I will be analyzing David Blight’s argument using ethos, pathos and logos to thoroughly analyze how he made his argument so compelling. In David Blight’s book, Race and Reunion from the chapter The Lost Cause and Causes Not lost, Blight argues that the Civil war was not fought to preserve Southern heritage but instead to preserve oppression and slavery.
Blight uses ethos to make his argument credible. He does this by not only having a well established name but also by using real and undisputed facts in all arguments he makes. He elaborates on the ideas of both the North and South to gain the reader’s trust. Blight furthers the readers trust by overall having a very well written book which would encourage the reader to continue reading. Blight’s book is the source of the change in outlook on the Civil war we have today. The book opened people’s minds to the idea that the cause of the Civil War has been altered to fit the politically correct agenda. The South could not stand to be seen as evil and racist so they did everything in their power to change the reason the South tried to succeed in the first place.
David Blight also uses pathos to appeal to the reader’s emotions to further advance his argument and give a reason for the reader to continue reading. He begins the chapter with a quote that provokes an emotional response from the reader. He also adds these quotes throughout his argument to not only keep the reader engaged but to also keep the reader emotionally involved in the effects the Civil War really had on history. Blight also uses pictures in his book to give people a visual of what was significant at the time and is still significant now. He shows important people such as, Mildred Lewis Rutherford who was the historian general of the Daughters of The Confederacy.
The author also shows the black Confederate Veterans of the Civil War and elaborates on their importance by pointing out that they were labeled as “loyal slaves” the second picture on the page is a group of third generation emancipated black men that he describes as posing confidently as a response to the label “loyal slaves”. Blight then shows the Robert E. Lee monument that he claims brought the idea of the lost cause to the mainstream and began to alter people’s memory of the cause of the Civil War.
Another strategy the author employs is using logos which is the logical reason the reader would consider his argument. Blight uses strong language such as “die hards” to give the reader a reason to really reconsider the way the United States justifies altering history. He also bluntly points out the change in mindset towards the cause of the Civil War that the North and South agreed on and pushed into history books so that those ideas were taught instead of the objective and accurate cause of the Civil War which was oppression of black people. After the Civil War the North and South both realized that now that the slaves were free they will be integrated into life in The United States, neither the North or South was very fond of this idea and did everything in their power to stop it.
They created laws that didn’t outright take away rights but did so discreetly so that people had a misconception that everyone was “separate but equal”. Another way the South spread their hate filled ideology was by making movies such as The Birth of a Nation that portrayed black people in the most negative way possible. This movie then spread racism from a regional idea to a national one. This book and specifically the chapter The Lost Cause and Causes Not Lost contain a significant amount of logical argument which is likely why the book is considered such a credible source.
In conclusion the author’s use of ethos, pathos and logos is ultimately what gives this book and more specifically, the chapter the believable and credible argument it has today. Blight’s book brings to light the things that people in the past tried so hard to cover up. The true cause of the Civil War cannot be forgotten, once it is forgotten we are bound to repeat the exact thing our ancestors did. Memory is a powerful thing, it can be altered to fit into certain ideas and situations that could be considered unrelated. While the Civil War could be argued to have been caused to preserve the Southern way of life or to preserve states rights, we have to take a step back and really look at what was going on during the time of not only the Civil War but also immediately after.