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Abraham Lincoln and Calamity Jane

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In The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay and Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, By Herself, tone is employed to more effectively display the purpose of the essays. In The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay uses a tone that demonstrates triumph through tragedy, weaving specifics about Lincolns ancestors with the trials he faced. In Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, By Herself, Mrs. Burk (Calamity Jane) uses a tone that is familiar to the world of documentaries, starting her story at her birth and ending with where she was when she wrote the autobiography.

One must remember that The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln is a biography, and Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, By Herself is an autobiography. The contrasting of these two fine pieces of literature makes some specifics about tone and purpose stick out in ones mind.

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The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln uses a tone that is personal and endearing in order to inspire the reader to face circumstances in their life with the notion that a sunnier day will come only if they try their hardest to make the best of their current situation.

Tone is also used to display Abraham Lincoln as a man who did just that to become the greatest man of his time. The biography begins nearly 175 years before Abraham Lincoln was born. It traces its way through the pioneering of his forefathers into the west by specifically pointing out hardships faced on the unfriendly trail. (They faced solitude, privation, and all the dangers and hardships that beset men who take up their homes where only beasts and wild men have had their homes before.) However, they continued to press steadily forward even though they lost most of what they had when they started their journey. The determined family continues on through the death of Abrahams grandfather, till Abraham is born in deep poverty. Throughout this initial background, it is hinted that Abraham will be a wonderful man, and it is noted how ironic it is that such a great man is to be born and raised in such a humble place. It is stated that of his early childhood almost nothing is known. The author still manages, however, to dig up an anecdote which portrays Abraham as a generous child. He was large and strong for his age, and when a severe mysterious sickness breaks out, Abraham pulls through, though many die around him. It is also revealed to the reader that the only way to get bread to their remote home was by sending young Abraham seven miles on horseback. This shows Abraham as strong child, mentally as well as physically, as he struggled bravely through hard winters.

It becomes very apparent to the reader that Abraham will need to overcome much in order to become the man they know he grows to be. The only question remaining is, How? He was obviously a strong virtuous child, but as far as self-improvement went, the chances for this were few enough. Abraham becomes engrossed with schooling. Although his only textbook was Websters Elementary Spelling-book, he found other ways to educate himself by reading every book he could get his hands on. He read and memorized for long evenings at a time, showing his true scholar. His overall schooling totaled about twelve months stretched over nine years. When he did go to school, he had to walk four or five miles- uphill through snow, Im sure, as knowledge was an up-hill path for him. Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, by Herself states at the end of itself that its purpose is that it may interest all readers.The tone is somewhat proud and cocky as Mrs. Burk nonchalantly lists her many impressive accomplishments, successes, and titles. The tone is also similar to that of a documentary, rambling in chronological order several of the many events of Calamity Janes life in a short section of text. The piece moves from the birth of Marthy Cannary to her present married condition as Mrs. Marthy Burk. She pictures herself as a remarkably good shot and the most reckless and daring rider. She speaks of the time she rode ninety miles despite severe illness.

Although one may be tempted to write off Mrs. Burk as proud and cocky, what she writes in her essay is complete fact, and is to be taken seriously. She quit her riding young, at the age of thirty-three, in order to marry. This shows that riding wasnt everything to her, and disclaims any claims made that Calamity Jane was an arrogant woman by showing her quitting at an especially high point in her career.

The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln shows a person who triumphed through tragedy while Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, by Herself shows a person who triumphs in the line of work they were expected to take.Their respective tones effectively serve the purpose they were appointed to serve by making the overall purpose of the essay more clearly. Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane, by Herselfs tone (or lack of it) puts it more in the category of documentary or educational chronology, while the engaging text and expression of The Boys Life of Abraham Lincoln put it in the realm of pleasure reading. The respective tones of these two essays demonstrate the importance of tone in relation to purpose and show the different purposes an author may have in mind when writing biography/autpbiography.

Cite this Abraham Lincoln and Calamity Jane

Abraham Lincoln and Calamity Jane. (2018, Dec 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/abraham-lincoln-and-calamity-jane/

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