Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address Analysis

"The Gettysburg Address" written by Abraham Lincoln reflects many characteristics of the Realism period(Lincoln, "The Gettysburg" 402).. For example, the speech by Lincoln does not use much figurative language and the language used in very general (Barney). That is one characteristic of Realism writing. In realist writing, the author or authors are not very focused on giving details (Barney). They want to portray their meaning very clearly and therefore, they do not give much figurative language on what they are trying to say and also what they are trying to portray to the readers or audience of the speech he is giving. For example, "But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here(Lincoln, "The Gettysburg" 402).." The idea of the hero has a lot to do with this speech that Lincoln has given. For example, when giving this speech, it was very important for Lincoln to inspire the audience what the battle had done for the nation and what it means for the many men who died just because they for fighting for the freedom of the African Americans. Government is also a very important topic when it comes to the "Gettysburg Address" because Abraham Lincoln was president when he gave this speech at Gettysburg and he truly portrayed how the Battle at Gettysburg helped out the Government of the United States of America (Lincoln). When writing the "Gettysburg Address," Lincoln did not include anything about religion in his speech. After reading the Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln, it reflects a lot of the same characteristics of Realism that the first did (Barney). For example, the speech is very short and does not use much figurative language as the "Gettysburg Address" does as well. This is a common characteristic of Realism because in Realist writing, authors and poets tried to keep their writing simple so that it could be understood to anyone who reads it. Since this speech was given close to the end of the Civil War, the idea of the American Dream had a lot to do with the purpose and content of the speech (Lincoln, "Second" 339). For example, within the speech, Lincoln is explaining how a day will soon come when the war will be over and that our nation has done a great job of trying to protect itself and that our country must continue to keep with peace not only with each other when the war is done, but also with other nations as well (Lincoln, "Second" 339). The idea of the American Hero also comes into play with this speech because of how President Lincoln sends the message of being extremely proud of his troops. Therefore, the hero of the speech would be the American troops who fought in the Civil War because of how they protected the country. Also, the idea of government is included in the speech of Abraham Lincoln because Lincoln was the President of the country at this point in time, and therefore that reflects the idea of government within the speech. Similar to the "Gettysburg Address," this speech has no evidence of religion or religious value because President Abraham Lincoln neglected to put any in his speech (Lincoln).

Barney, Brett, and Lisa Paddock, eds. "realism." Encyclopedia of American Literature: The Age of Romanticism and Realism, 1816–1895, vol. 2, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. Online. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= EAmL0738&SingleRecord=True. February 8, 2011. (Barney)

Lincoln, Abraham. from "Second Inaugural Address." Glencoe American Literature. comp. Wilhelm, Jeffery. McGraw Hill. Columbus, OH. 2009. pg 339.

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