Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: War, Vietnam, Literature, Vietnam War, America, United States, Politics, Emotions

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/07

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[Class Title]

The war in Vietnam in 1966 is perhaps one of the darkest moments in United States’ history as a nation. Considered as one of the most devastating loss in terms of human capital and resources, the impact of the war in Vietnam still haunts the United States today four decades after the war ended in 1975. In his article, ‘Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam?,’ author Christian Appy touch back on this sensitive issue in a bid to relate what happened in Vietnam and America’s current involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and other military conflicts around the globe. Appy is evidently concerned that the United States’ policy makers have not learned from the Vietnam War experience, which can spell a repetition of the devastating scenario in recent conflicts where the United States is involved. For the same reason, he criticizes the United States government’s actions which seem to ignore and even make conscious efforts of erasing Vietnam’s memory among the public. Is Appy’s argument convincing and relevant in today’s circumstances? This paper would like to analyze Appy’s article in a rhetorical approach based on the ethos (credibility), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logical appeal) to determine the quality of the author’s argumentation and style.
Who is Christian Appy and what are his credentials? Is he in the proper position to discuss the war in Vietnam and provide an in-depth analysis of its related contemporary political and social scenarios? A quick Google search would reveal that Appy is one of the most credible individuals that can discuss the Vietnam War and its implications. Appy is a history professor at the University of Massachusetts and has earned his Ph.D. from Harvard. In the article, it is noticeable how the author reveals his teaching experience as well as his interaction with his students regarding the war in Vietnam and how his students seem to become curiously engaged as if they do not have any idea of what Vietnam War is all about. As observed by Appy in relation to how his students’ interest on the subject, “They seem to sense that the subject is like a dark family secret that might finally be exposed”. Apparently, this classroom scenario gives a clue of what the author’s profession is and how he is deeply engaged with the issue. According to his profile, Appy’s field of interests is on modern U.S. history and the Vietnam War. Aside from the article being discussed, Appy has also authored several articles and books related to Vietnam War and its contemporary implications. His Vietnam War books includes “American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (Viking, 2015); Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (Viking, 2003), and Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (University of North Carolina Press, 1993)”. Evidently, basing on the author’s credentials, Christian Appy is considerably an expert on topics related to Vietnam War and being a history professor, he is indeed in a position to discuss and conduct an authoritative analysis on Vietnam War’s present-day implications.
Now that the author’s credibility has already been established, the next venue of analysis based on rhetoric is on how the author establishes the emotional appeal (pathos) of his article. It should be noted that the topic, in itself, raises an emotional connection especially for those people who are directly or indirectly involved in America’s current military conflicts around the world. The article is evidently written to be read by the general public. For the same reason, the article’s title leverages on the popularity of the Vietnam War, which is a convenient choice and the highlighted message underneath that says, “Instead of confronting the truth, we scrubbed the record clean—and we’re still paying for it in Afghanistan and Iraq today” has a modern day ring on it that aims to capture the reader’s attention. The author’s mood, on the other hand, is evidently satirical as he criticizes with sarcasm the irony and faults of the current system. Satirical approaches are quite effective especially in criticizing faults of political institutions as well as political agendas. By mocking policy makers and government institutions, satirical literature are often used as a deterrent to bad behavior. As observed by Mankoff, “Political satire is ridicule dedicated to exposing the difference between appearance and reality in public life. The justification for this mockery, going back to Aristotle, is that by holding bad behavior up to ridicule we might, as it were, “laugh folly out of existence”. Sarcasm is among the satire elements that the author heavily used in his article such as in his introductory remarks wherein he says “Happy birthday, 1965! How, though, do you commemorate the Vietnam War, the era’s signature catastrophe?” and “So what exactly do we write on the jubilee party invitation? You probably know the answer. We’ve been rehearsing it for decades. You leave out every troubling memory of the war and simply say: “Let’s honor all our military veterans for their service and sacrifice”. All throughout the document, Appy used sarcasm and irony to ridicule the inconsistent practices that he has observed, evidently for the purpose of eliciting emotional reactions from readers. Indeed, these satirical elements have proven to be effective in eliciting response especially from those institutions and individuals that are being targeted by the satire. Examples of which are films such as ‘The Interview,’ that mockingly targeted North Korea. In response, North Korea tried to have the movie banned. Evidently, Appy is leveraging on the ability of satirical elements to elicit emotional responses, which the author effectively utilized in his article.
Even if the author of an article or a literary piece is credible and even if he effectively creates an emotional appeal to his work, without a solid logical framework, his arguments can be easily refuted. For the same reason, the logos or the intellectual appeal of the article is highly important. Evidently, the logos of a literary work will determine how authoritative it is and if its quality is of academic importance. Appy starts his argument by observing that young people are unaware of the realities of war. And because of this ignorance, Appy is concerned that a time will come when the younger generation will totally forget the devastation and losses associated with a full-scale military conflict. Appy backed these arguments by noting how the government tries to “separate the warrior from the war” in an effort to erase the tragic memories of war and focus on heroic nature of being a war veteran. Furthermore, Appy justifies these assertions by citing how certain government memorial and commemorating programs glorifies the soldier’s engagement with the war efforts without scrutinizing the objective of the war and how the soldier fought within the war. As observed by Appy, “Americans began to treat those who served the country as heroic by definition, no matter what they had actually done,” as a result, a new definition of hero is gradually formed and incorporated into the American culture. For Appy, this practice is one way to shut soldiers up and discourage dissent by making them feel good about themselves although at some instance, the word hero is hollow and demeaning. While it is difficult to determine if the government and its policy makers are making a conscious effort of erasing the hideous memories of the Vietnam War, Appy’s claims are indeed observable and logically sound.
In conclusion, being a history professor in one of America’s reputable university as well as a Vietnam War expert, there is no doubt that the author is among the most credible to discuss the topic. His good command of the English language as well as his critical approach using satirical elements is indeed effective in eliciting emotions from the reader. So far, the article is convincing when analyzed by the logic of the author’s arguments. As far as the rhetorical quality of Appy’s ‘Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam?’ article is concerned, it can be deduced that the author has successfully written his piece in an emotionally and intellectually engaging manner.

Works Cited

Appy, C. Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam? February 2015. April 2015 <http://www.thenation.com/article/197425/why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-vietnam#>.
Brumfield, B. North Korea blasts U.S. over release of 'The Interview'. December 2014. April 2015 <http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/26/world/asia/north-korea-the-interview-reaction/>.
Mankoff, R. The Intersection of Politics and Satire. 2012. April 2015 <https://www.momentmag.com/how-does-satire-influence-politics/>.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 07) Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/
"Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy." WePapers, 07 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/. Accessed 24 July 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy., viewed July 24 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/>
WePapers. Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed July 24, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/
"Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy." WePapers, Jan 07, 2021. Accessed July 24, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/
WePapers. 2021. "Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved July 24, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/).
"Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 07-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/. [Accessed: 24-Jul-2021].
Good Example Of Essay On Rhetorical Analysis: ‘why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened In Vietnam?’ By Christian Appy. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-rhetorical-analysis-why-dont-americans-know-what-really-happened-in-vietnam-by-christian-appy/. Published Jan 07, 2021. Accessed July 24, 2021.
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