In his speech, Alfred M. Green helped to unite the Union by using various rhetorical devices to help express his three arguments about why African Americans should be allowed to enlist in the Union army. In these arguments, Green points out that dwelling on the discrepancies and mistakes of the leaders of the past is not going to help the black community in the future and that they must fight to improve their status in society. Green also comments that African Americans should try to garner passion and motivation to fight off these southern oppressors despite their unjust subordinate standing in the nation. Green urges his audience to do this because this fulfilled duty to the nation might warrant a better respect and position towards African Americans in society in the future. Green’s final main argument in this speech is that the world is on the verge of a New World order where equality of all people is acknowledged. Using this assertion, Green urges that African Americans should embrace this new global view by forgetting the grudges of the past and united with the rest of the Union to fight a common evil; the oppressive confederacy which still revels in the evil slave-holding days of old. To help convey his motivation to forget the past mistakes of the Union and convince his fellow African Americans to fight for them, Green makes apt use of diction. An exceptional instance of this appears when Green affirms, “Our duty, brethren, in not to cavil over past grievances.” In this sentence alone, multiple cases of potent diction can be found. For example, Green’s use of the word, “cavil” helps to portray the futility of the vain arguments that his fellow blacks have made toward the character of America’s founding fathers. This diction has helped to reveal that, despite all these petty discrepancies, the ideals that the founding fathers had set forth are still worth pursuing and protecting by fighting with the union. Green also uses the word, “brethren”...
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