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Themes in Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

Themes Examples in Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat:

Churchill's Speech "Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat"

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"I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men...."   (Churchill's Speech "Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat")

In an unusual phrase, Churchill describes his hopeful view that “our cause will not be suffered to fail among men.” The diction places the consequences of failure as suffering experienced by the people, namely the citizens of Great Britain. The twisted syntax also subtly personifies the cause, suggesting that the cause itself is subject to suffering in the event that it “fail[s] among men.” Thus “men” have the potential to be both agents and victims of failure, thereby holding responsibility for the cause of victory. Churchill’s sentiment is ultimately one of combined optimism and responsibility.

"the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal...."   (Churchill's Speech "Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat")

In his account of the objects and values at risk of oblivion, Churchill includes “the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal.” Churchill does not make explicit the nature of the goal, as if presuming its nature to be clear. Whatever the goal may be, Churchill’s statement reveals a strain of teleological—or goal-oriented—thinking, suggesting a broad design to the cosmos as it unfolds. It is possible that Churchill’s vision of mankind’s goal is the progression of the good, as opposed to the malevolent aims of the Axis powers.

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