Link9n17 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
1491 185 144

Link9n17 Blog

Final Thoughts on the Final Fantasy XIII Saga

by on

So after my four-year-long journey, I finally finished my journey with Lightning, Serah, Noel and the crew. Not only that, but I 1000G'd all three games of the saga (XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns). Suffice it to say, after hundreds of hours of play time, I have a few reflections on the games, some positive, some negative, some incredibly random. So, here they are:

1. The fighting system.

In one word--fantastic. I personally loved the meta-combat that the paradigm system invoked. Being able to control one character with active engagement while being able to trust that the other two players in my group were doing generally what I wanted them to do was quite invigorating. I couldn't control exactly what each player did, when they did it, but I was (and am) willing to give up some control over each individual for more control over the entire party. And one fantastic bonus--in XIII and XIII-2, players start each battle with full health! No more RPG stocking up on supplies bullsh*t! I could attempt to fell a Long Gui without feeling the pressure to have everyone fully healed before each attempt.

http://www.gamerzines.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/FfxiiiAdamantoise-300x168.jpg
The infamous Long Gui

2. XIII's Story Concept, good. Execution, acceptable. Writing, terrible. XIII had one of the best story concepts for any game I have ever played. In a nutshell, it invokes the "to be or not to be" question on a whole new level. When branded as "l'Cie," tasked with either fulfilling their "focus" by destroying humanity and consequently going into crystal-stasis or not fulfilling their focus and damned to roam the world as demons, or "Cie'th," what will the main characters do? Will they take arms? Will they do nothing? Will they kill themselves? Will they fulfill their focus? These questions could have been used to really analyze the human experience and create some really powerful moments of emotion and writing. But this was not delivered. It was hinted at, and when I thought a moment of catharsis would be revealed in a character, the writing neatly covered it up or diluted it. What also hurt the story was that there was a novel in the datalogs. No one reads the datalogs, period. Actually, no one reads in general, period. (non-women, non-firstborn Americans). Also, Japanese writing can sometimes be the slowest, dullest nonsense in the world. Sometimes there would be hella long cut-scenes where character one will say, "Well, I think A, B, and C, so therefore D," and then the next character will respond with, "Yeah! So if A, B, and C, then there most be D!" Meanwhile, I'm bored out of my mind thinking that all the dialogue cut-scenes could be half as long and convey just as much information if that second character just didn't say anything, or just said "OK" like every other human being on the planet. This applies to most Japanese media, actually. 3. Noel's Story Noel Kreiss, the last hunter. At the beginning of XIII-2, I was super excited to see where his character would go--the concept of him intrigued me, still does. Him being the last human alive, coming from a bleak future where humanity is blown out like a candle, I thought his story could really say something about the human experience. But, like XIII before it, the writing failed Noel and the concept behind him. Either the writing covered up these moments, or diluted it with nonsense lines surrounding really important ones. Take, for example, when Noel and Serah arrive at Academia, the main city-area of the game, Noel says something along the lines of "Wow! There's so many people, and so much activity, and so many sounds of life!" That really struck a cord with me, I thought, "wow, I feel so much more enamored by human achievement and life now that I am seeing it through the eyes of the last person ever born." But this line wasn't elaborated on, and other nonsensical dialogue soon followed it. My high school AP English teacher preached the words of PIE--Point, Information, Explanation, and the same gospel of writing should be used by these far-away Japanese writers. They need to explain, to go deeper into what they are writing. But because they don't, they follow a PI-PI-PI structure which is lackadaisical and shallow.

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/216/e/9/noel_kreiss_by_lightning_claire-d59v3av.png
All he needed was a little explanation, and he could have been one of the most memorable FF characters ever

4. Lightning Returns's Story Short and sweet, no one likes apocalyptic stories. They're unsettling, and often poorly done. This is no exception. Also it's quite off-putting to have a story where the protagonist kills god at the end. (Oops, spoilers.) Maybe it is not off-putting for others, but for me it was too Revelation-meets-His-Dark-Materials-meets-Japan. This is like drinking a protein shake of chocolate, strawberry and skim milk--each one is tolerable when taken in moderation, but all three at once and in large quantities is certainly not good for digestion. Also, when the lore deviates from what I read in the datalogs from XIII, the story loses all credibility in my eyes. If it is a XIII game, then it must take XIII as canon and adjust accordingly, not the other way around.

http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ee0a625ca85636761ae410618efc306f.jpg
Certainly a sinner in the hands of an angry god

5. The Serendipitous Achievement Taught me to Never Gamble Seriously. This achievement sounds simple enough--win 7,777 coins while playing slots (in one game session). Let me tell you, this was one of the hardest, most mundane, most time-consuming achievements I have ever gotten. I had to rubber-band my "auto-slot" button down and leave my console on overnight to finally get the achievement, after most-likely losing more than double what I had earned.

It'll disappoint you ever time.

6. Use the Rare Items Somewhere in my XIII save file, there are six unused elixirs. You know what good they are doing floating somewhere in cyberspace unused? Nothing. I could have used them on any number of hard fights like the super-memorable Vercingetroix fight or the infamous Long Gui battle. Thankfully, I learned my lesson, and used all my ethers and elixirs on the Lightning Returns mega-bosses, Aeronite and Ereshkigal. I don't have those items floating around in cyber-space any more, but I did beat those bosses. I remember hearing something Oprah said about one of her late friends. Oprah said that when she came over, her friend would always use the expensive table-settings. When Oprah said that it wasn't necessary, her friend replied, "life is too short not to use the good stuff." While Oprah is a controversial personality, her late friend certainly was a wise individual Another, unrelated, example that invokes using the rare items is in some recent fiction movie where one character berates the protagonist because he used his army to do something of high importance, and while they got it done, some soldiers died. (I know, that description was super vague and non-descriptive). While soldiers are people, and life is sacred, I was really angry at this character for berating the protagonist for using his "rare items," otherwise known as his army. Sometimes sacrifices have to made. Use the rare items. Don't doubt yourself on what could be or what could have been.

http://protipoftheday.com/sites/default/files/ff3_elixir1.png
If you need to use it, use it. Don't look back.

7. Final Thoughts Overall, the XIII saga was a growing experience for me. I learned a lot about reading, writing, characterization, and video games in general. I had an overall good time, and learned more than I care to admit. Like appreciate what I can: the fighting system in a semi-good, semi-bad game, and human life and activity in all its intricacy and complexity. I should explain and expand on information instead of needlessly repeating myself. Also I should use the rare items, not gamble, and not kill god. Thanks Final Fantasy XIII :)

Whether 'tis Nobler in the Mind to Suffer the Internet?

by on

OMG! An internet-popularized character named "Slender Man" drives a 12-year-old girl to stab her friend 19 times! This headline is blowing up the Facebooks and the five o'clock newses, but they are sending the wrong message. What is more heinous than the stabbing of a little girl a prime number of times is the wrong controversy that is being discussed and "addressed" by media outlets and schools.

Girls Stab Friend 19 Times Claim Slender Man Internet Horror Meme Made Them Do It

What I cannot comprehend is that the last two-thirds of this title even exists. Isn't "Girl Stabs Friend 19 Times" an appropriate, horrific title unto itself? Apparently not. Not when the infamous internet could be to blame. Not even that "[the stabber] probably suffers from very serious mental health issues" is a good enough answer to why anyone could possibly do such an evil action. Realty check: people are perfectly capable of doing evil things. As William Shakespeare (the inspiration behind this blog's title) famously proclaims "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." And the same thing can be applied to the internet, one of the co-conspirator in question.

Firstly, let me build my case for my second client, the other co-conspirator in question, Mr. Slender Man. Firstly, Mr. Man does not stab his victims in his feature online game, appropriately named, Slender. Nor does he actually do any violent actions. This cannot be said for most famous movie villains such as the Joker, Norman Bates from Psycho and Ed Gein from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Secondly Mr. Man has been on the internet for several years without any stabbings or violence of the sort (at least not highly reported in the media), and many have had a few great laughs with Mr. Man, including the illustrious Toby Turner.

Now, having obviously convinced the court to dismiss Mr. Slender Man as being a co-conspirator with my witty rhetoric and full-proof logic, now I must make my case for the "big fish" in this courtroom, the Internet.

Cited right from the linked article from the beginning of the blog,

The girls told investigators they read about Slenderman on the horror website creepypasta.wikia.com. It's not clear whether they got access to the website at home or at school, but a school administrator said employees were reviewing various websites to see if they should be blocked after the stabbing.

I'm going to table the bit about blocking websites and do a bit of "reviewing various websites" of my own. So, let's start with creepypasta. Hmm. I guess it seems a little satanic, but not anything extraordinarily crazy like I had expected when first clicking on the website. Instead, I was greeted with a

For those who are interested in the events of the May 30th incident, please see this. We hope the victim makes a speedy recovery, and our thoughts are with the families affected.

The creepypasta community has set up a fundraiser for the victim. You may find it here.

This honestly is not what I expected, but then again, nor was a 12-year-old-girl stabber justifying her actions by referencing a horror meme who doesn't stab people.

So then why would she stab someone? Obviously insanity and/or mental disorder is too ordinary for media to profit on, so let's pretend for second or two that she was sane. OK, why do sane people do insane things? Three words: bad barrel psychology. This psychological evaluation by Philip Zimbardo uses many studies, including the famous "Cops and Crooks" prison experiment to reach his conclusion that it isn't the bad apples that are the problem, it's the bad barrel. Now, I know I can't telepathically beam anyone my knowledge of Zimbardo and psychology, so here's his Ted Talk, and I wholeheartedly invite you, the reader, to watch it if you are so inclined.

Let me return to what I had tabled earlier, the part about the school administrator reviewing various websites to see if they should be blocked. This administer is an idiot, let's get that out of the way. But the real problem is that schools have the double standard of both being secular institutions that should train the children of America the tools they need to survive in the world and of being a socialistic, daycare-like institution that should teach our children morals and values and how to eat right, and how not to bully, all the while not being appropriately funded by the community who all-in-all doesn't appreciate education.

Not all administrators are idiots, let me clear that part up. I just believe a better, more direct way of coping with this problem as a school and as a community is to make a campaign addressing to the students of that school that people do violent things, and recommending students to talk to a school counselor, and also their parents about the violence that has happened between their classmates. And just frankly keeping an open door as far as the community goes. As that song from Frozen goes, "love is an open door!" (and I believe love is the best remedy for evil)

Naturally, in the current system, the schools, the community, and the internet are going to clash. While an open internet should be a part of schools because it teaches young Americans about how to appropriately survive in the internet age, those who see the school as a daycare-like institution do not trust the devices of these young Americans because they are afraid of the "bad apples," as Zimbardo named above. They are afraid of not being able to shelter their children from what they could see. (I believe authoritarian, sheltering parenting produces more vices than morals, and that strong moral beliefs come from individual self-reflection). As a result, I was stuck going through all these bureaucratics and frustrations just so I can use a Youtube video in a research project--hell, I might've even used the Zimbardo video I embedded above!

What older Americans who haven't grown up with the internet in their pockets need to understand is that the internet does not taint the minds of the younger generation. This is the story media outlets are throwing in people's faces. Not that a girl was stabbed, but that the internet is making stabbers out of the young, and that we are not safe. But what needs to be understood is exactly what Zimbardo purports, that it is not the bad apples that make people evil, it is the bad barrel.

With which reasoning, I blame the community, and the parents of the stabber. To avert responsibility because a little girl pointed a finger at a man with no face in a suit is no way to directly manage the situation at hand. It merely makes an enemy out of the internet for a crime it didn't commit.

So 'tis it nobler in the mind to suffer the internet? I believe it is. Because while we may have to suffer the slings and arrows of it like Kim Dotcom and the innumerable death threats angry commenters hand out with ease, I believe that by taking up arms (with love in one hand, and forethought in the other) against a sea of troubles, then we, the internet, can be better for it.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.

American Dedication

by on

Contrary to popular belief, “The Gettysburg Address” was not initially well-received. It was even labeled by critics as “ludicrous and silly.” 150 years later, it is one of the best-remembered American speeches, as Abraham Lincoln was speaking through the ages about American perseverance. Nearly 150 years ago, General Lee of the confederacy led his troops to Gettysburg. He had hoped that a confederate victory as north as Pennsylvania would strike fear into an already disillusioned union, and ultimately bring them to negotiations. This decisive battle was costly on both sides, but the union ultimately prevailed. In order to restore confidence into an already disillusioned population, Lincoln’s Address focused on dedication and that in increased dedication they can prevail. In his best-remembered speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln uses loaded language, repetition, and multiple comparisons, while focusing on themes such as dedication, tests, and death, to illustrate his belief that conviction and perseverance can overcome nearly everything.

Having been prompted to speak at a dedication that would mark off a portion of Gettysburg to honor the ones who died there, Lincoln first and foremost talks about dedication. After giving historical context about the nation “conceived in liberty,” Lincoln arrives at a portion of his speech where he must acknowledge the dead. He contrasts the nation and the dead whom “gave their lives that that nation might live." This use of paradoxical writing both adds to the importance of the sacrifice the honored dead had made, and the cause to which they made their sacrifice. The personification of the nation adds emotional depth to the speech. The subject matter of Lincoln’s Address changes at this point in the speech, from the honored dead to the nation, and to the living. Later in his speech, Lincoln notes that “it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increase devotion." In fact, the word “dedicate” is repeated more than any other non-function word in his speech. This sentence is the apex of the Address because Lincoln indirectly compares his audience to the honored dead. Lincoln uses the word “dedicate” to make this comparison. This is important because it serves as a call-to-arms for Lincoln’s speech, and therefore, the purpose of the speech. The comparing and contrasting of the honored dead to the audience throughout the speech further Lincoln’s belief that the nation can overcome its trial through increased dedication, as the honored dead had overcome theirs. By illustrating that the honored dead were the pinnacle of dedication, Lincoln shows the audience that in increased dedication, they, too, can overcome what they might have thought impossible.

The civil war is popularly believed to be the test of whether the United States would long endure. Having endured terrible losses on both fronts, nationalism started to wane at the time Lincoln gave his Address; he explains the legitimacy of the war by comparing it to a test. Lincoln puts his speech in historical context explaining that “now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” and wishfully states at the end of his speech that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … [and] shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln compares the civil war to a test. To convince his audience of the legitimacy of the war, Lincoln uses words with emotionally charged connotations such as: conceive, birth, consecrate, hallow, and perish. Lincoln uses positive words like conceive, birth, consecrate, and hallow to articulate what he wants as a result of the war. He also uses those words to further honor the dead he came to respect. He uses negatively charged words akin to “perish” to illustrate what the nation is trying to avoid. The use of the word “perish” personifies the nation in order to restore a positive national attitude in his audience. By comparing the civil war to a test, Lincoln recommends that the best solution to the test is an increased devotion, which is not only applicable to the nation’s life, but to anyone’s.

Lincoln’s true fear is the death of not only more soldiers, but of the whole United States, which he believes would come to fruition if the south were to win. While Gettysburg was a Union victory, they still retained heavy losses; Lincoln uses the dedication to restore national confidence, and creatively does this by drawing a connection between the fallen soldiers and his audience. In order to honor the dead, Lincoln does not credit them with words alone; he instead tells his audience that the dead had already honored themselves. When Lincoln arrives at the part of his speech where he should honor the dead, instead of honoring them, he instead explains that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract." Lincoln uses many words to bring emotion into his speech for example, “consecrate,” “hallow,” and “dedicate.” Out of context, one would assume these words would be used for an occasion of joy. Instead, his use of those words is grim, which brings a somber mood to the speech. This somber, yet joyous mood has a twofold purpose – to acknowledge the gloom the war has created, and to let his audience take away a new devotion to themselves and to their country. Lincoln also uses this sentence to effectively shelf talking about the dead to focus on increasing the devotion of his audience. Moreover, by speaking so highly of the honored dead, he forces his audience to compare themselves to the honored dead in order to increase commitment and make sure that the honored dead “shall not have died in vain." By speaking highly of the dead soldiers, and illustrating that they persevered through even death itself, Lincoln increases the resolve of his audience by showing that they might overcome hardships through perseverance, too.

The purpose of “The Gettysburg Address” was to restore confidence in a disillusioned American people by Lincoln’s strong choice of diction and writing style, but his words are not confined to the civil war, rather, he was speaking through the ages that through increased dedication, one can overcome many of life’s trials. It is both fitting and proper that at a dedication Lincoln speaks about just that – dedication. He talks about overarching themes of humanity such as tests, death, and perseverance to honor the dead, as well as to increase the resolve of his audience. This audience is not confined to the people that listened to Lincoln the day he gave his speech at Gettysburg, or even the nineteenth century. Rather, the audience is everyone who has trials and tribulation in their lives. This personable appeal makes “The Gettysburg Address” unique, and has the ability to inspire increased resolve in many, no matter the time or place. Lincoln truly is speaking through the ages.