Reference no: EM131062629
Please also respond to a minimum of 3 of your classmates' initial posts and bring together pieces of the discussion and take those ideas further. These responses should be at least 150 words. You may ask your classmates question about their work.
Reason enables one to break free from primitive, dogmatic, and superstitious beliefs holding one in the bonds of irrationality and ignorance; this is what Benjamin Franklin means when he says "most people cultivate their own lands, or follow some handicraft or merchandise; very few rich enough to live idly upon their rents or incomes, or to pay the high prices given in Europe for paintings, statues, architecture, and the other works of art, that are more curious than useful. Hence the natural geniuses, that have arisen in America with such talents, have uniformly quitted that country for Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded" (Perkins pg. 130). This characteristic doctrine has been tested over the years by inventors and monopolizes of businesses in the late 1800s and early 1900s which later when these monopolies were broken up turned into entrepreneurship.
Reason makes all humans equal and, therefore, deserving of equal liberty and treatment before the law; this was best summarized by Thomas Payne when he said "By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new era for politics is struck-a new method of thinking has arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the nineteenth of April,3 i.e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacks of the last year; which though proper then, are superseded and useless now"(Perkins pg. 136). This was from a time of revolution from a tyrannical government, since then we have gone to war with other nations to liberate peoples from their own tyrannical governments.
Reason makes all humans equal and, therefore, deserving of equal liberty and treatment before the law; Thomas Jefferson displayed this doctrine when he said "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (Perkins pg. 154). Since the American Revolution which freed the colonist from England, slavery has been abolished in the late 1800s and Civil Rights have been established for African Americans.
Some of Olaudah Equiano experiences when placed on the slave ships," I was not long suffered to indulge my grief; I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, nor had I the least desire to taste anything I now wished for the last friend, death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables and, on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across, I think, the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely." (Perkins pg. 164). His experiences hear are unimaginably horrific. First he experiences the tightly packed conditions, and then the stench from unsanitary conditions, and finally the floggings from refusal to do what he is told.
Phillis Wheatley's experience was quite different from Olaudah Equiano's, "Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand that there's a God, that there's a Saviour too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our sable race with scornful eye, 5 "Their colour is a diabolic die."1 Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train" (Perkins pg.174). This is a poem from Phillis Wheatley saying that she was rescued from her land which she saw as pagan and educated in Christianity with her Masters.
Perkins, George. American Lit before the Civil War. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 10/2014. VitalBook file
The three individuals Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were all significant men involved in the creation of this country. The main principal that immediately stands out is "reasons makes all humans equal". (Perkins 144) Benjamin Franklin stated it best with "much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people..." (Perkins 129). Franklin was a dynamic member in the founding of the United States government and the creation thereof with the people having active involvement. Thomas Jefferson was a man of primary and belief that people had a voice in justice; in the foundation of this nation. Jefferson's famous words that are still evolving today "all men are created equal". (Perkins, 156). Paine was a man of purpose trying to unite the people believe that all things were good when people stood together. Government in Paine's mind was a creation to protect the people from their own vices. These men believe in reason as constructive and noteworthy in forming of a new government where the people were to have power of speech. The new world was a place for the men to have a new start. Paine expressed those wants in theCommon Sense. It was not just a matter of uniting but stand together as one country.
All three men of involved as American was being made to create a government for people endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Right. (US 1776) The challenge was set and through time has continuously been challenged even into the presence day. Stated best by Paine "a government which cannot preserve the peace is no government at all" (Perkins, 145).
Equiano and Wheatley were both slaves kidnapped at an early age but experienced different conditions and expressed them differently in their writings.
...multitude of black people of every description chained together, everyone of their countenances expression dejection and sorry, I no longer doubted of my fate; and quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. (Perkins, 165) Equiano was overcome with seeing people of his kind in such bad conditions and could not stand to stomach the situation therefore loosing conciseness.
...to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables, and, on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across,
I think, the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely. (Perkins, 165) Equiano had no advantage to his responses to the white men, he was punished either way. The white men appeared to be insulted by the fact that Equiano was unappreciative of their generosity.
They told us we were not to be eaten, but to work, and were soon to go on land, where we should see many of our country people. This report eased us much (Perkins, 168). Equiano and the other men of when he was captured were excited by the fact to be taken to a new land as in their minds they seen nothing but death in their future. So this new land that was spoken was a relief.
Wheatley experience and writing were not the same as Equiano. Her writing was written in poetry and she held tight to her faith during her time. ...there's a God, that there's aSaviour too (Perkins 174). Wheatley even took the time to even write a poem and express her honor she held for George Washington and the new land with potential freedom. She referred to Washington as "great chief" and the the new found country as "land of freedom's heaven-defended race". (Perkins, 176)
Perkins, George. American Lit before the Civil War. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 10/2014. VitalBook file.
United States Declaration of Independence, 1776.
Olaudah Equiano had, in comparison, a typical experience of those pressed into slavery. What sets him apart is that he was able to find an education for himself and used that to share his story in a manner that was pleasing to readers. He experienced a wide variety of conditions and emotions during his time aboard and around slave ships. This first of these occurring within moments of first seeing the slave ship. Of the sights he wrote "These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror when I was carried on board" (Perkins 164)
Later, as he has become accustom to his predicament he has found a kindred spirit which makes life more bearable. He experiences a dramatic loss of his friend and writes of his despair that "I lost at once a kind interpreter, an agreeable companion, and a faithful friend" (Perkins 170). As his story has progressed he has earned the trust and respect of those he once coward to and called master. This allows him to earn money and bring his dream of freedom to fruition. He expresses his elation by writing "My feet scarcely touched the ground, for they were winged with joy" (Perkins 171).
Phillis Wheatley's experience was, conversely, that of joy from the beginning. She viewed her taking from Africa as a good thing. She shows this by stating bluntly that "'Twas mercy brought me from myPagan land" (Perkins 174). It would be hard to imagine she did not experience much of the same terror and confusion other slaves had she appears to have been young enough and ended up in such beneficial circumstances that she viewed it in a wholly positive light.