Words are powerless when looked at individually but they have the potential for good or evil, when someone who can properly use them to his or her advantage. That is what Nathaniel Hawthorne quote means, and I fully agree with him. An example of words being used for evil could be a dictator trying to convince his people that he is best for the country. An example of words being used for good could be a civil rights activist trying to persuade people to get along and to treat everyone with respect no matter what race they re Though words can also be used for evil by anybody just by using profanity. Those words can make someone furious and the person succeeded in insulting them. The same goes for words used for good, anyone can give a compliment and can make someone happy.
Words are innocent when looked at individually even Nathaniel Hawthorne states that they are powerless and just stand in a dictionary. Words cannot effectively be used for good or evil when they are individually used, but when they are combined they become different. An example could be the word filth, it means dirty but when used with you and are, they become an insult which can hurt anyone’s feelings. Words are pointless if you cannot have other words used with them to create a good or hurtful statement. Like how I showed, words are effective only with other words and if a person who knows how to effectively use words can easily use them for a good or evil cause.
Throughout history, words have been used for both good and evil purposes. A good example of words being used by a man who knew how to use them for evil purposes was Adolf Hitler. With his speeches he was able to convince Germany that Jews were evil and that they needed to create the perfect race. The effectiveness of his words caused much pain and suffering to innocent people, but if he did not know how to effectively use words, nobody would have listened to him. A good example of words being used for the good of America during oppressive times was Martin Luther King, Jr. He was able to persuade people to treat everyone equally no matter what color their skin was. He was able to effectively use words to support his cause and because he knew how to use them, he became a civil rights icon.
Words can also be used to persuade someone for a good or bad reason. The reason could be minor things from trying to make you buy a product to making you do something you might later regret. I have been persuaded many times throughout my life for both good and bad because somebody was able to use words effectively. One time I was persuaded into believe that taking a dollar or two from my mom’s purse was okay because she would give me the money anyway. The person (my brother) was able to use words for evil and made me believe something that wasn’t good and for him to buy ice cream. A time I was persuaded for good was when I was helped my aunt move her belongings when she bought a home. My mom used words for good by making me do something that would benefit my aunt.
Words can also be used for good or evil on any advertisement. Advertisements try to persuade you to buy a product, whether its for a good or bad cause depends on your beliefs. Commercials try to make you buy any product from food to cars they are not doing anything evil, but if you do not like something that they are trying to sell, like fur coats, then you may believe that they are evil. Advertisements can also be on magazines, newspapers,etc., and they also want to make you buy or join something. It depends on what is being advertised to determine if its good or evil like an ad for the armed forces, patriots would think its good, while other who hate war will think its awful. The words used in the advertisements have to be effective or else no one would support the cause or buy the product.
Persuasiveness has also affected my life in both good and bad ways. My mom is easy to persuade because I can use words that can make her believe that she is doing the right choice, so if I want something I just have to use the right choice of words and I always get what I want. Like the time I was able to get my PS3 only a week after I got The Wii. My mom being easy to persuade has also had its bad times. My father was able to persuade her to get a two door car even though there was four members in my family. It was annoying doing the extra work to get into the car just because he used the right words so he could have a more appealing car.
Words have also affected many stories like the book I recently read called Bel-Ami by Guy de Maussapant. The main character George Duroy used words to seduce married women for his selfish desires. He did the same thing to two married women and a soon to be married wealthy woman. He told the three of them that he was madly in love with them and that his heart desired them. He was able to pretend to care for them but he only wanted to fulfill his needs. He was a successful writer for a newspaper called the Vie Francaise, which gave him the ability to use words for his benefit. When he needed to get rid of his wife to marry a wealthy women he caught his wife committing adultery with the minister of foreign affairs. He had two mistresses on the side but being the way he was he was furious and wanted to destroy the minister’s credibility so he did it with a simple article and after that he was of no importance.
Speeches and everyday conversations can be good or evil because they can end in an argument or to a happy talk. Speeches are usually written to persuade or inform and they have to be written by someone who can use words, so they can either be good or try to persuade you to go against something. Everyday conversations can be good or bad. When couples are just talking and one of them says something they didn’t mean, it can start an argument which is not good. They can also be good, like during a conversation someone could give another a compliment and it can have good results.
The quote has some significance in my life because I want the ability to make people believe what I say. If I could use words to my advantage I could persuade people to do things I want and make them feel like they are doing the right thing. As of today though I have very little persuasive power. I am very easy to persuade when it comes to peer pressure because I like to please people especially if its something that would make people laugh. But when it comes to more serious matters I am rarely persuaded. Also words really do not affect me because I really do not like talking as much as I enjoy fighting.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s quote makes sense to me and I can support it with personal experiences. Words have been used for both good and evil purposes throughout history. The quote does have some significance in my life but not much.