Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and Dickinson’s Poem

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Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and Emily Dickinson’s poem Success Is Counted Sweetest both encounter the Civil War through the use of rhetorical writing. These two artifacts consist of the four resources of language which include: argument, appeal, arrangement, and artistic devices. In order to advertise this message Lincoln approaches his audience through the means of his speech. Trying to persuade his audience that both the North and South should conjoin, and reconstruct the nations wounds after the war.

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Lincoln’s genuine statement displays through emotion, kindness, compassion, and faithfulness for his love towards America even throughout the depths of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was the president of United States at this moment fighting to concur equality for all slaves. His hope during this time was confided in God who he believed was the best option to bring peace and closure throughout the people, which he knew it would attract a large audience through their beliefs of religion. Rhetoric is being used any time an individual is trying to appeal an emotion or longing to others through the use of influence which is exactly what Lincoln’s approach accomplished. In Emily Dickinson’s poem Success Is Counted Sweetest she puts forth in her message for the individuals who have never experienced success throughout their life. Dickinson put forth hope, and determination into peoples eyes through her appeal to the people trying to pursuit the American Dream. Both writers had a vision when trying to communicate their knowledge to individuals during a time of need. Through the power of persuasion which they both expressed differently.

Both Lincoln and Dickinson expressed they’re feelings to all individuals in order to compel them through what everyone was fighting for at the time which was peace. Lincoln’s path through the people was to view his governing ability and his concerns about the nation. He wanted to prepare the nation of whats to come after war. As Dickinson’s approach was more beyond the scenes of the war for those individuals seeking to find comfort in her poem. There is a clear cut difference in what Lincoln and Dickinson are trying to accomplish through their word of speech. We are aware that they both use rhetoric to persuade each others audience, however the message the two are trying to address are not quite the same. Dickinson used poetry to express her message and Lincoln decided to use a speech. Although these two artifacts share in common the four resources of language.

Both Lincoln and Dickinson express their thoughts with having the Civil War in mind. Using rhetoric in order persuade the audience to believe in their values and ideals. They use all four factors to include an appeal, audience, arrangement, and artistic device to influence and bring forth their message to change individuals mind sets. The Civil War was a hard time for people to face their loved ones were at battle fighting for the hopes and dreams of whats to come. Lincoln and Dickinson knew how to create attraction for their readers, however they may have attracted different readers. By using poetry Dickinson allowed her audience to question individuals moral problems and face it. She explains in order to experience happiness you have to experience loss. Using an artistic way to prove and express her point. By using God Lincoln made his audience feel the emotions that he felt at the time. Longing for the nation to rejoin and connect once again. However their differences are quite distinctive both Lincoln and Dickinson writings expressed the foundations of rhetoric.

Lincoln has used all these appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos in his writings which was also more traditional than Dickinson’s writings. Dickinson’s words were particularly rare and different approach which can be refreshing. However the way these to writers chose to express themselves was strongly different, but thats the point of rhetoric. Rhetoric can be found in many places through the power of speech, poem, songs, vision, and many other forms beyond that. Having the power to express and translate ones idea through the appeal of persuasion. Rhetoric is used everyday, although individuals may not be aware of this action. We express our emotions and feelings through this powerful idea. Which is exactly what Lincoln and Dickinson decided to do to express and help people find comfort in a time of need. The writings may be different, although they share one thing in common which was to demonstrate the use of rhetorical power. To use their voices and allow others to hear it and confide in them.

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Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address And Dickinson's Poem. (2019, Jul 24). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from

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