'ape' Lincoln And The Superficial Essay

1165 words - 5 pages

Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage, in regards to the American Civil War once despondently wrote, “It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws” (Crane). Such describes the desperate and harrowing atmosphere of the time during which Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States. As Abraham Lincoln once perspicaciously reflected upon the significance of the Civil War, "The struggle of today is not altogether for today — it is for a vast future also" meaning that the war was paramount to the survival of the union and thus, one of the most momentous occurrences of American history (Lincoln). Nathaniel Hawthorne, a transcendentalist and author of The Scarlet Letter, cogitated upon the significance of having Lincoln as president during the Civil War while simultaneously conveying the idea that he deeply venerated president Lincoln for his strength of character in times of dire crisis. Hawthorne employs the use of vivid imagery, scintillating diction, striking juxtaposition as well as a reverent tone to effectively accomplish his purpose of conveying the fact that while Lincoln is superficially unprepossessing, his approachable attitude and his insightful nature make him an excellent president.
In the article, "Chiefly about War Matters," Hawthorne utilizes conspicuous imagery as well as an awe-struck tone to accentuate the fact that while Abraham Lincoln may have been physically unattractive, his strength of character made up for all of his superficial shortcomings due to the fact that he was intelligent and exceptionally insightful. Through his usage of illustrative imagery and a mystified tone, Hawthorne is able to emphasize the fact that Lincoln, regardless of his physical appearance, was the paragon of fortitude and leadership necessary to lead the country during the time of great strife known as the Civil War. When the author forthrightly states, "he was dressed in a rusty black frock-coat and pantaloons... worn so faithfully that the suit ... had grown to be an outer skin" he effectively demonstrates that Lincoln chose comfort over snobbish tradition thus making himself more relatable to the citizens of the United States, which stunned Hawthorne who found Lincoln's unconventional dress refreshingly simplistic and exemplary of the Yankee spirit thus making Lincoln seem more approachable (para. 3).
Hawthorne is also effectively able to convey the fact that despite his lack of physical attractiveness, Lincoln remained strong of mind and relatable to the average American citizen making him the perfect president to confidently lead the Union through the Civil War. When Hawthorne bluntly states, "there is no describing his lengthy awkwardness, nor the uncouthness of his movement" he successfully highlights the fact that Lincoln, while lacking in beauty, made up for all of his faults with his personable attitude and his tremendous intelligence necessary to lead the...

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