Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address Essay

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Civil War President Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” More than a century later Lincoln’s speeches, addresses, and letters—still remembered and studied—are useful examples of how to write. But why (20)? Perhaps one of the most renowned writers, Lincoln uses multiple stylistic techniques to deliver his messages. Through his use of contrasting parallel structures, repetition, and balanced sentences in his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln conveys his hope of healing the country before, after, and during the Civil War. One of Lincoln’s most common writing strategies—his practice of contrasting parallel structures—often appears throughout this Second Inaugural Address (11a). “Devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the…show more content…
“All dreaded it—all sought to avert it.” He recalls no one desired the war, but nothing could be done to avoid its occurrence. With the country in shambles, Lincoln compels Congress and the people to align their beliefs in order to repair the destruction. He says, “Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.” He implores the hearts of the people. With his closing statement, “let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle” Lincoln clenches his Second Inaugural Address and invokes what he so desired—hope. Lincoln’s writings, addresses, speeches, and letters carry significant qualities to emulate. His usage of contrasting parallel structures sets up his ideas while his repetition reinforces them. Finally, the strategically placed balanced sentences build upon the repetition, leaving the audience with hope in their hearts. In just one speech, Lincoln left the country with a valuable ideal and the future with examples of eloquent
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