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john dos passos

Dos Passos in "We are Two Nations" made a statement. He intended to distinguish between the rich and powerful, and the poor and weak.  SEE BELOW Many...


One of the most compelling items that come out of Dos Passo's statement is how the collusion between government and business has helped to create a gap between individuals and the political order that is meant to protect their interests.  Dos Passo's language and implications strike at the very essence of the disjoint between America's history of foundation and the reality of its progress.  In one moment, Dos Passo captures this chasm between theory and reality with the soaring of his rhetoric:

America our nation has been beaten by strangers who have turned our language inside out who have taken the clean words our fathers spoke and made them slimy and foul

their hired men sit on the judge’s bench they sit back with their feet on the tables under the dome of the State House they are ignorant of our beliefs they have the dollars the guns the armed forces the powerplants.

The diversity of America is present throughout his writing.  However, I think the most rhetorically powerful element underlying Dos Passo's statement is how power is constructed in America.  When Dos Passo suggests, "We stand defeated," he is creating a rhetorical construction that political power in America should be constituted from the bottom up.  Yet, its crushing reality, the essence of Dos Passo's feeling of defeat, is that power has become colluded to be from the top down.

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