Comparison of Franklin & Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Abolitionism, Frederick Douglass Pages: 3 (1101 words) Published: October 8, 1999
America, a land with shimmering soil where golden dust flew and a days rain of money could last you through eternity. Come, You Will make it in America. That was the common theme of those who would remove to America. It is the common hymn, the classic American rags-to-riches myth, and writers such as Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass had successfully embraced it in their works.Franklin and Douglass are two writers who have quite symmetrical styles and imitative chronology of events in their life narratives. They both approached their story with a "rags-to-riches" idea. In addition, we must realize that both Franklin and Douglass are powerful writers. In that sense, I mean that Franklin was a "well-educated" man in which he filled his life with bountiful knowledge through reading and productive dialogues with peers. On the other hand, Douglass mode of writing, like ones of William Lloyd Garrison's is sentimental and contains compelling language.In The Autobiography by Franklin and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Douglass, both narrations are generally composed of series of life events and encounters with hardship that eventually brought them success. I shall put forth some parallel ideas of both the authors have in common. In Franklin's Autobiography, his chapters of life events and improvements are symbolized by his travels, especially on the boat. His first travel signifies his "new beginning" and it caused great hardship. He was "cut so a miserable figure" when he started out. (Franklin, 1771:196). However, Franklin was quick to gain ground. His move to another city or country signified his advancement and his prologue to his success to come are in his description of his boat travels. By this I mean that, Franklin intentionally gave the details of his boat travels to prepare the reader for the kind of successes or failure that he was going to face in the next chapter of his life. For example, he described...

  • Douglas, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (The Harper Single Volume American Literature 3rd edition) 1845:p.1017-1081
  • Franklin, Benjamin. Autobiography. (The Harper Single Volume American Literature 3rd edition) 1776: p.282-284.
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