Unformatted text preview: Natalie Cook Response to Question #4 In his Gettysburg address, President Abraham Lincoln seeks to find meaning in the tragedies of the Battle of Gettysburg, which was a crucial turning point in the Civil War. As the author of Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills, argues, the cemetery became "a school for the living" (p.65) and a means for training the "sensibilities" (p.70), meaning that the cemetery, the resting place for the fallen heroes that fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, was a sign to the living Americans that change could and would come, and that the nation would experience rebirth. At a time of such gruesome tragedy, citizens need not hear about the political facts and ramifications of the War, but rather hear words that would provide them with consolation and comfort, and most importantly, hope and inspiration. After the men in citizens' families died in the battles, women--mothers, wives, aunts, and sisters--and children were left without men who were often times the breadwinners of their families on whom they depended on for support. The words that President Lincoln offers them in his short, but loaded, speech, provide the disheartened and illspirited American citizens with the hope they need to continue believing that the War would end and that their lives would go on to be happy. As Wills regards the cemetery as a "school for the living," he expresses that it is at the cemetery that the citizens learn that they should not give up, but that rather, they should continue to look forward to a brighter future. President Lincoln, in his short address, acknowledges that it was not the battleground that needed to be dedicated or consecrated, but rather the lives of the brave soldiers that dedicated themselves to the country by fighting on the grounds. This lesson provided the needy Americans with the true feeling of American patriotism by which they experienced rebirth and had the courage to continue pursuing the American dream: life, liberty, and happiness. ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2008 for the course ENGL summer taught by Professor N/a during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.
- Fall '08