Abraham Lincoln: Man and Myth Analytical Essay by Research Group

Discusses the views of author Stephen Oates as expressed in his book, "Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind The Myths"
# 25651 | 1,326 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


Stephen Oates, in his book "Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths", believes the grandiose dimensions and symbol-building power of the myths people create reveal their deepest longings. The paper discusses Oates' argument that this is especially true of the myths Americans have created about Abraham Lincoln, the powerful figure who presided over the country's greatest trial, the Civil War. The paper shows that Oates' book argues that rather than reflect any actual truths about Lincoln the man and President, the American mythology surrounding Lincoln reflects the spiritual and psychological needs of America's culture. The paper looks at other portrayals of Lincoln as a mythological figure in American literature, such as in the poetry of Walt Whitman.

From the Paper:

"Oates argues that mythology carries a different truth than that of historical truth. In the case of Abraham Lincoln, the myth is what Americans wish the man had been rather than what he really was. The Lincoln myth has imbued him with the traits Americans consider their most noble, among them honesty, tolerance, a work ethic, forgiveness, compassion, a clear-sighted vision of right and wrong, and a dedication to God and country (Oates 16). Thus, Oates maintains, the mythological Lincoln "carries the torch of the American dream, a dream of noble idealism, of self-sacrifice and common humanity, of liberty and equality for all" (Oates 16)."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Abraham Lincoln: Man and Myth (2003, April 30) Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/abraham-lincoln-man-and-myth-25651/

MLA Format

"Abraham Lincoln: Man and Myth" 30 April 2003. Web. 20 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/abraham-lincoln-man-and-myth-25651/>