Logical Fallacies in Many Rivers to Cross

Introduction

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A logical fallacy is a premise based on incorrect reasoning. In the story “Many Rivers to Cross” by June Jordan, she uses incorrect reasoning in the story’s plot to assert for her conclusions. The story is a speech that June gives out in a conference for women. The story tells the story of her mother’s suicide, and the adverse effect suicide had on her and the people around her. The story tells the story from the background of problems black women face during the slavery time as they tried to empower themselves. The black women in the American society had many rivers to cross to get into the freedom. In the story, June tells of her own experiences and through these experiences, she draws some conclusions. However, a number of logical fallacies in the arguments she uses to make her conclusions are notable.

The story begins by a reflection of when the daughter in the story discovers her mother has committed suicide. When the daughter in the story comes home from looking for a job, she finds her mother has committed suicide. First, the daughter in the story finds her father, and the father tells her that he does not know whether her mother is dead or not. On this, the author concludes that because the father could not look for himself at the dead body, he was a coward (Jordan 233). The conclusion that the father was a coward because he could not look for himself is a logical fallacy. Many things could have made the father not look for himself or know whether the mother was dead or not, not just the cowardice. Therefore, making the conclusion that the father was a coward is incorrect reasoning.

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The father of the daughter had refused to call the doctor and acted in a weird way after the incident until he had a fight with the daughter. The conclusion here is that the father was cruel and may have caused the death of the mother of the daughter in the story (Jordan 233). The reasoning is incorrect and thus the conclusion that the father was cruel and had caused the death of the mother was a fallacy. The way the man could be out of shock of finding out that his wife had committed suicide. Any person may have behaved in that manner, depending on his emotions. Reasoning that the man’s action was out of his, cruelty is incorrect reasoning and thus the conclusion is a fallacy.

When the daughter in the story talks of her mother, she says that she rejected the idea that her mother was a good person (Jordan 234). On the reasoning, she says that committing suicide is giving up in life struggles and she does not see the need to give up. The author points out that not anyone who gives up is a good person, making her mother not a good person. Here, the reasoning is wrong, whereas one should continue struggling and cross the many rivers she has to cross to succeed, giving up does not make a person bad. Here, the author equates giving up to being a bad person, which is a logical fallacy.

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Conclusion

June’s story tells about the problems of black women in the American society at the time. The author uses some of the experiences of the daughter in the story to make conclusions, some of which she concludes using incorrect reasoning. The story has a number of logical fallacies, drawn from the reasoning the author makes on some experiences.

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