Lincoln's Second Inaugural Speech Analysis

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The Civil War was a time period of social, political, and economic tensions. The North and South fought to decide whether to stop or continue slavery. Abraham Lincoln, the then president, addresses the two crowds before and after the war; however, in the second address, after the war, he uses specific literary devices to convey his message, of the need to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln uses varied sentence structure and appeals, in his succinct Second Inaugural Speech, to try to bring back harmony in the states and the abolitionment of slavery. Abraham Lincoln uses varied sentence structure to emphasize his message of harmony and abolition of slavery. In the first sentence, Lincoln uses a juxtaposition to highlight the difference between the…show more content…
He doesn’t want to dwell on the future, but work on the present. He wants to conduct change and orchestrate harmony among the states. Also, especially, from paragraph 2, Abraham Lincoln starts using the pronoun “all” and, different forms of it, more often to highlight the inclusiveness of the aggregation, North & South, and to make everyone, including himself, on equal ground. This is to bring a sense of unity and appeal to reason. By bringing a sense of unity, he tries to achieve peace and ease in the tension. By appealing to reason, he wants to describe how “all dreaded it, all sought to avert it,” so why not use their united power to get a compromise and work out the big triggering social problem, slavery. In addition, this quotation also is important due to Lincoln’s approach of “no accusations.” By including “all,” he wants to emphasize that they are “all” in it together. Later, Lincoln uses chiasmus (inversion of words in a recognizable repetitive way) with, “let us judge not, that we be not judged.” This inverted diction is to emphasize God’s change in mind, the switch from letting
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