Development of the US1 Term Paper April 18

Development of the US1 Term Paper April 18 - Gaurav M....

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Gaurav M. Singh Development of the US I 114006240 Term Paper Three’s Company – Franklin, Douglass, and Singh The moving and inspirational narratives of Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass are comprised of a series of life events in which they encounter hardships and setbacks. The adversity both men faced played integral roles in shaping their lives and propelling them into becoming prominent figures in American history. Douglass' personal account dramatizes his quest to escape enslavement and to shape an identity for himself outside the caste and constraints of slavery. His autobiography also focuses on his individual development as an enslaved man who eventually gains freedom. On the other hand, Franklin demonstrates that anyone in this world can earn prosperity, economic security, and community respect through hard work and honest dealings with others. Both Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass portray their rise from poverty and adversity to become renowned figures in American society. By reading these autobiographies and reflecting on my personal life experiences, I have learned that I share many similarities with these great Americans. Both Franklin and Douglass were self-taught and became successful later in their lives. This dedication was a major source of Franklin’s success and was a trait that became indispensible in his life. Many consider Franklin to be one of the greatest American minds, and a proud pillar of our national heritage. He represented and characterized the “American dream.” The term “American dream” is commonly thought to consist of traditional social ideals of the United States. These principles can be equality, democracy, freedom, education and material prosperity. Particularly for Douglass, the American dream is the desire to for freedom, education, material wealth and social equality. In Douglass’ mind, education was the stepping- stone for power. With a proper education, both men would gain the power needed to advance up the social ladder and become enlightened Americans. Born to a candle maker, few people would
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have surmised that Franklin would master so many disciplines. His inspirational story proves that with determination and dedication, success is possible and attainable in any environment. A leading American statesman, inventor, philanthropist, publisher, revolutionary, and thinker, Benjamin Franklin was truly the Enlightened American. Douglass, like Franklin, was also a very determined man. When Douglass was a slave, he was initially taught to read by his owner’s wife, Mrs. Auld. But when her husband found out, he forbade it, and stopped her from teaching him. Despite this setback, Douglass had a revelation when he overheard Mr. Auld explain to his wife that an educated slave was dangerous to the social structure. Douglass stated, "I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty - to wit, the white man's power to enslave the black man. ... From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom" (
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Development of the US1 Term Paper April 18 - Gaurav M....

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