Analysis of Elizabeth Keckley's Behind the Scenes

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, President of the United States Pages: 4 (1323 words) Published: November 23, 2010
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Brian Lindner
Research Writing 109:2
Mrs. Linda Clary
6 October 2010
Analysis of Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes
The American Presidents have a distinct aura that surrounds them and covers their true identity with a faulty exterior, only portraying stoic, standup men. Elizabeth Keckley in her memoir Behind the Scenes gives us an inside look at President Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, as well as a look into her own life. Elizabeth Keckley was a black slave who bought her freedom, and worked for rich families as a seamstress, including working in the White House for Marry Todd Lincoln. She became close friends with Mrs. Lincoln and one of her only confidantes in the time after President Lincoln was assassinated (Dasher-Alston 1). In her piece Keckley explains how she sees the Lincolns at some of the best times that they have while in the White House as well as some of the worst times they have. Keckley's memoir gives us a deep look into three fascinating people’s true characteristics that would almost be unknown otherwise: Abraham Lincoln was a fun-loving, uncomplicated, caring man; Mary Todd Lincoln was an irritable, brash, strong woman; and Elizabeth Keckley was a hardworking, honest, and loyal woman.  
Abraham Lincoln gives off the appearance that he is always conducting himself with the up-most character and decorum, nearly always being pictured standing tall with his black suit and top hat however, this is not the case Mr. Lincoln was a fun-loving, uncomplicated man. He seems very relaxed at times almost like any other hard working man of that time. Keckley

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accounts of a time where she was helping Mrs. Lincoln dress and he comes into the room: “Mr. Lincoln came in, threw himself on the sofa, laughed with Willie and little Tad, and commenced pulling on his gloves, quoting poetry all the while” (Keckley 178). Mr. Lincoln was also a simple man with simple pleasures. He owned two...
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