Analysis of Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, United States, American Civil War Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: June 22, 2013
In Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln faces a deeply divided nation in midst of a civil war. Lincoln hopes to mend fences by making a moving speech using inclusive and optimistic diction ,parallelism, appeal to Common Christian, and substantial amount of balanced syntax. Lincoln's optimistic diction invokes a sense of unity and establishes common ground for both, North and South, to find a compromise. Instead of using "the South" and "the North", Lincoln always uses “all” to connect his people together. He emphasized the common wishes of both sides of the war using lots of “neither”, “both”, and “each” in these sentences to express his balanced view on his people and justice attitude toward the war. Lincoln’s optimistic tone encourages all American to finish the Civil War and progress as a nation, calling the American people to action with sentences like, “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in” and “to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.” Lincoln’s tone is cautiously optimistic: he wishes to finish the war and move past the issue of slavery, among others, which has divided the country, and ensure the country’s reunification. His tone also occurs in his use of the hortative sentence asking citizens to “let us strive.” He calls upon the nation as a whole to a higher level in hopes that the American people rise to the occasion, see past their differences, and come together as a single, unified country. After explaining the causes of the war, Lincoln uses lots of pathos and ethos in the form of parallel sentences. Lincoln opens the address to claim that “All dreaded it, all sought to avert it” to express the common wishes of both sides. Lincoln’s sentences with parallel structure call on both sides to reunite as brothers. Lincoln calls upon American citizens with phrases like, “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him …, to do all which may achieve … peace.”...
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