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America Moving Past Divisions to Create a Perfect Union

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Brie Hankins

Period 1

America Moving Past Divisions to create a Perfect Union

“Like many improbable ideas, when it actually works, it’s a wonder.” Like Quindlen, Lincoln and the painting of George Washington, the success of the country, depends on unity. No matter what race, religion or gender, America moving past separations is what keeps the nation at a more perfect state.

First, in Anna Quindlen’s essay she quotes “the United States was built in nobody’s image.” Meaning, “It was the land of the unexpected, of unbounded hope, of ideals, of quest for an unknown perfection.” David J. Boorstin says. Quindlen implies that “Faced with this diversity there is little point in trying to isolate anything remotely resembling a national character, but there are two strains of behavior that, however tenuously, abet the concept of unity.” Saying there is so much difference in the nation that you can’t classify the United States as just one thing because of how much diversity the country has. “Terrorism has led to devastation and unity.” Quindlen said this meaning that though America goes through hard times, as a nation, in devastation and destruction, we can come together. “Children learn in social studies, class, and in the news of the lynching of blacks, the denial of rights to women, the murders of gay men.” This implies that even as a child you learn the discrimination that the United States has. Quindlen writes “Perhaps they understand it at this moment, when enormous tragedy, as it so often does, demands a time of reflection on enormous blessings.” Stating that tragedy may happen frequently, it seems to be such a bad thing at the moment, but in times the nation comes together and it turns out to be a larger blessing. “One of the things that it stands for is this vexing notion that a great nation can consist entirely of refugees from other nations, that people of different, even warring religions and cultures can live, if not side by side then on either side of the country’s Chester Avenues.” Stating that the idea of what the United States is that even a great nation can consist of different cultures and races can all live by one another.

 Likewise, in Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural speech, he says “all dread it, all sought to avert it.” referring to everyone wanting to avoid the civil war. Later on he implied that “both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.” Saying that it was the south that was making war while the north was accepting it, even though both south and north did not want it. Abraham wrote “Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration which it has already attained.” Meaning that neither the north nor south expected the war, none the less how big the enormity would be of this war.  Abraham’s speech was surprisingly brief but profound reflection on the meaning of the civil war that speculated on the purposes of god to help reunite the union.



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