E.O.L. "Beginnings" Unit Essay Review (p. 84-125)

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Franklin overcame the obstacles. He was orderly and had a keen eye for analyzing a situation. He was patient enough with the long voyage. He was fascinated by the stops at different ports as well as the wind when they were sailing. He did not complain about the dwindling resources like food on the boat.
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ESSAY: Franklin examines his actions and motives, discussing then at length throughout the autobiography. Yet many of God personality traits are renewables through his actions, not through direct statements. What does the difficult journey from Boston to Philadelphia reveal about the character of young Franklin?
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He believed that man must strive to achieve the highest level of moral and intellectual perfection. The problem with this is that there is no such thing as perfection in human nature. People, including Franklin, are inherently flawed. You can check out his criteria for moral perfection. I think he fell short of many of these in his own life.
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ESSAY: What does Franklin’s project for moral perfection reveal about his views of human nature and his attitudes toward Education? Do you agree or disagree with his views?
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Franklin had pride and was aware of it. He just tried to control it… \”My list of virtues continued at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud, that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation, that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances, I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.\”
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ESSAY: Franklin ends his list of virtues with humility. Did you have evidence of pride – the opposite of humility – in his history? If so, where?
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After quarrels with his brother in 1723, Franklin got a loan from him and left Boston to start his own business.
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ESSAY: Why did Franklin decide to leave Boston secretly? How did he raise some money for the journey from Boston to New York?
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Temperance: eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Franklin began his list of virtues with temperance because it was the virtue that would develop the self-discipline necessary to adhere to the other 12 virtues. Temperance calls for a man to avoid overindulgence in food or drink.
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ESSAY: What virtue does Franklin place first on his list for achieving moral perfection? Why?
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The oncoming storm, handcuffs and chains
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ESSAY: In the fourth paragraph, what metaphors does Henry use to describe the oncoming war?
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The series of questions occurs near the middle of the paragraph. It is rhetorically more effective to let the audience members draw their own conclusions. Provided they answer the questions in a certain way, Henry will be able to count on their support, since their answers are their own opinions.
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ESSAY: Henry makes use of the RHETORICAL QUESTIONS – a question that is asked for effect. Rhetorical questions, which are often used in PERSUASION, presume the audience agrees with the speaker on the answers, and so no answer is expected or required. Find a series of rhetorical questions in the fifth paragraph of his speech. Why do you think Henry uses this device, rather than straightforward statements of fact, to make his points? How does this technique make his speech more persuasive?
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a. \”We are apt to … listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts\” (Odyssey, Books 10 and 12). Henry’s point is that illusory hopes are like the sirens and the beautiful Circe in Homer’s Odyssey, who were attractive on the surface but destructive in reality. Henry urges his listeners not to surrender their freedom in exchange for false hopes of peace. This allusion, like Henry’s others, might have equal relevance to some situations today. b. \”Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?\” (Ezekiel 12:2). The allusion to the Bible is a graceful, but pointed, way for Henry to remind his listeners that they must not be like the heedless people whom the prophet upbraided in ancient Israel. c. \”Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss\” (Luke 22:47-48). The allusion is to the disloyal apostle Judas. Henry warms his listeners not to heed the apparently mild British reaction to the Colonists’ petition against the new taxation laws.
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ESSAY: Because Henry’s audience knew the Bible, as well as classical mythology, the orator knew he could count on certain ALLUSIONS to have emotional effects. Look up the classical or Biblical passages Henry alludes to in each of the following statements from his speech. How would each allusion related to the conflict in Virginia in 1775? Could any of them relate to life today? Explain.
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A summer soldier will not fight in the winter, when fighting is arduous. Similarly, a sunshine patriot is not a patriot when times are rough.
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ESSAY: The pamphlet opens with two famous IMAGES (page 108). What kinds of people does Pain identify with summer and sunshine? Why are these images appropriate?
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Self-interest in mutual protection may be the most compelling reason for standing united.
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ESSAY: Explain the meaning of Paine’s METAPHOR, \”Mutual fear is the principal link in the chain of mutual love\” (page 111). Do you agree or disagree with this idea, and why?
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It is as just to rebel against England, which has trespassed on the colonists’ rights, as it is to turn on a thief who trespasses on one’s own property. An opponent might say that England is not a thief.
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ESSAY: An ANALOGY is a comparison between two things that are alike in certain respects. Analogies are used often in ARGUMENT and PERSUASION to demonstrate the logic of one idea by showing how it is similar to another, accepted idea. Analogies can be tricky, though, because few ideas or situations are completely alike in all aspects. What analogy does Paine draw when he talks about the thief (page 108). What point is he making, and how might an opponent answer?
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Perhaps people today would respond to Paine’s arguments and style, but not as strongly as Paine’s readers did.
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ESSAY: Could any of Paine’s arguments be applied to contemporary political situations? How do you think people today would respond to Paine’s arguments and his writing STYLE?
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The British king is evil and unjust and has usurped God’s unlimited power; heaven rates freedom highly; God will not give the colonists up to the devils.
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ESSAY: What reasons does Paine give for his confidence that God will help the Americans and not the British?
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Allegiance to the kind, based on selfish fear, merely defers a conflict that is inevitable. Also, loving parents will sacrifice now for their children’s later benefit.
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ESSAY: Explain Paine’s point in telling the ANECDOTE about the Tory tavern keeper and his child.
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Fears of enslavement, a ravaged countryside, depopulated cities, unsafe houses, and houses of ill repute.
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ESSAY: What powerful emotional appeal does Paine make in the conclusion of his essay?
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The Colonies must fight against Britain. Supporting details: Statement that God sides with the just, reminder that the British will be brutal if they win.
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ESSAY: What is Paine’s MAIN IDEA? What are some of his chief supporting details?
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Wheatley’s poems imitate the style popular in the poetry of her time: She uses a Latinate vocabulary, inversions, and elevated diction. Her marriage life was filled with personal, financial, and familial hardships. These ideas are reflected into her writing techniques.
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ESSAY: Describe the writings by Phillis Wheatley.
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The Declaration of Independence says, \”In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.\” This indicates desire to not make an absolute break, but only to be freely separated.
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ESSAY: What changes show a desire not to make an absolute break with the English people? Why do you think it would be important that the new nation maintain its \”consanguinity,\” or close kinship, with the English people?
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There were many changes to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, but the biggest single change was the removal of a long paragraph that attributed responsibility of the slave trade to British King George III.
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ESSAY: What changes seem to have been adopted primarily for stylistic reasons, such as clarity or greater impact, and for which political reasons?
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There had to be a public statement as to why they felt that they had to separate from Britain. It is a letter, written to King George III explaining grievances and their cause and effect. The colonists have already let everyone know the reasons, but this was an official declaration separating themselves from Britain.
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ESSAY: Explain why the Continental Congress wanted to publish its reasons for separating itself from Britain.
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In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson considered these truths to be self evident- everyone has a right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, because all men are created equal.
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ESSAY: The word ‘self-evident’ refers to the truths that are accessible to our common sense. List the truths that Jefferson cites in particular.
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Refusing his assent to laws, forbidding Governors to pass laws of immediate importance, refusing to pass laws for accommodation of large districts, meeting legislation at distant and places to fatigue them into compliance, dissolving representative houses.
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ESSAY: List the offenses charged to the king of England.
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\”…the pusillanimous idea that we had friends in England worth keeping terms with, still haunted the minds of many…those passages which conveyed censures on the people of England were struck out, lest they should give them offense…reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves…\” This accused the king of unfair taxation, unjust representation, claimed the tea acts, and \”intolerable acts\” to be tyrannical.
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ESSAY: Identify the specific clause struck out by Congress that Jefferson refers to in his opening paragraph. What does it accuse the king of doing?
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Franklin’s 13 virtues stand as a basis for all future personal moral standards… Their writings reflect on their struggles and challenges faced during their childhood growing up… (Keep in mind this was the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the conflicts between the colonists and Great Britain) No taxation without representation… Give me liberty or give me death…
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GENERAL WRAP-UP ESSAY: Compare the writing styles of Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Phillis Wheatley, and Thomas Jefferson.

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