COTTON MATHER AND BENJAMIN FRANKLIN:
A) Introduction: general overview.
B) Comparison of selected works.
This essay aims to compare plot, point of view, and theme of two authors in their respective works: Cotton Mather, “The Wonders of the Invisible World”, “The Trial of Martha Carrier”, and Benjamin Franklin, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America”, “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America”.
Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin are bright representatives of colonial literature. Their views can usefully be compared and contrasted.
American writing began with the work of English adventurers and colonists in the New World chiefly for the benefit of readers in the mother country. From the beginning, however, the literature of New England was also directed to the edification and instruction of the colonists themselves, intended to direct them in the ways of the godly. Cotton Mather emerged as the dominant intellect of New England during the last decade of the Seventeenth and the beginning of the Eighteenth centuries. The approach of the American Revolution and the achievement of the actual independence of the United States was a time of intellectual activity as well as social and economic change. The variously gifted Benjamin Franklin forwarded American literature not only through his own writing but also by founding and promoting newspapers and periodicals. Benjamin Franklin was Colonial America's famous liberal rebel. Cotton Mather was the archetypical conservative Puritan leader. Like Mather, Franklin started out in Boston. They made unlikely bedfellows, yet when Franklin was eleven, he read Mather's book, Essays to Do Good. It had a lasting impact on him, and through his vast influence it has, ultimately, touched...