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Heath Anthology of American Literature: 5 short answer questions - Essay Example

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Benjamin Franklin used his contrasting style between the reportorial and sensational content to satirize the superstitions associated with the practice of witchcraft and uncover…
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Heath Anthology of American Literature: 5 short answer essay questions
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Heath Anthology of American Literature: 5 short answer questions

Download file to see previous pages... The passages from “A Witch Trial Mount Holly” are used to display the scathing attack on the empty rituals and superstitions pertaining behind the practice of witchcraft. Benjamin tried to portray that in uncovering a lady for the practice of witchcraft is nothing but a mere attempt to satisfy some sexual appetites of few crooks in the society.
“Charged with making their Neighbors Sheep dance in an uncommon Manner, and with causing Hogs to speak, and sing Psalms, &c. to the great Terror and Amazement of the King’s good and peaceable Subjects.” (Frankin, “A Benjamin Franklin Reader”).
This passage clearly notifies the motive of Benjamin by mentioning the practice of the uncommon manner of sheep dance and the pomp and hogging and merry making associated with it in the false name of rituals.
“If the Accused were weighed in Scales against a Bible, the Bible would prove too heavy for them; or that, if they were bound and put into the River, they would swim” (Frankin, “A Benjamin Franklin Reader”).
This passage brings the most scathing attack and shallowness of the practices associated with the ritual. To compare the accused against the weight of the Bible or making them swim across the river is mere foolishness and in a true vain, he attacks the people who indulge in such practices is attacked in a satiric way.
“The populace of the village came to the belief that the women’s clothing had helped them remain buoyant and determined “they [should] be tried again the next warm Weather, naked” (Frankin, “A Benjamin Franklin Reader”).
The hoax by Benjamin is blended with marvelous wit which is the greatest ornament for any satire and it reaches its height in the following passage: “The Accuser Man being thin and spare, with some Difficulty began to sink at last; but the rest every one of them swam very light upon the Water” (Frankin, “A Benjamin Franklin Reader”).
Lastly, the ending of the satire ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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