Human emotion has the ability to influence our behavior and decisions in profound ways. A simple fragrance could provoke deep feeling and a sense of remembrance or utter disgust and disdain. A mere mention of an individual could arouse tender sentiments or vile hatred. Famous orators realized the profound effect that passionate vocabulary had in persuading their listeners to ally with their point of view. Horace Mann, in his report, also recognized this human characteristic, and capitalized by writing a persuasive argument founded upon emotional rhetoric to create a connection with his audience.
To an American, there are few symbols that have greater meaning and evoke a greater sense of pride than the red, white, and blue of the American flag. Patriotism has always been something that an entire society can rally around and believe in, regardless of socioeconomic status. Within the first three words of Mann’s article, he mentions “the Pilgrim Fathers” (563), immediately cutting around the “fat” of patriotism and stabbing directly at the core of our country’s independence. By doing so, he instantly creates a sub-argument within his paper, suggesting that one is reading a patriotic piece, and if one disagrees, then they do not support our country. He later goes on to mention our founding fathers’ distresses, using such sympathetic words such as “amid all their privations”, “all their toils”, “amid all their perils”, “they braved still greater dangers” (563). These words force the reader to recall how hard our forefathers worked and how much they suffered. Any person with a shred of pride for his country would want to continue what these men started after picturing their hardships. Mann then suggests that his argument, the need for a free-school system, was actually the pilgrims’ argument which connects his readers to believe that Mann “represents” those who built this great nation.
Earlier I mentioned that... [continues]
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