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Using literary elements explain in which two ways these autobiographies are...

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zoel222 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 29, 2009 at 10:34 AM via web

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Using literary elements explain in which two ways these autobiographies are similar.

Using literary elements, explain in what two ways Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African are similar.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 30, 2009 at 10:52 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that focusing on Franklin's and Equiano's works help to bring out some similar literary elements.  The most evident would be that both are told in the first person narrative structure.  Given the genre, this is automatically understood, but still constitutes a starting point of similarity.  Both works also feature characters or protagonists who undergo a great deal of change.  Franklin's autobiography helps to evoke much in the way of personal growth and development set against the backdrop of a changing colonial society.  By the same token, Equiano's narrative helps to bring out much in the way of how the individual perceives and understands human cruelty and the nature of evil.  Such realizations help change and help to foster a deeper understanding of what social orders present and what they should present.  The idea of a bildungsroman is evident in both works, as well.

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