The Silence Dogood Book Analysis

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“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing – Benjamin Franklin.” When Benjamin Franklin created the fictional character, Silence Dogood, he achieved both of these things outlined in this quote. The Silence Dogood Letters were both something worth reading and worth writing about. They were a popular phenomenon when they were first written and they still prove to be an important part of our U.S. history to this day. Silence Dogood was first created so that Ben could get his writing in his brother’s newspaper, The New England Courant. Each letter—the first one printed on April 2, 1722—was about random events taking place in Silence Dogood’s life. (Owens 21) The newspaper readers learned quite a bit about Silence through…show more content…
It all began with Ben’s brother, James, starting his own newspaper called The New England Courant. His newspaper “was the first single publication in all of the colonies” (Isaacson 9) and was also the 3rd newspaper in the history of Boston. It launched in 1726 when a smallpox epidemic was consuming Boston. (The New England Courant) Ben first started working at the newspaper as an apprentice when he was only 12 years old. After being trained, Ben was moved up to being a typesetter and then moved up again, soon after, to become a delivery boy for the newspaper. Even though Ben started working for The New England Courant when he was 12, it wasn’t until three years later that the first issue of the newspaper was published. All of these three years, before the publication, were filled with training and preparing to publish the newspaper. After quite sometime of typesetting and being a newspaper boy, Ben grew tired of his job. He wasn’t content with his duties, so he came up with the idea writing in the newspaper. (The New England Courant) When Ben brought his newly found idea to his brother, James, it was quickly shot down. No one took Ben seriously as a writer. Ben then came up with the idea of Silence Dogood; he wanted to get published in the newspaper and prove to his brother that he could be a respectable writer. (The New England Courant) Silence Dogood was “a slightly…show more content…
Out of all of the different parts of the Silence Dogood letters, the actual content of the letters was the most important. The content is what kept the newspaper readers interested and what gave Ben his success in writing. There were 14 letters and each one was published in The New England Courant. Silence’s first letter was a letter of information on her background and her purpose for writing the letters. It told about her history of being born on a ship headed to Boston and the death of her father who died on that same trip. This letter also gave readers information about “the importance of her apprenticeship to a minister” and “her education of books during work for a minister” (The Birth of Silence Dogood). The second and third letters were mainly about characteristics of Silence Dogood which includes her outspoken nature. They also give more details about her life, but mainly focus on her marriage that lasted for 7 years. Letter number four is probably the letter that stands out the most. In this letter, Silence attacks Harvard because Benjamin Franklin wanted to attend this college, but go rejected. (Isaacson 14) The letter questions the value of college education and displays Ben’s robust feelings towards the situation. In the fifth essay, Silence defends the rights of women against charges of “Ephraim Censorious” (The
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