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Speech Of Polly Baker Essay

  • Submitted by: smacksdaddy
  • on December 6, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 370 words

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Below is an essay on "Speech Of Polly Baker" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

11/17/11
Franklin's essays
Topic 2

"The Speech of Polly Baker" seems to be aimed as a direct shot to the traditional Puritan lifestyle and beliefs we've previously read about. Miss Polly Baker is being accused of having her fifth child without marriage, all bastard children. A practice that resulted in harsh punishments towards the woman, often public punishment. In Polly Baker's speech she often takes satirical shots at this tradition, stating that she feels this punishment unreasonable and severe against her especially. Her claims that her bringing forth five fine children into a civilization that encourages new people is a contradiction to the prosecutions being bought upon her. Baker states that she never "debauched" another woman's husband, nor was opposed to the practice of marriage. Even going to the extent of saying she may be exceptional in the institution itself, illustrates protest towards the judicial outlook on out-of-wedlock conception within the Puritan society. Also in the speech Franklin writes that one of Baker's illegitimate children belong to a current Magistrate of the county who happen to forsake her in marriage, this just being one of the many stabs Franklin took into the main artery of the structure of Puritan culture which didn't punish fathers of these children. Baker's argument against the court, mostly full of rhetorical anecdotes is a witty and direct attempt to dismantle Puritan belief regarding this topic. Baker raises the idea that if the Puritan tradition has already condemned her to hell and internal fire, that why must they still impose fines and whippings on her behalf, as if that was not sufficient. Franklin goes on to write upon the fact of the rising number of men in the country, which of whom have no knowledge of true courtship, that they should indeed face consequences for this very action, citing that be a greater offense than that of the woman's. This and similar text throughout the speech would easily be considered...

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