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Textual Analysis - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 14 March 2013 The Logic and Emotions of Killing in Grossman’s “Chapter Two: Group Absolution” How hard is it to kill another human being? It tends to be harder when doing it alone, but it can be easier, when done with and for a group…
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Textual Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages For him, group absolution means the dominance of the group influence over individual will. Grossman effectively convinces the audience through pathos and logos that people can kill another person because of their group bonds that dissolve their accountability and promote their anonymity, although he commits the fallacies of false analogy, biased sample, and confusing cause and effect, when he fails to expand his sampling and to identify other probable motivations and conditions for killing. Grossman effectively convinces the audience through pathos that it takes emotional bonding to do something as hard as killing another human being, as well as being killed. He uses different emotional examples to support his claim. For instance, he mentions Dinter who explains that the “integration of the individual in the group” can be so deep that when the group is destroyed or defeated, individuals either fall to depression or commit suicide (Grossman 149-150). This example is emotionally charged because it describes how people give up their lives when their groups falter. Furthermore, Grossman highlights the emotional connections involved in group bonding that can overpass the will of survival. He cites the account of a veteran U.S. Marines Corp. Gwynne Dyer, who underlines the role of “peer pressure” in combat, while Ardant du Picq calls it “mutual surveillance” (Grossman 150). He mentions these people who believe that groups form emotional connections, which make them extremely aware of and sensitive to one another’s opinions and actions. In addition, Grossman uses examples of emotional value to stress the association between emotional group bonds and individual action. He narrates the action of Audie Murphy as a form of gallantry: “[Murphy] won the Medal of Honor by single-handedly taking on a German infantry company” (Grossman 155). The word “single-handedly” suggests that, for Grossman, what Murphy did is not stupid, but rather admirable. Grossman extends this admiration by quoting something deeply emotional from Murphy, who said that he attacked the Germans against all odds because “they were killing [his] friends” (Grossman 155). Murphy is illustrated as a selfless, devoted comrade, an emotional tactic that depicts how emotions surpass rationality in the context of heroic acts. Grossman, hence, clearly articulates through the testimonies of others that killing is a group business with strong emotional attachment, and not a product of individual will alone. While using pathos, Grossman also employs logos to explain how the group shapes individual combat behavior. He uses analogy to describe the parallelism between animal and human group behavior. He narrates the result of the 1972 research of Kruck, who learned that some animals slaughter prey that are more than necessary for their consumption because of group behavior (Grossman 151). Grossman believes that the same analogy applies to people in groups, where they think and act like a herd, instead of as separate individuals. He adds the explanation of Shalit, which he believes is important to corroborate his analogy. Shalit believes that “senseless violence in the animal world” is similar to “violence in the human domain,” and in both cases, groups are the ones who conduct violent acts, not individuals (Grossman 151). Senseless violence cannot be performed by one individual in normal cases, but groups can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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