful than “The bourgeoisie still exploits people though they try to convince people otherwise with religious and political masks.” Both sentences mean the same thing; however, the former is direct and is given as more of a fact, whereas the latter could be taken as more of an opinion. The argument is therefore more convincing, because it seems more serious.

In their discussion on the evils of the bourgeoisie, Marx and Engels add to their logos by alluding to a prominent work that many people would recognize—the bible. They say, “In one word, [the bourgeoisie] creates a world after its own image.” Creating the world in the image of oneself is something that is traditionally attributed only to God. However, if the bourgeoisie is morphing the world to its image, then it is assuming the role of God. This would have been even more frightening to the people of the time the essay was written because they were more religion-driven.

In part IV, Marx and Engels explain all of the political parties communists support across Europe. After they list all of those parties, they say, “ In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.” Saying this at the end reemphasizes their main point and ties together the whole essay. Saying each party that the communists support also helps to solidify in the reader’s mind that this is not some made-up ideology. This section gives their argument ethos because it shows that communism has a real following and that the reader should also consider following it.

–Alyssa Cassidy


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