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    Lincoln and Faulkner: Rhetorical Techniques

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    Hello I need assistance with this topic including a thesis. Anything that you can is fine.i need to have a thesis as well I just need a guide to start. I'll do the rest. I don't know how many words is 3 credits get me.

    Both Lincoln and Faulkner have a primary audience and a general audience; both intend to persuade their audiences; each speaks of a significant threat; each uses specific rhetorical strategies; both speakers motivate their audiences by offering them implicit praise and condemnation; each is an esteemed speaker; each speaker's address has both an immediate and an historical occasion. Compare Lincoln's and Faulkner's speeches, explaining how each of them uses these elements in his respective speech.

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    Here, I first need to clarify one piece of information you did not provide, namely the actual titles of the speeches. I'm assuming that you are referring to Faulkner's Nobel prize acceptance speech and Lincoln's Gettysburg address, as those are the two best known speeches by the respective speakers.

    For your thesis, I would start with the notion that both speakers are addressing audiences living the the shadow of an existential threat. Lincoln is speaking during the Civil War, which posed an existential threat to the United States and Faulkner was speaking at the height of the Cold War when the threat of nuclear annihilation seemed imminent. In both cases, the speakers are trying to give hope to their audiences and motivate them to continue striving the in face of adversity. Both speeches are also forms of ceremonial oratory, which are less exclusively persuasive and more celebratory than the other two oratorical genres. In terms of how you might organize your paper:

    Introduction: You should mention that both speakers discuss how they are living under some form of existential threat. This threat affects their immediate and their general audiences in a similar manner. Both speeches follow a "problem/solution" format in which they begin by presenting a problem and then offer a solution. The solutions, though, are not so much immediate and practical (Faulkner doesn't offer advice on nuclear policy, for example) as emotional and inspirational. In a sense, rather than solving the practical issues that engender the emotions of fear and despair, they address how one can cope with those emotions as a writer (in Faulkner's case) and a soldier (in Lincoln's case). The end of the introduction should be a transition sentence letting your readers know what you will be discussing next and in what order.

    Background to Lincoln: This paragraph should briefly describe the situation of the speech, including the context of the Civil War and why Lincoln was concerned that this was a threat to democracy itself. You might also talk about where this fits in the progress of the Civil War, and especially note that the speech was made shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga a major Union loss and thus that the earlier Union success at Gettysburg made this an important occasion to reassert optimism.

    Background to Faulkner: You might discuss that the world had just emerged from World War II, but not into an era of peace but into the Cold War in which nuclear weapons raised the terrifying new possibility of complete annihilation of humanity. Faulkner is not concerned so much with military issues but rather with how this affects the practice of literature.

    Amplification of Threat: The key rhetorical strategies you should discuss in both speeches are how they amplify the threat to expose hidden consequences. In Lincoln's case, this involves expanding the threat to the United States to a global threat to democratic ideals. In Faulkner's case, this is to argue that fear of nuclear destruction is as much of a problem as the weapons themselves because fear corrupts the human spirit.

    Praise of Audience: Lincoln is praising the war dead, but as his audience includes soldiers and relatives of soldiers, who may make great sacrifices in the future, that also indirectly praises his audience. Faulkner is praising and encouraging younger writers, especially with the phrase: "young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing." This establishes a sense of group identity for writers.

    Solution Relevant to Audience: Both speeches offer solutions that are practical because they apply to all people in both primary and general audiences. Lincoln urges that people dedicate themselves to the great task of defending democracy and Faulkner urges that writers return to the "old verities" and not let their work be diminished or controlled by fear. In both cases, the suggestions are practical for all audiences, in a way that more specific suggests about military strategy would not be.

    Conclusion: You should conclude that the reason for the success of the speeches is their appeal to the universal in suggesting not specific practical solutions to immediate issues but in helping their audiences frame emotional responses to extreme situations.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

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