Literature: Tool For The Masses To Grasp And Form Opinions On A Subject

Over the centuries, one of the most important tools available to protesting
groups was literature. Some of the most famous protest literature in the world
has its roots in American history. For example, some great American authors of
protest literature include Thomas Paine, Thomas Nast, John C. Calhoun, and
Martin Luther King. Through eloquent, sometimes subtle means, these authors
became the spokesmen for their particular protest movements.

Thomas Paine was an English-born man who seemed to stir controversy wherever he
traveled. Paine's forceful yet eloquent prose made him a hero for the three
great causes to which he devoted his life; the American Revolution, religious
reform, and ...

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of protest literature, and
it clearly whet his appetite. Paine soon became fascinated with the ongoing
hostility in Anglo-American relations, and, much to the dismay of his publisher,
could not seem to think of anything but. Therefore, in late 1775, Paine had
begun what was to become a 50-page Pamphlet known as Common Sense. In this work,
Paine stated that:

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is
but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer,
or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a
country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we
furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of
lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of
paradise (Fast 6).

This very biting and controversial stance is what characterized Paine's writing.
He went on to dismiss the King as a fool, and stated ...

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that one of the most stunning lines in protest literature is written: "These are
the times that try men's souls." (Coolidge 38). Paine signed the pamphlet
"Common Sense", and this furthered his reputation. Washington was so impressed
by this work that he ordered it read to the men to bolster morale just before
the first major offensive of the war. Reinforced by the dramatic coup which
Washington scored at Trenton, the first of the Crisis papers helped to inspire
many thousands of men into joining the war effort.

The second Crisis paper was a great chance for Paine to launch a personal attack
of George III, whom he deemed incompetent and unintelligent. His third paper
was ...

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Literature: Tool For The Masses To Grasp And Form Opinions On A Subject. (2004, February 4). Retrieved July 17, 2018, from
"Literature: Tool For The Masses To Grasp And Form Opinions On A Subject.", 4 Feb. 2004. Web. 17 Jul. 2018. <>
"Literature: Tool For The Masses To Grasp And Form Opinions On A Subject." February 4, 2004. Accessed July 17, 2018.
"Literature: Tool For The Masses To Grasp And Form Opinions On A Subject." February 4, 2004. Accessed July 17, 2018.
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Added: 2/4/2004 03:21:32 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2838
Pages: 11

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