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Elements of Influence by Terry R. BACON

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CHAPTER 4BELIEVE MEExchanging and Stating

One of the most amusing examples of influence in American literature occurs in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, and Tom had many other plans for the day, but his Aunt Polly is making him whitewash a board fence thirty yards long and nine feet high. He thinks of all the fun he’ll be missing and the other boys who’ll make fun of him because he has to work. He contemplates paying others to do the work for him, but he has few worldly possessions to bribe them with. Then he has an inspiration. When the first of his friends comes along and begins to taunt him, Tom pretends to enjoy what he’s doing: “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” This intrigues ...

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