Common Sense - Alley 1 Nicholas Alley Professor Martin ENGL...

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Alley 1 Nicholas Alley Professor Martin ENGL 2327 S02 12-2-05
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Alley 2 The first criticism that I read about Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was by Robert G Ingersoll, the name of the article was simply, Thomas Paine . The article had little criticism in it, and was mostly a biography of him. The article detailed his life really well, especially the points in his life that made countries despise him, but the criticism was very basic. The article says that Common Sense was the main instrument in changing the colonist mind of thought as to England. The criticism mentions briefly that some other articles during that time had been written about England being a bad parent country, but that they were not anywhere near as successful in getting the support of the colonist. The question of whether or not the separation from England was the right decision is an answer that is considered to be a good one by most people today, and the author of this article strongly agrees. For this reason, he claims that it did not matter what else Paine did with his life, he should be considered a hero. “Thomas Paine did more for the cause of separation, to sow the seeds of independence, than any other man of his time. Certainly we should not despise him for this”. The main reason that Common Sense was so successful, Ingersoll argues, is that, “in all he wrote, Paine was direct and natural. His arguments were so lucid, so unanswerable, his comparisons and analogies so apt, so unexpected, that they excited the passionate admiration of friends and the unquenchable hatred of enemies”. Ingersoll mentions that Paine wrote Common Sense , and everyone jumped on the bandwagon that independence was the right course of action. Every reason that someone could think of for staying under England’s rule was answered. No one could think of a reason as of why keeping England as a parent was beneficial after reading the pamphlet. Ingersoll argues that only a great writer/thinker could have persuaded so many. For this reason alone, people should admire and respect Thomas Paine and Common Sense .
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Alley 3 Every argument that Ingersoll makes is one that I personally agree with, but he should have included more examples from the text, along with the biographical information that is included. As the article is written, it would not have made me change my opinion of Paine, or of Common Sense . I think that the article could have benefited for more background information as to what was happening at the time in which Common Sense was written as well. If the article focused more on the text, then his argument would have made the reason to respect Paine and Common Sense clearer. If Ingersoll had of taken specific parts of Common Sense , analyzed them individually, and stated how they helped Paine become a national hero, then his argument that Paine was one of the greatest people in history and that he should have been thought of as a hero and not a villain would have been better made.
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Alley 4
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