In Benjamin Franklin’s writing “Rules by Which a Great Empire May be Reduced to a Small One”, he attempts, without success, to convince the king and Parliament of Britain to change their control of policies towards the American Colonies. This publishing did very well to highlight the main issues of America caused by the British Government. Franklin’s writing uses excessive rhetorical devices to portray his patriotic opinion towards the British Crown, such as Satire, Figurative Language, and Diction. These devices serve the purpose of warning the government of Britain that the American people do not approve of how they rule their people.
Benjamin Franklin uses Satire throughout his entire piece, in an effort to make his audience; the readers of “Public Advertiser” feel that the British are foolish. His use of satire is seen as early on as the second paragraph, where he says “Take special Care the Provinces are never incorporated with the Mother Country, that they do not enjoy the same common Rights, the same Privileges in Commerce, and that they are governed by severer Laws, all of your enacting, without allowing them any Share in the Choice of the Legislators. This blatant use of sarcasm tends to make the audience feel enlightened as to what the British are really doing to the American Colonies. Sarcasm also emphasizes the main idea of the piece in that it attempts to affect the way the British govern America. Benjamin Franklin also has extensive use of figurative language. For example, he uses a simile in the very first sentence of his piece; “a great Empire, like a great Cake, is most easily diminished at the Edges. ” His figurative language serves a purpose of emphasizing his use of satire.
In a later example; he keeps his simile of the cake and compares it to a gingerbread baker who seems to not know how to bake, thus accentuating his use of sarcasm. Franklin’s use of figurative language creates an expressive tone more efficiently than simple, concrete language. Lastly, Benjamin Franklin’s use of diction is also very prevalent in his writing. Just one example of Franklin’s use of diction would include: “After a Revolution is thoroughly established, are of no more use, they are even odious and abominable. His use of the words “odious” and “abominable” serve a larger purpose than simply using more generic, less descriptive words such as “hateful” and “bad”. His use of these words convey his thoughts on British tyranny over America more clearly. It provides a tone of seriousness and genuine importance. His diction affects the overall mood of the piece by giving it a sense of urgency in that something needs to change for America. In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin’s writing “Rules by Which a Great Empire May be Reduced to a Small One” attempts to cause change in the way government is being run by Britain for the Colonies in America.
His use of satire, figurative language, and diction cause his writing to be regarded as fundamental in producing the American Revolution. They change both the mood and tone of the piece, and cause his audience to think about how the British Parliament governs America. His extensive use of sarcasm throughout the piece strikes a sense of foolishness by the audience towards the British Crown. Although his attempts to change the way British Parliament governed America did not succeed, Benjamin Franklin did emphasize the problems in their system, and ultimately contributed to the American Revolution.