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Benjamin Franklin's Tone on 2 Passages

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Franklin's Tone

In his Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America, Benjamin Franklin expresses his attitude toward the white settlers, and the 'savage' Native-Americans. Franklin's fluctuating style of tone in his writing can not go neglected, as it is left naked to criticism. In revealing his perspective on the white settlers and the Native-Americans, Franklin's audience is left to question who the real 'savages' are.

Franklin's passage is perceivably, though not physically, divided into two sections. The foremost section of the passage contains the story of Adam and Eve, as told by the minister. Within this scanty first section Franklin expresses a sparse, neutral tone, not quoting the minister even once. Rather, Franklin simply gives an indecently short recap of Christianity, ending with a frivolous "&c." and moving on to what, through his use of tone, he has subliminally communicated to be the significant fraction of the passage.

From the very beginning of the latter half to the end, Franklin expresses a tone that exhibits a great concern for what the Indian orator has to say. While the minister is not quoted while sharing his beliefs with the chiefs, the orator is immediately quoted. This seemingly subtle difference is key in analyzing Franklin's tone in that without it, Franklin's point may have been lost. By using such brevity in describing the minister and such bombastic elasticity in depicting the orator, Franklin allows for the audience to realize a definite difference.

Franklin ends his passage with a conceited quip from the minister, saying "What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but that you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood." By showing the belligerent arrogance of the minister, Franklin uses his tone to indefinitely expose his attitude toward the minister, and in doing so, leads one to question if the Indians are the real savages.



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