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In the movie The Great Debaters, what does this quote mean?"who is the judge? The judge...

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jenjen456 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 12, 2010 at 8:02 AM via web

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In the movie The Great Debaters, what does this quote mean?

"who is the judge? The judge is god...Why is he god? Because he decides who wins or loses not my opponent ...Who is your opponent ? He does not exist....Why doesnt he exist? Because he is a mere dissenting voice of the truth i speak !!"

Why does tolson make his students repeatedly say this? Claim?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 12, 2010 at 9:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Professor Tolson seeks to get his debaters to understand that they are not competing against an opponent.  Rather, they are competing against a higher level of argumentation that transcends their opponent.  In this light, Tolson is trying to get his debaters to understand that they must be arguing and competing on a much more elevated level, one that appeals to the intrinsic natures of rhetoric, argumentation, and analysis.  Tolson seeks to impart to his students/ rhetoricians that their opponent is secondary to the larger configuration of debate, and, perhaps, secondary to themselves.  This mentality allows them to not be overwhelmed by debating at Harvard and facing the members of that debate team.

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