Alfred Green Essay
Alfred Green 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” to convey a feeling of unity and brotherhood between him and his audience, making them more receptive to his cause.
Another example of effective diction that Green uses is apparent when he remarks, “Yet let us endeavor to hope for the future and improve the present auspicious moment for creating anew our claims upon the justice and honor of the Republic. ” In this statement, Green makes use of the word, “auspicious” to invigorate a sense of hope, promise, and patriotism in his fellow blacks to impel them to forget their old grudges and fight the odious empire that is attempting to prevent the ideals of justice and honor from withstanding in America.
Green also impels the African American population to forget their current inferior status in society at the time as well as their oppression in the past in order to secure a more deserving position in the future. He does this by tactfully using persuasive logic to point out that those who enforce their lower status in society do not represent the ideals set forth by their fathers, the founding fathers. This is evident when Green points out, “let not the honor and glory achieved by our fathers be blasted or sullied by a want of true heroism among their sons. In this excerpt, Green logically reminds his audience that the authoritarian control that some white exert over his fellow blacks does not and should not diminish the greatness of the achievements and principles that their ancestors, the founding fathers, attempted to pursue, and that they are still worth pursuing today. Using this logic, Green helps to persuade his fellow African Americans to fight for these ideals to reverse the misdeeds committed by the sons of the founding fathers by uniting with the advancing North to fight the immoral racism of the South.
In order to impart his argument that the world is on the brink of political and philosophical change towards greater freedom towards all peoples, Green cleverly employs antithesis. Green expresses this antithesis in the form of his interpretation of the intent of the secessionists of the confederacy. This is done when he quips, “The war cry of the howling leaders of Secession and the treason is: ‘Let us drive back the advance guard of civil and religious freedom: let us build stronger the tyrant system of slavery in the great American Republic. ” In this mocking set of phrases, Green reveals to his audience the direct, true underlying intentions and implications of the Confederacy’s agenda. By exhibiting the opposite view of his own and displaying the beliefs of his enemy, he helps to reaffirm his view in the end by revealing the brutality and savage cruelty of his opposition and thus, helping to convince his African-American audience to fight back and crush these devilish heretics.
Despite overwhelming lingering resent and antipathy from the African American community from their previous, present, and possibly future enslavement and oppression, Green has managed to convince them to unite with the Union to fight a common enemy through the use of eloquently employed rhetorical devices. Green has successfully conveyed his arguments to his audience in attempt to persuade his fellow African Americans to rise up, unite, and fight together in brotherhood with the Union against the tyrannical rebels of the South.