Rules by Which…Franklin Lit Analysis

If you did the make-up lit analysis, here is your RER. Due Monday.

1. Use the internet to find some background information on Franklin’s purpose for writing Rules by Which a Great… Write a paragraph explaining Franklin’s purpose and attitude toward empires; be sure to identify the empire against which he was railing.
2. Reread the passage with your newly gleaned information.
3. Revise your thesis and one complete body paragraph based on your new understanding of Franklin’s purpose and how he achieved it. (Note: this should include at least a shout-out to satire!!)
4. Improve diction choice for five lackluster words (long-distance high-fives if you eliminate “to be” verbs in this process!)
5. Recast three of your weakest sentences. How can you make them shine? Consider specialty punctuation, parallel structure, elimination of prepositional phrases, changing from present progressive to simple present tense, etc.
6. Post your newly revised thesis and body paragraph as a comment under this posting by Sunday, noon. Respond to at least two peers’ revised efforts–did they hit the mark this time? Explain why/why not.


20 thoughts on “Rules by Which…Franklin Lit Analysis

  1. Thesis: In his passage, Rules by which a Great Empire may be Reduced to a Small One, Benjamin Franklin uses satire to critique empires. He utilizes incogruity, strong voice, and hyperbole in order to convey his views on chulish empires– particularly Britain.

    Body paragraph (2nd BP): Franklin also incorprates amiable voice into this passage. By writing in first person, “I adress myself,” (line 5) Franlin can connect better with his audience and inevitably makes his argument stronger. Also enabling a strong connection is the fact that without losing the friendly atmosphere, his entire passage didactive. Franklin–due to his radical colonist reputation–is obviously opposed to the actions of the British Empire. Sarcastically, Franklin tells his readers to “quarter troops among [colonists],” (line 51). Then, to the widely known distaste of the colonists (including Benjamin Franklin), our history books tell us exactly that was put into place by the name of the quartering act. By speaking to his audience as peers who have “no time for fiddling,” (line 9) Franklin creates a sense of connection between himself and the misisters listening to him. He opens his speech with such amicable diction in order to hook his audience and get them listening. His special blend of friendly and instructive voice help him to convey his informative ideas and make it seem more beliveable– and inevitably more sarcastic.

    • Lindsay- yay for the satire shoutout in your thesis! It is simple, yet loaded and gets the job done. Your body paragraph is also strong and well analyzed. Talking about the sarcastic tone brings the reader back to Franklin’s purpose of satirizing empires. Nice job!

    • Lindsay, superb diction choice, not only did it sound very thourough and intelligent, but it didn’t sound like you were trying too hard to sound smart by using a thesaurus for every word. Plus, you went deep into the analysis of how Franklin’s voice developed the satire even further. Great job!
      Freddy Lienhard, Period 3

  2. Thesis: In Benjamin Franklin’s passage, Rules by Which a Great Empire may be Reduced to a Small one, Franklin satirizes empires, specifically the British Enmpire. Franklin uses strong diction, similes, and inclusion of his audience to depict his opinion on empires in a satirical way.

    Body Paragraph 1: Throughout this selection. Franklin uses multiple similes in order to delineate his satirical tone to readers: “…you are to consider that a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminisged at the edges. This simile, if read over once, may seem like an easily fitting one. But once one realizes that Franklin’s purpose is to satirize, the simile emphasizes that purpose. Franklin is explaining that empires are extremely fragile, just like a cake. Franklin then goes on to extend that simile by comparing his audience to the bakers of that metaphorical cake: “…you will…act like a wise gingerbread-baker…who cuts his diugh half through…”. This creates an even deeper satirical tone because he is comparing the builders and founders of Britains “Great Empire” to small. humble bakers of fragile cakes.

    • Shannon, good job keeping the idea of satire alive throughout the paragraph, and way to delve deep into the metaphors. Explaining metaphors is something not everyone is very skilled at, so congrats on being able to do it well!
      Freddy Lienahrd Period 3

    • Your paragraph is extremely tightly woven, each idea is intertwined together and each part keeps popping up throughout. Your commentary’s right on the money, and it’s an idea i didn’t catch and is definitely an important part of the passage. Good job keeping your thesis at the foreground of the writing.

  3. Freddy Lienhard, Period 3
    Thesis: To communicate the maltreatment the British implement toward the colonies, Franklin spices up his satirical work by using incongruity, hyperbole, and sarcasm.

    Body Paragraph #3 revised: Franklon’s final satirical device is sarcasm. In line 49, he writes that one should alsways “suppose [the empire] inclines to revolt and treat them accordingly.” He also says they should be accompanied by military troops. A mind sharpened with history would know this is a reference to the law which pilfered any bit of privacy the colonists wished to have, even in the walls of their own homes–the quartering act. If the colonists were planning to revolt at all times, Franklin would not write about it in any piece of writing. Therefore, line 49 is a sarcastic remark to the one-and-only uprising the colonists took part in, and is also a sarcastic implication of how unnecessary the act is. He further explains the insignificance of the act by hinting at how the “colonies have been submitted to [the British] government, shown their affection to [the British’s] interests and patiently borne [the British’s] grievances” (46). The colonists have continually made sure they please the British, and their reward is military company in their streets, homes, barns, and all other places where a random revolt might take place. Franklin sarcastically agrees with the passing of this act, ultimately showing he does not agree.

    • Good choice of quotes, and I’m assuming with how your topic sentence and thesis are set up your organization was very good. Adding more quotes is always a good idea but you quote to commentary ratio works well, and the commentary is effective.

    • Freddy, I believe you have hit the mark! Your use of quotes is fantastic and have the right amount of commentary to support them. Your thesis has strong diction, but is not to wordy. It also includes all the elements of how Franklin achieves his purpose in a satirical way. Good Job!

  4. Thesis: Franklin opposes the existence of empires and believes they should be broken up, and uses satire to convey this opinion.

    Body Paragraph: Franklin relies heavily on reversal in his writing. He explain that, as a ruler, sending “wise and good men for governors” (64) will cause the subjects to “think their king wise and good” (66), and sending “learned and upright men for judges” (68) will cause them to “think [the king] a lover of justice” (69). Franklin reverses quickly, to undermine the potential of beneficial advice, saying “you are therefore to be careful who you recommend for these offices. If you can find prodigals who have ruined their fortunes, broken gamesters, or stock jabbers, these may do well as governors” (72-75). Continuing the reversal, he says, “if withal they should be ignorant, wrong-handed, and insolent, so much the better” (79-80). This stark contrast between the good advice and the detrimental serves to show Franklin’s opinion. He wants empires disbanded, so he literally gives the leaders a guide on how to do so. He does not believe a ruler would intentionally be stupid enough to follow his “advice,” but is purely making his argument against empires. So plainly describing the downfall of an empire is a clear representation of Franklin’s true feelings. He would not attack the institution of an empire if he did not hate the idea.

    • Levi, great use of text! From all the quotes you used, shows the reader you have read and understood the passage and the delve deeper in to Franklin’s satirical meaning. Your commentary is very powerful and connect back to your thesis well. However, maybe try having some commentary in between quotes just to break it up, so its not quote on quote on quote. Great Job!

  5. Thesis:Benjamin Franklin’s passage, Rules by Which a Great Empire May be Reduced to a Small One, is a satirical message towards the mistreatment of empires. Franklin’s use of reversal, similes, and strong diction help convey how he actually feels about the empires.

    Body Paragraph: Franklin first uses a simile when he talks about diminishing a great empire. The one that is more attainable is the place to start, “first to your remotest provinces”(14). Then once those provinces are destroyed aim for the next ones in order. This is just like eating a great cake: Always work from the outside to the middle. His use of comparing a great empire to a “great cake”(11) works to show how diminishing provinces come with responsibility; “that they do not enjoy the same common rights,” there must be a clear barrier between the two(19). And this is exactly how Franklin felt between the Americans and the English. He hoped that one day Americans were equal to the English; too bad the barrier between equality was too hard to break. By imcorparating this simile Benjamin Franklin does a good job of satirizing to emphasize his point.

    • Nice use of the author and title, Jenelle! Didn’t see that from very many people. You show a nice understanding of his analogy to cake in your body paragraph and do a nice job of plucking a plopping quotes. The only one I was a little confused about was the first.. I had to reread and read around it to understand what you were trying to say. Good job though overall!

  6. Shannon, great analysis of Franklin’s simile! You did a nice job of talking about how one may glance over it while reading, but then going on to explain the purpose the simile has in the text as well as relating it to his further usage of a simile between the baker and the gingerbread man. Good diction choices! Well Done!

  7. Bridgette Janicki pr. 3
    Thesis: Franklin manipulates political satire to exhibit the British Empire’s mistreatment towards the American colonist. He utilizes similes, incongruity, and sarcasm to convey his message.

    Body Paragraph: Throughout the passage, Franklin uses similes to point out the foolishness of the British Empire, “you are to consider that a great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges” (10-12). The analogy of the cake belittles England and mocks their injudiciousness because of the policies they have placed upon America. The cake represents the British Empire and the delicate state they are in with growing support, manufactures, and power American colonist are gaining. Franklin continues his simile by comparing England not only a cake, but a baker, “act like a wise gingerbread-baker, who, to facilitate a division, cuts his dough half through in those places where, when baked, he would have it broken to pieces” (25-28). He does this to convey how England is driving a wedge between herself and the colonies, and that the “maladministration oppression” (89) is the cause of it. Franklin uses similes to support his satirical standpoint against the British Empire.

    • Nice use of the word satire in your thesis, Bridgette! I liked how you used the simile of the cake, I did too hah. You used some strong diction and I like how you plucked and plopped your quotes in! Nice job revamping 🙂

  8. Thesis: Benjamin Franklin’s passage satirizes the treatment of empires, especially the British one. He achieves this satire through tone, organization, and reversal.

    Body Paragraph:
    Benjamin Franklin attacks the human belief that all empires are great.In the beginning of the passage he compares an empire to a cake: “most easily diminished at the edges” (line 13). While reading this line, the reader infers that the “edges” will be the first thing to be fixed. However, when Benjamin Franklin says that one must first “turn your attention…to your remotest provinces; that as you get rid of them, the next may follow in order” (Line 115). Not only is this incongruity, but the tone in which Benjamin says it, reveals his purpose. The word “therefore” makes the sentence sound matter-of-fact, like getting rid of communities and towns are the normal happenings of an empire. That empires are merely interested in trimming the fat of their land because it makes them look better. They do not consider the damages it does to the families turned away, to the harm they cause them.

  9. Bridgette, I really like how your thesis is well thought out and to the point. Nice use of the word manipulates!!
    In your body paragraph I feel like we are twinning it up!! I like that you used the cake quote, it really contributes to your thesis

  10. Shannon, your diction choices really help amp up your body paragraph! Words like “delineate” and “diminish” make it all more interesting. I like how you dig deeper than the surface of the passage, you really got into the nitty gritty things that nobody pays attention to.

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