September 15, 2016
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This entire story is insightful into a world and mind of someone that we have little other well known literature of. This segment in particular, with the vivid description of this young man’s capture into slavery and unwanted separation from his family, is particularly heartbreaking due to the hopeless of his current situation juxtaposed with his former position of great regard as a young warrior within his tribe and helpful provider within his family. The last sequence particularly drives home the loss and homesickness he felt. His questioning of man and society points to the harsh new reality he has been presented with, one which offers no honor or respect to fellow human beings. By comparing himself to a deer,he is alluding to the fairness of the animal society, one of survival of the fittest, as compared to the mental and emotional abuse of the so-called “civilized” society.
Data visualization for Equiano.
[ I hope the reader will not think I have trespassed on his patience in introducing myself to him with some account of the manners and customs of my country. ]
Speaking to his skills as a rhetorician I found it very interesting the manner in which Equiano addresses his audience as he does so here. Not only does he speak to his audience but I feel as though he also omits information from his memoir for the comfort of his readers, who at this time we could believe would primarily be white, upper-class males. It seems as though he does not rely on the pathos of his audience, as some other abolitionist authors do, but rather sticks to an intellectual and informational recount of events in his life, very much following the sentiments of the Enlightenment thinkers and readers of his audience.
I thought it was interesting how Equiano says, “in honor of those sable destroyers of human rights, that I never met with any ill treatment, or saw any offered to their slaves, except tying them, when necessary, to keep them running away.” This was very ironic to me, because he blatantly calls them “destroyers of human rights,” but then proceeds to say that they treated them well. I think this shows us that Equiano was writing for a primarily white audience and was afraid of seeming too critical about the slave trade. As this section progresses, he finally finds his sister, and he rejoices, but then immediately becomes afraid and anxious for her safety. Instead of just worrying about himself like he had before, he begins to be anxious for his own life and hers as well. I thought this section was a great example of how Equiano switches between trying to please a white audience as well as trying to display his true emotions.
I think he was making a generalization about “them” being the destroyer of human rights as anyone who deals in the slave trade BUT his “masters” never did him harm so could he really consider them to be as bad as the rest? His situation could have been far worse than the one he was in and i think Kylie brings up a good point that he is saying things could have been worse. I dont think he is trying to please anyone. I get a sense of genuine emotion in his feeling here. I think he is not only concerned for him but also his sister and i dont think he had any trouble expressing that. He is very detail in the relief her presence brought to him and even more so in the pain and sorrow it brought when she was taken away again.
I thought that this paragraph was particularly interesting because it showcased the culture of the people. Equiano shows here how central dance and music is to their culture. As he says, “We are almost a nation of dancers, musicians and poets” (NAAL 749). I think that this is interesting both on a personal level and in relation to the other readings from this class. Personally, I think it’s interesting to read and learn about other’s cultures. However, it’s interesting in relation to other readings, as we haven’t had the opportunity to learn about many cultures of Africa. It’s also interesting how much detail Equiano goes into regarding the dancing. He tells about the four divisions, and who dances in each division. He states that, “Each represents some interesting scene of real life, such as a great achievement, domestic employment, a pathetic story, or some rural sport” (NAAL 750). Again, it’s interesting how the culture uses dance and music to express events ongoing in their lives.
I agree, the introduction to this paragraph is very poetic. Equiano makes this relatable to many, the uniting of culture through music, dancing, and poetry speak to the power the arts hold within a culture. The interesting points made pertain to the division and separation by which dancing exhibits in the passage.
[ O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you, learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice?]
Equiano directly appeals to his audience in these lines. A majority of his readers would be white Christians who believed that Africans were savages that didn’t care for familial ties. By essentially calling them out, Equiano forces them to think about their actions and how they go against Christian teachings and their own presumptions of Africans. This type of soul-searching rhetoric was probably very effective and very popular for abolitionists trying to persuade people to join their cause.
This piece is incredibly dynamic in that it couples passages that make you completely lose faith with humanity, with ones that make you hope it is still redeemable. In this specific passage you have a mixture of both of those things. Here we see the two doctors working as a foil against one another and somewhat representing either end of the spectrum in human nature. Before the events in this section, the Captain too was somewhat ambiguous in the way that, it wasn’t necessarily clear where in the spectrum of morality he was going to land. Throughout the piece we have a lot of the Departure-Peril-Arrival concept coupled with a lot of the in-practice work of implementing ideas and beliefs in everyday situations like we saw in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography.
I completely agree, Kayla. This passage makes you really think that humanity is lost and then the Captain and Dr. Brady reassure the reader that humanity is still in some people and from their humanity hope is drawn. The dynamic of the piece truly shows the different views people have and still do have towards one another. I do believe, however, that the Captain lands on the right side of the spectrum in human nature, in the long run, all that matters is that one cares at the end. He was willing to stand up for and take care of Equiano, showing good virtues deep down. I believe this is part of the Departure-Peril-Arrival’s you spoke of. Seeing the progress that the Captain made towards seeing a black man as a man. He may have been a Captain of a slave ship but during this time that isn’t uncommon, where standing up for and protecting a black man was.
Olaudah Equiano story resembles the Rowlandson captivity narrative of Providence and Departure, peril and Arrival as well as Franklin rags-to-riches narratives. Snatched from his world, he experienced perils as a slave at sea and in a hostile new land. I find interesting that even in his everyday suffering as a slave, Equiano showed a pleasant disposition. He found favor and grace and people were eager to teach him things that he never thought possible. Although his goal was walking as a free man, he never abandoned the desire to better his life through education. He explains, “I thought now of nothing but being freed, and working for myself, and thereby getting money to enable me to get a good education: for I always had a great desire to be able at least to read and write” (764). Education not only granted him a new world of knowledge but opened doors to opportunities to entered the world of the British empire and his involvement and influence in the abolitionist movement.
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This paragraph struck me because you can really feel his hopelessness here. He finally has the chance to escape, and then hears that he is too far to make it home. I was really shocked that he chose to go back. This is a reflection of Equiano’s severe pain, and misery, that he would go back to a place where he knows he could be killed or beaten and punished severely for his actions. He mentions several times through out his writing that at many points in his travels, he preferred death. He also mentions that he was 11 years old upon first being kidnapped. For an 11 year old to prefer death to their situation is so sad to me. This writing really provides and inside look on slavery that I have never had before.
This paragraph intrigues me; it is very effective. Here, not only is Olaudah Equiano proving African American’s abilities, but he is also involved in assimilation. He is central to it; throughout this narrative, we see Equiano adapt to his surroundings. Here, we see this. He is pleased to be able to do what his current community can do. He is happy that he has made his Master money. I understand that, in Equiano’s circumstances, he had to assimilate in order to survive, but he is interested in his present culture. I think it is very effective to narrate as someone who has gained success, despite slavery, in order to bring awareness to the inhumanity present.
While you make a very logical argument in favor of Equiano trying to write to please a white audience, I think he may have been making a different point in this paragraph. He is defining the difference between black slave owners and white ones, strongly stating that the white masters are much worse in their treatment of slaves. Farther in the work, he is shocked by the white men’s pale complexions so I believe this means he has previously been owned by black masters. When he writes “indeed I must acknowledge, in honour of those sable destroyers of human rights, that I never met with any ill treatment, or saw any offered to their slaves, except tying them, when necessary, to keep them from running away” Equiano is referring to the “destroyers of human rights” as being sable; the individuals that have kept him as a slave up to this point are black like him. This line is doing the opposite of appeasing white readers, it’s pointing out that the white men treat their slaves far worse even than other slave owners do.
[in an instant all my trepidation was turned into unutterable bliss]
Note here how the reversal motif applies even to Equiano’s final emancipation. Whereas earlier in the book most of the reversals tended toward shock, cruelty, and despair, here and elsewhere they can also tend toward joy and deliverance. Even so, the major significance of the device is that it underscores tragically how little control the slave has over his or her own destiny, so that even positive outcomes work to illustrate this negative plight of the slave’s vulnerability to the arbitrary character of external forces and chance. The role commerce has played in Equiano’s ability to purchase his freedom also has connections to larger themes we’ve examined in past writers, but his vulnerability to forces beyond his control sets his experience quite apart from them.
You mention that he returns knowing that “he could be killed or beaten and punished severely for his actions”, however, according to the passage, this new master and his wife present a very kind disposition towards Equiano. He never mentions having previously been exposed to such violent behavior in that household and they even trust him enough to leave him on his own to leave the house unsupervised. While I don’t discount the levity of his situation, it does seem as if he’s terrified and is possibly imagining a far worse punishment than what he actually receives. He does state, at one point, that he realizes from conversations he overhears that it will be almost impossible to return to his home and family on his own, which makes sense considering that he’s still a child, and probably greatly influences his decision to return to the master’s house despite the punishment he assumes he will be dealt.
This is a very interesting perspective on this time period. Usually illiterate, slaves have often not had the opportunity to share their sides of the story. It breaks my heart knowing he remembers being torn away from his family and his mother and at such a young age. This paragraph represents his identity with his home and how he misses it. I also found it shocking that another slave would turn on him so instantly versus trying to help him out. This passage also shows his intention to escape and try and find his way back home. He is actively planning to leave and accidentally is assumed a runaway as he hides in the thicket. Equiano is very open and descriptive about his life and his experiences with slavery.
I found this passage challenging to my own views on how slavery occurred in colonial times. This narrative of Equiano’s initial capture was extremely interesting to me as I was reading through it, particularly when he talks about the regularity of kidnappings in the area in which he was raised. I find it interesting that the general view on kidnappings and subsequent slavery currently was that white Europeans were the ones that kidnapped Africans and shipped them off on slave ships, but this narrative seems to indicate that they were fellow natives who captured and enslaved Equiano and his younger sister. Additionally, his first master was a chieftain (presumably of his own race) who spoke his own language. I think that this heightens the complexity of the slavery problem and how difficult it was to advocate emancipation and the abolition of the institution of slavery. In hindsight, I think we oversimplify this feeling, but this work is a good reminder that it wasn’t. Because slavery wasn’t just a problem with white Europeans exclusively but simply a problem with humanity and their views on human dignity, it made it more difficult to pinpoint the cause of the problem and create measures that could be taken to eliminate slavery. (I also completely agree with Jessica’s last point on the fairness of the animal kingdom and the injustice of the human kingdom.)
In the article, “I Whitened My Face, That They Might Not Know Me: Race and Identity in Olaudah Equiano’s Slave Narrative”, the author Ronald Paul writes a comparison so Equiano’s “The Interesting Narrative of the Life…” and Fantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks. This theory, of how Black slaves will change themselves to become “The Other” White Man when they are enslaved. This is shown in Equiano’s writing, “I now not only felt myself quite easy with these new countrymen, but relished their society and manners.” Equiano had adapted to the Englishman’s way of life and has found comfort in their company. He was told that being Black was ugly and a crime, so for him to want to be and start acting White is a common action taken by the enslaved. He writes, “I had soon an opportunity of improving myself, which I gladly embraced.” Equiano believed he was a lesser being and this article deeply studies this psychopathology and the role it plays in his autobiography. This story is his “emancipation” of his past and becoming a British citizen needs a rough backstory for this choice to be understandable by his readers (852). This article writes about how Equiano fights his past as a Black Slave and his future in a White lifestyle and why his choice was made from a psychological standpoint.
Paul, Ronald. “‘I Whitened My Face, That They Might Not Know Me’: Race and Identity in Olaudah Equiano’s Slave Narrative.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 39, no. 6, 2009, pp. 848–864. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40282603.
Cathy N. Davidson in her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself,” describes how Equiano’s biography isn’t written in a traditional sense. She says, “His is not a Moses-like journey from slavery to freedom, but rather, an episodic and often anxious narrative meandering – from freedom to kidnapping by other Africans, from one form of African slavery into a far more barbarous enslavement by European slavers in the hold of a ship bound for Barbados, from one owner to another…” (19). Rather than displaying every detail of his entire life and every situation that happens to him, he focuses more on those few events that he says “have not happened to many.” Davidson makes the point that while his autobiography resembles 18th century novels and many the conventions of autobiographies during this time period, Equiano’s writing is still much different from others due to the anxiety and oppression of being a Black author during this time period. She says, “He uses first-person narration skillfully to evoke in readers his own sense of ever-imminent crisis” (20), which relates back to Equiano’s own description of his work. He says, “If it affords any satisfaction to my numerous friends, at whose request it has been written, or in the smallest degree promotes the interests of humanity, the ends for which it was undertaken will be fully attained.” With support from Davidson, we can see that Equiano wrote this autobiography in a similar fashion to other authors of the time period, but his writing is different due to the fact that he was a Black writer and was attempting to show the horrors of slavery.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” Vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51., http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683. Accessed 14 Apr. 2018.
In the article “I Whitened My Face, That They Might Not Know Me”: Race and identity in Olaudah Equiano’s Slave Narrative, Paul Ronald examines the concept of racial assimilation and the adoption of the mask of the White to renegotiate his status in the new land where the white man dominates. He wants the readers to have a clear understanding of the personal struggle and cost of Equiano’s quest for self-fulfillment and freedom. Paul states that the slaves lived in constant neurosis because they were considered immoral, ugly, and sinful, hence the adopting of the White mask of conformity. Paul states that when Olaudah Equiano arrived in England in 1776 after his emancipation he delighted in the White man culture and was determined to imitate and resemble his former White masters in every way. Equiano states, “I no longer looked upon them as spirits, but as men superior to us; and therefore, he had the strongest desire to resemble them, to imbibe their spirit, and imitate their manners” (768). Paul argues that Equiano opted to associate himself with an African identity and was willing to adopt the White Otherness to earn the favor of his master’s society to further his political ambitions in the fight against slavery. However, Ronald Paul asserts that Equiano new the importance of fairness and justice. He believed that survival was conditional, and victory was temporary. He knew that rewards such as money, freedom, advancement and praise and anything that is good could vanish in an instant because he was black.
Paul, Ronald. “‘I Whitened My Face, That They Might Not Know Me’: Race and Identity in Olaudah Equiano’s Slave Narrative.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 39, no. 6, 2009, pp. 848–864. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40282603.
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
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April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
See in context
April 25, 2018 at 11:14 pm
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April 11, 2018 at 11:09 pm
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April 2, 2018 at 10:26 pm
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April 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm
April 2, 2018 at 5:07 pm
April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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