Analysis Of Let There Be Light By Paul Bogard


In Paul Bogard's passage, "Let There be Dark" the author persuades his audience to appreciate the natural darkness our planet experiences. He does so through the employment of pathos, appeal to authority, and logos.

Bogard begins this passage by recanting a memory from his childhood. His application of pathos starts with imagery, like when he writes about the "smokey trails'' left  by meteors and the "sugary spreads of stars." This encourages relatability between the reader and the author in two ways: Bogard shares a piece of his childhood-- something close and dear to him-- with his audience, while also painting a beautiful scene to help the audience imagine what it was like. Now that he has captured the readers' attention, he finishes the paragraph with the upsetting fact that there is currently less "natural" darkness to appreciate. The readers can feel the author's worry through his descriptions of darkness, such as "irreplaceable value" and "rapidly losing." This serves to both increase the worth of natural darkness to readers and simultaneously increasing concern that it will soon be gone.

Bogard also persuades his audience by making an appeal to authority. In his third paragraph, Bogard explains that the World Health Organization (WHO) connects working night shifts to "probable human carcinogen," and that the American Medical Association (AMA) supports light pollution reduction. By invoking the name of two powerful health-based organizations, the writer entices the audience to support his claim that there should be more natural darkness.

Lastly, Bogard employs logos through the use of statistics and numbers. He states that there is annually a 6% increase of light in the United States and parts of Europe. Now that his argument that there is increasingly more light (and thus less darkness) is backed by a statistic, the reader should feel more inclined to both believe and side with him. He also states that the U.S. was a "very dark country" in the 1950s, whereas it is now "covered with a blanket of light." He continues to that furthermore, "those over 35 are probably among the last generation to have truly known dark nights." This makes natural darkness feel very exclusive, or like an event the younger generations are missing out on.

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