Rhetorical Devices In Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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In a state of turmoil, unification is essential for a country to successfully move forward under one power. In his Second Inaugural Address, United States President Abraham Lincoln mentions the destruction created after the Civil War but also the peace that will come for the future of the country. Abraham Lincoln attempts to unite the American people after the Civil War through the use of confidently hopeful tone, the appeal to emotions, and the use of Biblical references.
Throughout the Inaugural Address, Lincoln maintains a confidently hopeful tone towards the United States citizens to ensure there would ultimately be unity. He states in a flashback that “four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war.” This is to mainly contrast the mindset the citizens of the United States have with the one he has. Lincoln wishes that he and the American people “may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
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He states that “neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease.” The anaphora of “neither” resembles how everyone in the country all had the same mindset to not make the conflict of race so serious. The repetition appeals to the Americans’ emotions due to how they would feel connected with each other despite their disagreements. Consequently, the country can use that intimacy to unify and move forward. Furthermore, Lincoln also uses parallelism in the phrase, “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.” The parallel structure and repetition of “with” promotes balance. Everyone needs to consider these three aspects in order to understand each other and eventually achieve wholeness in the
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