How does Common Sense give Isabel courage?

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

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The original question had to be pared down.  George Washington once said that Paine's work is important because in the minds of many men, it was working "a powerful change."  This can also apply to Isabel.  Readily admitting that some of the language and concepts escape her, Isabel is able to understand the basic premise of Paine's work.  In its most foundational argument that there is a fundamental equality within human beings preventing one from controlling another, Isabel is able to gain some courage.  Already at the point where she is questioning the condition of slavery into which she was born and finds herself living, Paine's work is able to connect to her own experience.  Paine's work speaks to the injustice of one force controlling another being.  While Paine speaks to the relationship between England and the colonies, his words find applicability to the condition of slavery that Isabel is seeking to articulate.  In this, she finds courage because she is able to recognize that if a nation of people can be inspired to rebel from their own "chains," why not her?  Paine's work gives Isabel courage because it is from this point that she actively considers the reality of running away from enslavement as something that can be undertaken.  It is with this that she is able to fully understand that she is capable of breaking from her "chains," just as the young nation was able to use the theories of Paine to do the same.  

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