In Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, he surprised his audience by giving a speech regarding politics instead he talked to the people about the Civil War. President Lincoln used encouraging diction, optimistic tone, and biblical allusions to inspire Americans that there is hope for the future and to keep working towards peace.
Lincoln begins his speech with encouraging diction to make the American people be positive about the situation and to show how they will see the war to its end. His encouraging diction creates a feeling of unity and strength with words like “strive”, “peace and “bind up”. Lincoln uses these words to express that he will be by their side till the end and lead them to become a peaceful unified nation. A path of reconciliation and healing is what Lincoln wants for the nation. The word “strive” expresses his emotion towards his purpose of inspiring Americans to work for peace in order to meet the light at the end of the tunnel. He uses the word “bind up” to express how the personal wounds suffered by Americans need healing but also the nation as a whole. Lincoln brings up the “lasting peace” that will follow after the unification of the country. He hopes this healing and peace will come upon the nation so that they will be able to progress after this disturbance. Throughout this speech, Lincoln uses an optimistic tone to encourage Americans and help reunite the country. He does this by calling the American people to action with sentences like “let us strive to finish the work we are in” and “to do all which may achieve and cherish a just lasting peace.” He hopes that the world will be able to move on and rise to become one single, unified country. He doesn’t openly and radically bring up negative things that could trigger his audience. Lincoln makes sure that he uses this optimistic tone to calm and ease the already strained emotions of his audience. Lincoln’s biblical allusion shows his audience that he has strong faith in God. His use of biblical allusions lets people know that we are able to depend on God for help and that he will be on their side through their struggles. Lincoln “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.” He lets people know that the war is going to end if people have hope and pray to God. If these people have faith in God then all things are possible. The allusions show that there is going to be a future for America and it’s a bright one.
Abraham Lincoln uses encouraging diction, an optimistic tone, and biblical allusions to show his hopes and plans for America. The use of these rhetorical strategies gives people confidence in Lincoln to lead the country in the right direction. These strategies help Lincoln to express his views on what he believes will unify the country into one.
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