Gore Vidal Analysis

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A man like Gore Vidal would seem like an intimidating person to the average American. As a matter of fact, his wit and intellect might have seemed like it was immeasurable especially when you compare it to the kinds of media that Americans consume nowadays (like The Daily Show or Last Week Tonight). Vidal was a product of his time and environment; it afforded him a kind of prestige that’s envied by people that have tried to follow in his footsteps. Most of the time they never do; Vidal is in a league of his own. In United States of Amnesia, Vidal is painted as an honest but blunt person. For this reason, Vidal comes off as the kind of person who one can put ones trust into; the kind of person whose ethos would never be questioned simply because it’s implied to be solid.
While I’m sure that Vidal was a truly great man, it’s doubtful that he could have had such acclaim if he wasn’t, that is not what gives him his authority. With this in mind, between the clips of people validating him and the man himself; there are a few things in this documentary that help with Vidal’s ethos. Vidal gains his authority, in the context of this documentary, by the reflection of his past, which holds wisdom from his life due to his age or phronesis. Those who respect him mitigate his words
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Everything that he talks about is always framed in a way that makes him seem more honest then he might’ve actually been. For example, everyone has been taught that political figures like JFK and Lincoln were men who did things for the greater good. Vidal comes in with the truth and claims that such beliefs are a lie. Although he comes off harsh because his diction and the truths he gives his viewers, he is framed in a way that makes his honesty something that feels like a necessity for him to tell his viewers. That what he’s saying is a truth that he wants people to know. This urge to tell the truth can be seen as a mark of high
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