‘we tilt windmills…’–one of leopold’s rhetorical devices

one of leopold’s rhetorical devices is to contrast opposites; for example, ‘we tilt windmills in behalf of conservation in convention halls and editorial offices, but on the back forty we disclaim owning even a lance’ and ‘education, i fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another’ (both from A Sand County Almanac, 168). he uses this technique especially when he means something definite, and he uses this technique very effectively, both to introduce a point (as with the latter), and to conclude (as with the former). he could be plainer and blunter–‘we say we conserve but we don’t’ and ‘we don’t really learn’–but then he would be less persuasive and thus less effective. he’d fail to convey his meaning, and that’s really the point, isn’t it?

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