Wealth, A Witch Trial At Mount Holly, And The Speech Of Polly Baker

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Hunter Benson Essay Benjamin Franklin is considered a uniquely American writer in terms of both style and content by using satirical phrases addressing the social issues of his time. His concepts and lessons were written with both humor and plain language, so that even the most “common man” could understand. Franklin had the ability to provide the reader with an important lesson while using ridicule to expose truth. These forms of writing can be seen in three of his most known literary works; The Way to Wealth, A Witch Trial at Mount Holly, and The Speech of Polly Baker. In 1758, Ben Franklin summarized his own work, Poor Richard’s Almanac, in The Way to Wealth. This writing both encouraged and outlined the reader to use certain noble characteristics while on the road to wealth. One of his notable phrases states, “Many of one, for the sake of Finery on the Back, have gone hungry Belly, and half-starved their families; Silk and Satins, Scarlet and Velvets, put out the kitchen fire.” Examining this phrase you see that Franklin addresses a person’s own hindering indulgences with comical consequence at the end. Franklin even foresees his audiences’ true disregard by concluding “The People heard it, and approved the Doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary…”…show more content…
After tapping into his feminist side, he goes on to boldly challenge not “the law” as a whole, but the individuality/exceptions that should spring forth when needed. Using his character Polly Baker, who after being drawn into court for birthing another bastard child, reasons with the Judges saying, “ but since laws are sometimes unreasonable in themselves….I take the Liberty to say that I think this law to be unreasonable within itself”. And after setting the premise on individuality, Franklin drops a satirical bombshell by Polly Baker’s claim that “those very people you all know he is now become a magistrate of this

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