Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

In the "Second Inaugural Address" (1865), Abraham Lincoln contemplates that they, as a United Nation, should reflect on the effects of the Civil War and move towards a better future for this nation. He addresses God and the issue of slavery in order to encourage the Northern and Southern states towards reconciliation. Lincoln tries to reveal his intention by utilizing figurative diction, parallel syntax, and a shifting tone. Abraham Lincoln uses figurative and euphonious diction to encourage reflection on the Civil War to the people of Northern and Southern United States. First, he uses figurative paradox to contradict judging others (the slaves), and expect that "we" (the owners of the
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"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 with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease." The repetition of "Neither" gives a similarity that "Neither" party really expected the duration and the cause of the war; which will make both parties realize the conflict, and will be encouraged, by Lincoln, to fix this problem between the sides for a better future for the country. Parallelism is used to give common qualities among the North and South. "Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invoked His aid against the other." Even though this is a break in parallelism, Lincoln uses the word "same" to show that since the North and South believe and connect with the same God, they should be connected as a nation as well; this in which will encourage both sides to try and reconstruct peace between them through this equal quality. Abraham Lincoln utilizes parallel syntax to convey the equal similarities between the parties about their reactions towards the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln shifts his tone from condescending to optimistic so that he can reconstruct a nation that goes from conflict to, hopefully, a resolution. Lincoln 's condescending tone is apparent when talking about the background of the war, and its
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