Thematic Reader Response

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Thematic Reader Response #1 “The Gettysburg Address” by Lincoln and “The Crisis” by Paine are works of literature meant to inspire a generation of persons and reinstate hope during trying times. Both Lincoln and Paine utilize biblical allusions to appeal to their audience. Lincoln’s speech is after the Civil War, during which thousands of American soldiers from the Union and Confederacy perished. The author writes, “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,” in order to give his nation hope for the next decade of Reconstruction. He alludes to the Bible in order to relate to the audience, many of who are devout Christians. Paine uses a similar tactic saying, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered…” Whereas Lincoln used religion in a positive aspect, Paine refers to its negative side, condemning it and foreshadowing to the Revolutionary War. By comparing tyranny to hell, Paine is eliminating any doubts in the colonists’ minds about British intentions for America. The tone of “the Gettysburg Address” is delicate; Lincoln’s purpose is to inspire the weak and recognize the dead. He uses phrases like “It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced,” displaying to his audience that an era of physical and emotional reconstruction is about to begin. “The Crisis” has a radically different tone. Written during the time of the American Revolution, Paine hopes to incite feelings of patriotism and confidence in his audience. Phrases like “The summer solider” and the “sunshine patriot” are used in hopes that he will convince soldiers to join and stay in the army. His audience needs encouragement to start a war while Lincoln’s needs inspiration after a devastating end to

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