Mother and Father Influences

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by Elihasmoreswagthanjacob
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Social Studies
Politicians and Presidents

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Mother and Father Influences

Parental Influences On the Gettysburg Address

Mother Influences

Father Influences

Lincoln establishes the mothers role in America with this quote, "The mother, the continent that brought forth a nation." Mothers were not mentioned in the speech than mother earth.

There is a juxtaposition of Lincoln's parental references in this exerpt of text. For example, the father references reflect a type of tradition and culture while the "mother" had more of a raw idea behind it which is that of America as a "virgin continent". In fact, there are more than one references to this viewpoint of America. As stated in Lincoln At Gettysburg, "Nothing came from Europe but a free people...Male ideas came and impregnated her [the American continent." This motif of the mother influences taking the form of the continent itself, and the father influences forming the inhabitants, governments, and culture within that land.

Contrary to Lincoln's mother references, the father references refer to the actual founding fathers. This quote exemplifies this idea, "'Our Fathers' of the address are the country's founders".

He continues to refer back to this idea of the "Fathers" make up the "nationalistic" and "cultural" parts of America. One example is when the text states that "Virgin America, hidden away behind the Atlantic and Pacific, is now to be married to mankind." It is also said that the "fathers" are much more revered in Lincoln's speech. He even mentions them in other debates and orations.

Lincoln's repeating fertility-language may seem to have a negative connotation, however, this is not necessarily the case. The main reason Lincoln most likely used his "mother" references were because of the ideas of matriarchy and mother earth that were widely used while he was growing up. The idea of a "mother earth" wasn't meant to be negative or demeaning for women and mothers, it was more of an idea of earth is the "mother's bosom" that all come from, and will eventually return to. This essentially is another form of the idea that all come from dust and to dust they will return. Therefore, Lincoln's "mother" references aren't condescending, but more a result of the ideas of a "mother earth" from this time period.

Morris, Hanna. "Mother Earth." Caliber Magazine RSS. N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.Holzel, David. "Tips from George Washington's Self-Help Manual." Mental Floss. N.p., 17 Feb. 2008. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.

Misogynist(n.) - a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women


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