Lincoln At Gettysburg Address Analysis

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In the book Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills makes note of, "It would be wrong to think that Lincoln moved toward the plain style of the Address just by writing shorter, simpler sentences. Actually, that Address ends with a very long sentence--- eighty-three words” (Wills 157). If someone were to read an over extensive sentence, most individuals wouldn’t recall half of what was said. With knowledge of this, Lincoln started his speech off with short and simple sentences and as the address prolonged, slowly extended them and their complexity (Wills 157). Garry Wills also mentions that, "Lincoln's lingering monosyllables in the first sentence seem to cling to the occasion, not wanting to break off communication on which the last hopes of …show more content…
First of all, the Gettysburg Address does a magnificent job of reminding the American people what the nation was founded upon; Liberty and equality amongst all men. This idea was created by one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, when he wrote the Declaration of Independence (Shafer). To extend this point, Gary Wills referenced Lincoln's inaugural address when discussing Lincoln’s view on the Declaration of Independence in comparison to the United States Constitution. He summarizes Lincoln’s words by stating, “The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association of 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776” (Wills 130). Lincoln stands firm on the fact that the Union was created first, and was then bonded together by the values of the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution was there to guide and create "a more perfect union". This goes to show that Lincoln had been trying to put the spotlight on the Declaration of Independence and its values since the beginning of his …show more content…
A prime example of this change in perspective is when the modern day "Patriot & Union", the Patriot-News, rewrote the article, for the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, praising the world renown speech (Pengelly). This change in perspective towards Lincoln’s great speech is exactly why it had such an impact on two key issues that occurred throughout history: democracy and what its true form is and the fight for equality. For the first few decades after the address was given, Americans focused on the easier of the two tasks, democracy. Equality was a huge point in Lincoln's address, but right after the Civil War, it was not an easy pill to swallow. Hence why it was put it off to the side for decades after the war had ended (Rodrigue). Lincoln had hoped that these two concepts would be understood together, however the generations after the war had a different plan in mind. Therefore, they chose to deal with democracy over equality because they knew it was the safest option

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