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The Civil Rights Bill Rhetorical Analysis

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The Civil Rights Bill Rhetorical Analysis

Through his use of pathos, ethos, and logos, George Wallace presents a convincing argument against the Civil Rights Bill. Throughout his speech, Wallace attacks the bill and claims that it is "a fraud, a sham, and a hoax." His use of pathos during the speech appeals to the listener's emotions, while his use of logos and ethos attempt to connect his thoughts to the audience's logic and morals. The use of these literary techniques allows Wallace to connect with the audience in multiple ways, giving the listeners the impression that Wallace is credible.

Wallace uses pathos to establish an emotional connection with his listeners. He uses many tactics that appeal to emotions. Wallace begins by stating that "This bill will live in infamy." He uses this sentence as an allusion to President Roosevelt's speech after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Wallace aims to give the bill a negative connotation through the word infamy. He continues on this track by mentioning the thousands dead who offered their lives to protect our freedoms, which he feels the Civil Rights bill is out to destroy. Throughout his speech, Wallace is very conscious of his audience. He alludes to events specific to his particular audience, which generally consists of veterans. Wallace uses this knowledge to appeal to the veteran's emotions by alluding to wars and lives lost during these wars. Wallace continues on this emotional path by comparing the power of Congress to that of the brutal British Monarchy. He truly wants the audience to get a clear picture of how evil this bill is. He uses this comparison to draw on the feelings of his audience and to play on their patriotism as he delivered this speech on July 4, 1964. Wallace also plays on the listeners emotions as he compares the Civil Rights Bill to an "assassin's knife stuck in the back of liberty." This analogy creates a knee-jerk reaction as listeners will associate being stabbed in the back with something terrible. With this statement, Wallace is also implies that Congress was not brave enough to be honest about the bill, but instead sneaked up from behind with it. These arguments provide good examples of the pathos used by Wallace in his speech. Because of the effectiveness of Wallace's use of pathos, this speech is very convincing, even if you disagree with his points.

Another appeal that Wallace uses is that of ethos. He appeals to the audience's ethical points of view. He calls the bill one that will "destroy our free enterprise system", "destroy our neighborhood schools", and "destroy our right to private property." He makes these statements to have his audience think about all of the bad things that could come out of this bill. Because he wants them to think the very worst of it, he makes



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