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Essay example - Literature discussion on Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson

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Pages 2 (502 words)
In his Autobiography Benjamin Franklin creates not only the classic story of the self-made man but also attempts to recreate himself and his career as the prototype of an American success story. He deserts Puritanism in favor of the enlightenment's rationalism…

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His belief that theory should be tested chiefly by experience - not logic - also reflects the belief of his age that reason should be tested pragmatically. His works reflect the growing awareness of America as a country with values and interests distinct from those of England.
In the later eighteenth century, ethnic and religious traditions were shed and in their place a national identity based on shared ideas was embraced. This was seen by many progressive intellectuals as ways to free the individual from the constricting hand of the repressive past. Franklin's writings were influential in this regard.
Writing in the first person is a technique that Thomas Paine effectively used as a writer. With it, he was able to spread his views. Paine was considered a radical pamphleteer as he had anticipated and helped stir up the American Revolution through his powerful writings. For example, it was common sense to support the colonies in their fight with England and to this effect he put out a small pamphlet, Common Sense. The purpose was to effect a powerful change in the minds of many men, and won, at a critical time, a number of American colonists over to the cause of independence.
Yes, Paine is forthright in his writings. He wrote of human conditions that meant little to anyone in those years. ...
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