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An Argument Analysis Of “The Three Souths” In The Views Of Kimberly Glanding

1586 words - 6 pages

John Shelton Reed says that the South embodies three different regions. Do all of these regions still exist? Or have they become incorporated into what is considered the South today? “The Three Souths,” by Reed, divides the South into three categories: Dixie, Southeast, and Cultural South. Southern agriculture and the growth of cotton established Dixie. The Southeast region is a metropolitan region that relies on commerce and communication to grow. The valued qualities, such as religion, sports, and manners are characteristic ways that set apart the Cultural South. According to Reed, Atlanta is the only place one can be in all three “Souths” at once. The daily life of a person in the South is very similar to the daily life of a person in another part of the country. Each work a normal workday but their use of free time sets them apart (Reed 17-27). The South of the past still exists today through traditional Southern values passed down in families and carried throughout the nation, yet the division of the South no longer exists as a three part entity, but as a growing, changing region.
Appealing to both people of the North and South, Reed accurately describes many traits and qualities of Southerners in his opening paragraph, “You’re in the American South now, a proud region with distinctive history and culture” (17). He effectively employs pathos throughout his introduction and captures the reader’s attention from the beginning by saying, “Where churches preach against, ‘cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women’ and American football is a religion” (17), thus immediately appealing to peoples traditional values. While cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women have values in the Southern culture, not all churches in the south preach against such practices. Most can relate to this statement and it urges the reader to continue and see how this “South” is being defined. Reed does not establish ethos in his essay. He makes some very good statements but he does not inform us whether they come from personal experiences or stories. Reed uses many facts throughout to provide logos. Despite the fact that ethos is not established, the other two aspects of the rhetorical triangle are covered.
Does Dixie still exist or has it been incorporated into the ways of the Southeast? Reed considers the old South as Dixie. He makes a claim of definition and says that Dixie was established by the agriculture of cotton and slavery (18). Cotton remains a major export of the South but slavery is no longer in practice. Laws and the invention of the cotton gin were a major step in abolishing slavery, proved by the use of statistics: “10 percent of the 1950 cotton crop was picked by machine; in 1970 the figure was 90 percent”(21). The definition Reed gives Dixie is only part true. Yes, cotton is still prevalent in the South but it does not define it any longer. A definition claim is the most appropriate when defining the South rather than a value...

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