Satire In Benjamin Franklin's Age Of Reason

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“The Enlightenment is the period in the history of western thought and culture… characterized by dramatic revolutions in science, philosophy, society and politics; these revolutions swept away the medieval world-view and ushered in our modern western world” (Bristow). The Enlightenment is also referred to as The Age of Reason because its philosophies were mostly based on logic and reason. One important figure who introduced the Enlightenment to America was Benjamin Franklin. “Many of Franklin’s satires work through logic of inversion, taking an established idea and exposing the assumptions that implicitly frame it by demonstrating how it might appear from a reverse perspective” (Giles 48-49). A simpler way of stating how Franklin uses satire is as placing “the…show more content…
Franklin’s second line of his opening is, “Perhaps, if we could examine the Manners of different Nations with Impartiality, we should find no People so rude, as to be without any Rules of Politeness; nor any so polite, as to not have some Remains of Rudeness” (927). Franklin continues this piece by providing examples where the Native-Americans conduct themselves more civilly than the English do. In the end, Franklin uses logic inversion, his satire style, to show what it would be like if the Native-Americans judged the English customs in the same harsh manner which the English judged theirs. As Franklin illustrates here, “You see they have not yet learned those little Good Things, that we need no Meetings to be instructed in, because or Mothers taught then to us when we were Children; and therefore it is impossible their Meetings should be, as they say. For any such purpose, or have any such Effect; they are only to contrive the Cheating of Indians in the Price of Beaver”
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