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Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Rawd Alach

Response Paper: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

“Lincoln’s other most celebrated speech is his Second Inaugural Address. The themes in it are very different from those in his remarks at Gettysburg. Keeping response papers #3 and #6 (above) in mind, read the Second Inaugural Address and analyze what Lincoln might have been trying to accomplish. Pentads and speech-act analysis might be useful, here.”


Act: The placement of a band-aide over the nation’s wounds.
Purpose: To mend a broken heart, i.e., the United States; to make the heart whole again, connect the nation.
Agent: The wound healer, connector of the people.
Agency: Common ground, common interests, and a common love (the United States).
Scene: The joining road for the wounded, a path that units the nation.

As Lincoln enters his second term as President of the United States, he sums up his strength to lead a broken-hearted nation. With the Civil War still on everyone’s mind Lincoln is the man everyone looks to to provide aid and comfort to heal their wounds. With his Second Inaugural Address Lincoln attempts to do just that.
He stands before his nation, whose wounds are still fresh and untreated; a nation whose people had been divided. Lincoln knows the state of his people. He knows the United States is like huge heart, wounded and broken, throbbing with memories of past pains. This heart-shaped map of the United States has a deep zigzagged tear running through it. Lincoln recovers a huge band-aid to cover the nation’s wound. He steps forth to mend the nation’s injuries.
He points out commonalities between the nation’s people, grounds on which they agree and stand together. He tells the people that they have all been through the war, no matter what side they were on, and to each person his wounds. However, now, as he stands lead the nation once again, everyone must stand together undivided in an attempt to “strive on to finish the work [they] are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…”
In the scene of the inauguration, the nation stands on mutual ground. Lincoln joins the roads from which they have all come, providing a common path on which the whole nation can gather. They stand together, in agreement that Lincoln is the man chosen to preside over the nation. He was to take the United States away from the pain of what had happened and towards the peace that heals a broken heart.


Fallacious Arguments

Rawd Alach

Response Paper: Fallacious Arguments

“Read the online posting of Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz, “Fallacies of Argument.” Write up an analysis of some communication in your life (personal, print, broadcast, &c.), describing several fallacies. OR, write a fictional scene or advertisement, employing as many fallacies as you can.”

Fallacious arguments are flawed by nature, misleading, and manipulative. Therefore, they are often used in advertising. To show how they appear for the promotion of a product, read the following scene.

Super Bread: It’s so simple, it’s SUPER!

In a supermarket somewhere in New Mexico, Fred, a supermarket employee, is calling out to passing customers saying, “Come one, come all, either try ٍSuper Bread or buy Super Bread. Otherwise, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life!”

British Narrator: Fred has just used an either-or fallacy.

Fred continues endorsing the bread: “When you eat Super Bread, your wife’s nagging will sound like singing. Buy it today!”

British Narrator: Fred has just used a non-sequitur. He failed to connect his argument logically. But it seems he will do anything for business.

As Fred is chanting Super Bread’s motto an elderly woman waddles over to his stand eyeing the Super Bread. Fred notices how stiff her puffed up hair is as hands her a piece of the bread. As she opens her mouth to eat it she reveals her toothless pink gums. As she chews she chats, “After I choked on that Wonder Bread in 1929, I vowed never to eat bread again. But Super Bread was so soft I couldn’t resist, and I’ve never choked since.”

British Narrator: The delusional elderly woman made a hasty generalization about bread thinking that all breads were the cause of her choking.

Fred tells the elderly woman Super Bread is the best. Then a heavily muscled man approaches; his t-shirt stretching over his chest and biceps. He almost growls saying, “Super Bread could never make me super. I’m already super. I could crush your brain. I could lift your car. I could eat a horse alive.”
British Narrator: This avid steroid user has just taken part in begging the question, a circular fallacious argument.

As the elderly woman walks off giving Muscle Man a disapproving look, Fred wonders if he should fear for his life. He decides against the feeling. Then he notices the Red Cross logo on Muscle Man’s shirt. He says: “You will be happy to know that Super Bread is super because it donates 100,000 loafs of bread a day to the poor in Balho and Randa, cities in Djibouti.”

British Narrator: Fred has used a sentimental appeal to try and gain the huge man’s approval for the bread.

Then, a little black-haired girl gaily runs toward Muscle Man. She grabs his leg and giggles. Her mother is behind her with the shopping cart. Fred smiles at the girl and gives her a piece of bread trying to lean close enough without coming in contact with Muscle Man. The girl gladly nibbles on the bread.

Muscle Man growls, “I don’t like the look of you boy, that’s why I’m not buying your bread.”

British Narrator: Muscle Man has resorted to an ad hominem to repel Fred’s advertising.

His wife is close to Fred’s stand now. She picks up a piece of Super Bread and gives her husband a look she’s undoubtedly given him many times before. “Vince everyone with good taste knows Super Bread is the best bread around. We’re buying some.”

British Narrator: Muscle Man’s wife has used dogmatism to silence her husband.

Defeated by his female companion, Muscle Man picks up his little girl with one quick scoop and walks off. His wife asks Fred for a two loafs of bread. She smiles, puts them in her cart, says thank you, and follows her husband down the aisle.

Fred spends a moment basking in his glory. Then he says: “Super Bread! Super Bread! Everyone’s buying it, get your loaf today!”

British Narrator: Fred has moved on to bandwagon appeals to sell Super Bread. I must go get my loaf now to see what all the excitement is about.


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