Monday, November 15, 2010

Lincoln's Second Inagural Address

In Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address before the end of the civil war, he displays the affects of the civil war and then expresses his hope for the future. Lincoln strives for peace and unity of a torn nation. He achieves this purpose though his utilization of elemental rhetorical strategies.
Lincoln's honesty that is prevalent throughout the piece creates direct credibility to his audience. He ordains a humble perspective among his people. Lincoln connects his people to one nation by implying that “all dread it, all sought to advert it. Pronouns such as “we”and “us” link together a nation lost in strife. At the same time, Lincoln also establishes his authority as he speaks by demonstrating his knowledge of the matter. He identifies the problem and then speaks of his hope for the future though he has “no prediction in regard to it is ventured."
By intentionally establishing one common purpose among all people, North or South, he brings unity to a nation that is in desperate need for nationalism. Lincoln does not act superior to his people, instead he states that progress of arms is “... well known to the public as (myself).” He then continues to say, “…I trust, reasonably satisfactory to all.” Although Lincoln's authority is inevitable, he is able to relate to his people on a more personal level acknowledging that he is no different than them.
Lincoln displays logic to bring the civil war into realistic perspective of society. An example of this is seen when he states that, “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves.” By implementing this, Lincoln lays a foundation which the war was based on, ultimately leading to progressing forward as a nation. Lincoln emphasizes that “neither party”wanted the war to begin, knew how long it would last, and neither is willing to compromise. Then he logically reiterates that both parties read the same bible and pray to the same God. Lincoln logically asserts that asking “God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces.... The prayers of both could not be answered." This reasoning was fundamental to Lincolns message.
Lincolns affiliation to the Lord is undeniable. Considering that the majority of people at his time were Christ followers, Lincoln appeals strongly to the moral standards and beliefs of his people. Lincoln portrays a great deal of trust in the Lord and clearly demonstrates God's sovereignty among all people. He believes that the “almighty has his own purposes” and that the judgment of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” He emphasizes that with the power and strength of God, it will become possible to “bind up the nation's wounds.” This personification of the nation shows the need for peace. Some of the characteristics of Lincolns address can be interpreted as an allusion to the bible. The objectives of Lincolns speech is much like those of the biblical character, Salomon who holds high expectations for his people and evaluates their progress.
Lincoln is effective in addressing his purpose to bring a nation together because of his sincere authority, reasoning, and his connection to his people. He gives this speech in a crucial point in the war, in hopes that peace can result from it. By addressing both the North and South as won his motivation for unity is accomplished.

Kundera Essay

Milan Kundera asserts a clear distinction in Testaments Betrayed; private and public life are “two essentially different worlds.” This statement is undeniably accurate. Milan then continues to express that people or groups who intentionally reveal someone's private life are “criminals.” These people who expose the private lives of others, in my opinion, are more than “curtain rippers,” they are hypocrites.
The aspects of life that society and culture have tabooed, one will store in their private life. This is, of course, with the intention to conceal these aspects from others. If this private life is revealed, there is a possibility that reputation and status may be lost from those under their power or authority.
The innate nature of the heart leads to private decisions, whereas societal and cultural expectations heavily influence public decisions. Humans are more cautious about public decisions because their reputation is at stake. Private decisions, on the other hand, can only put a reputation on the line if it is revealed.
Important figures or people of power and authority, respect and trust, stardom and fame, must be selective and aware of their private decisions in order to always maintain credibility. It is better that one matches their private life closely to their public life to eliminate any doubt of false credibility. When President Carter was asked if had ever “lusted,” he replied that he had “looked upon many women with lust.” Many people praised Carter for his honesty. Carter had exposed his private life intentionally, and because of this, many still approved of him. His private life closely matched his public life. Ghandi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."By this he meant that many people publicly act Christian, but do not privately act Christian. He likes Christ because Jesus did both.
Many humans crave scandalous items. Magazines such as “People” make millions annually. There will always be groups revealing the private lives of those who are held to high standards in society. These groups who expose the lives of others, are never themselves exposed. If “People” magazine revealed the private lives of “curtain rippers,” there would also be scandals and flaws in their lives. When the “curtain rippers” expose the private life of Tiger Woods, all of the blame, fault, and penalty is on his. No one thinks twice about the selfish people who intend to ruin his fame and career. A well known verse from the Bible, Matthew 7:5, applies to these “curtain rippers,” “You hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; and then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.” (NIV)
Public and private life are two different worlds, but ideally should be a reflection of each other to create an accurate portrayal of one's true self. In a culture filled with gossip and cultural, curtains may be ripped down, and private lives may be revealed. Even though the blame will fall on the person left cold and exposed, the true criminal will still be holding the curtain.

Huck Finn Essay

Mark Twain incorporates humor in Huck's moral and emotional response to his actions regarding helping Jim escape. Instead of feeling heroic, triumphant, and accomplished, Huck felt “bad and low” because he knew he “had done wrong.” Huck sincerely feels guilt for his actions that could be considered courageous and admirable. Twain expresses his intent to display on the ironic nature of this situation, that becomes humorous to read.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in 1884. During this time slavery was common and blacks were considered inhuman. In some aspects, Twain reveals the culture and societal expectations of black people at this time. Huck Finn has learned these characteristics throughout his lifetime, and thinks he may have “done right and give Jim up.” However, this is not Twain's central claim. He wants to show that Huck did the right thing by helping Jim escape from runaway-slave catchers.
It is humorous that Huck experiences immense guilt and tells himself if he had give Jim up “would you feel better than what you do now?” The serious nature that Huck addresses his moral dilemma is nothing short of comical. He analyzes his moral judgment in such a way that could be considered irrational. He notes that “it's troublesome to do right” and “ain't no trouble to do wrong.” This whimsical outlook on life is optimistic is a self and was intended to bring a smile to the readers face. Of course, the easy was isn't always the best way, but Huck concludes that it is the better choice. He says that “both wages (are) just the same.” By making trouble before one does right, he would support that you might as well make trouble after doing something wrong, because it is ultimately the same concept.
Huck's final verdict that that he should all together “bother no more about it” and make decisions based on what is “handiest at the time.” Twain establishes Huck's humorous character throughout the passage by revealing his inner-most thoughts in regard to the “bad” thing he has done. This is most humorous because Huck makes an elaborate description of his guilt and moral understanding only to come to a reasoning that only brings him to the beginning of a continual loop, leaving the reader smiling and saying “Oh, Huck Finn.”

Birds: Analytical Essay

A flock of birds is transformed in the elaborate work of John Audubon and Annie Dillard by the way they both portray their ideas through their literary devices and diction. Audubon has fairly factual approach. In contrast, Annie Dillard has a very abstract portrayal. This is apparent when specifically observing the style influenced by several factors of both individuals.
John Audubon is immensely precise in his description of the birds in flight he encounters. From a mathematical or scientific perspective, Audubon seems to see patterns and numbers in the surroundings he observes. He sees the birds in “countless multitudes,” and remarks on their “aerial evolutions.” He characterizes the birds by their “compact mass,” and their “inconceivable velocity” as they are “mounted perpendicularly.” This shows in intricacy of the birds, and the accuracy of their flight.
Observations made by Audubon are technical but illustrate a specific setting. A journalistic approach of detail and organized thought is clearly conveyed in the writing of John Audubon. He addresses information with all of the essential components. Audubon states the “multitudes” of birds, the path of their flight from “northeast to south-west” and even the “noon-time of day” in which he observed.
Annie Dillard is elaborate in her delineation of the birds she describes. Dillard's role of a female is clearly woven throughout her piece. She incorporates specific household tasks into her writing to represent the birds actions. There are “flock sifting into flock” of birds over her head like the sound of “beaten air” or “a million shook rugs.” Dillard conveys a knowledge of weaving by establishing an alliance of the characteristics of the birds flight. The birds, “unravel” like a “loosened skein,” and “bobbed and knitted” through the air. She remarks of their passage through the “weft of limbs.” All of the terminology she utilizes is found in weaving or sewing.
Dillard reveals an intimate connection by asking the rhetorical question could “tiny birds be sifting through the gaps between my cells?” This question establishes another dimension of depth relying on awe and wonder found in the author's voice. Abstract and artistic are clearly shown in this statement. Dillard has a extraordinary imagination.
Contrasting views are present in the pieces by Audubon and Dillard. However, they share a common foundation of the interest taken upon the flight of birds. The interpretations they both present differ in several aspects as they describe their observation. Both Dillard and Audubon make parallel relationships to their interests. Audubon creates a simile in which the birds became like an equation. The birds darted forward in”angular lines” and “mounted perpendicularly” to resemble a “column.” Dillard similarly produces a correspondence between weaving and the flight of birds. She describes how “each individual bird bobbed and knitted up and down.”
Both authors also remark specifically about the numbers in which the birds flew. Audubon observes the pigeons in “greater numbers than I thought I had ever seen them before.” Dillard expresses the multitudes of birds flying “directly over my head for half and hour.” Audubon and Dillard both share the same awe and exuberance toward birds.
By comparing the authors, a prevalent theme of awe and wonder of birds is seen in both Audubon and Dillard. By contrasting the two, a array of anomaly is apparent. Varying approaches were seen between Audubon and Dillard, but both create a intricate display of birds in flight.