When Progression Ensues Destruction

When Progression Ensues Destruction

A Story by GenMuffin7

An in-class essay I had written in my Junior year of Literature class.


PROMPT: In his second Inaugural Address, given one month before the end of the Civil War, United State's President Abraham Lincoln surprised his audience--which expected a lengthy speech on politics, slavery, and states' rights--with a short speech in which he contemplated the effects of the Civil War and offered his vision for the future of the nation. Read the address carefully. THen write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical strategies President Lincoln used to achieve his purpose. Support your analysis with specific references to the text.


Obviously, I did not type up the entire address. That would have been ridiculous.


   Lincoln's presidency was a period of revolution, change and progress in America. He will forever remain the man remembered for the steps he took towards completely abolishing the unjust practice of slavery in the United States. Abraham Lincoln chose not to linger on the deprecated topic of politics, but instead addressed the future of the nation and reflected upon the tragic toll of the war in his Second Inaugural Address. The president's use of tone and reason do well to support the topics of his description.

   As the wise and compassionate leader Lincoln was, he spoke not of tired issues, but instead, focused on more immediate and pressing topics. Throughout the speech, his mood is somber and his tone is regretful. "All dreaded [The Civil War] all sought to aver it." There is no satisfaction in his words or tone, even as the Union army continues to rout the Confederate forces. A message goes through to the audience, and they learn that all there is left to do is move towards the future and to ready themselves for their coming struggles.

   The war is justified, the losses were severe, but the nation remains intact and prospers as a direct result of Lincoln's actions. The South's practice of asking "God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces," strengthensLincoln's resolve and confidence in the actions of the Union through reason. Even the Bible states the injustice of slavery. His administration sought to end the conflict through peaceful means and both "parties deprecated war, but [the South] would make war rather than let the nation survive." The Union did not choose the war, yet they were right in fighting for the rights of the enslaved blacks. His use of logos makes clear his intent to even the most witless of those among the audience.

   Lincoln utilizes tone and reason in his rhetoric to create the agenda for his speech and his platform as President. The noble men who perished will not have done so in vain; for now, there is a future where it seemed none would exist. The sacrifices of the brave will forever be remembered.

© 2008 GenMuffin7

Author's Note

As you know, the quality of in-class essays generally are significantly less than those one slaves over at home. Any typos in the text are a result of my typing, and did not exist on the actual essay itself. Thanks!

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Well-written. However, it lacks a certain sense of development. But thoughtful ideas. B-

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on July 22, 2008
Last Updated on July 30, 2008



Pleasanton, CA

high school junior. love to write, play all sports (esp soccer + football). more..