Writers use what they know to make their work into something that can be treasured for years. They share what they know, they paint pictures with their words that allow their readers to get a glimpse of their lives and in some cases they use what is going on around them to share what they are feeling, or what they are not feeling. In some cases the writers use other pieces of literature or other people’s ideas to get their point across.
In the early years of the United States there were many different kinds of authors and many different kinds of people. Occasionally those authors use what is going on with the country around them to make a point. One such author is Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln used what the founding fathers wrote about all men being equal to base his argument that the slaves should be freed. Lincoln chose to take the fact that the founding fathers wrote that “All Men were created equal” as the truth and that all men should be free to make their own choices based on the life that they wanted to live. In many cases other people disagreed and that caused many problems for Lincoln as time passed.
Lincoln changed the rhetoric of the founding fathers to make people agree with him. He changed it from just being words that made people agree with the founding of a new nation to words that made people want to be a better nation that the one that they came from. Lincoln wanted the United States to be better than just words on a page that passed for a country. Lincoln introduced a theme of honesty in his work and in all truth he also introduced the United States to a new and better time even after his death.
Along those same lines Harriet Jacobs used the same ideas to share the fact that living as a slave changed her life. She introduced a theme of truth, honesty and sharing into literature when she chose to write about her experiences. Jacobs was not the only slave to write about her life before and after slavery. In fact Fredrick Douglass shared his life once he became a free man as well. Douglass used the fact that the founding fathers allowed for the freedom of speech to be able to share his story. When someone writes about the way that they lived, with all of the details that Douglass did it will turn heads.
People do not want to know that there is a dark side to slavery and many of the freed slaves wrote about the suffering that they went through for years. The slaves that did share their stories did not pull the punches when they shared the way that they were treated by their masters. In some cases their lives were not that bad, Douglass himself shared the fact that his master tried to make amends in a twisted way. However the theme of sharing was something that many slaves took up so that the world knew what they went through.
On another front of the same theme there were many women who wrote that they felt wronged by the way they were treated by the men in their lives. Some women went so far as to take the founding fathers rhetoric to the extreme when they wanted to become more of their own selves. Women wanted to have all of their rights based on the fact that every man around them was able to decide what they wanted to do. As time passed women became a force to be reckoned with based on the fact that they wanted to be able to vote. Women wanted to be taken seriously and Fanny Fern was one of the few who went with what she wanted.
Fern was a journalist who also used the fact that the founding fathers allowed for freedom of speech when she was writing for her paper. Some people think that Fern was more outspoken than other women who were authors as well. Fern also wrote about people equally which was different for the time period because many people looked down on different social classes. Fern was one of the few who believed in treating people equally in her writing. During the time period in question this was something that would have been a big statement just because women were still not equal to the men in the same situation.
All of these authors brought something new to literature and even though that is true each author was only going off of something that came before them. Authors even today use what the United States is based on to make their practices work. Sometimes that means taking what has come before and changing it to be something else. We use the fact that we are able to bear arms to make ourselves feel better. People turn a blind eye to the fact that being able to own weapons has led to many people losing their lives. Each time something is changed something else comes up to take its place. Unfortunately authors play a large role in this.
During the civil war many people used what literature they could find to prove whatever point they wanted to make. The literature turned brother against brother, family against family and even when things looked like they were going to get better or worse, literature was the way people made things seem better. Literature even today can make life seem like it is something else. It can be used to share pain, or pleasure. It is used to tell a story, or to share news about anything that is deemed important by society.
Each time an author picks up a pen or starts up a word document they intend for something to come of the words they are writing. Some people want to share something good, others want to share their pain so that other people can learn from their experiences. Abraham Lincoln chose to use what the founding fathers based the country on to free the slaves and to bring as many of the citizens of the United States to his side in the debate. Harriet Jacobs and Fredrick Douglass were slaves that wrote about their lives so that the United States could understand what it was like for the slaves around the country.
Both chose to share all of the details that they did so that people would understand that not everyone was created equally, at least not when it came to the way they lived. People are not always willing to accept the fact that there are instances of cruelty towards other human beings and those authors who want to share that are not always taken with more than a grain of salt. Fern chose to show that in another way. Fern chose to write about women as people instead of treating them as lesser was a new theme in the United States. Women and slaves were not treated equally until someone stood up for them and those people that did stand up for what they believed in did so using literature.
All of this combined with the plays, essays, and the fiction of the time period were all used to make points about the way people lived pre-Civil War. They were used to share information, news and hopes and dreams from the authors and the people who read the pieces. It was much the same when people encountered the Native Americans. People did not understand what made everyone different, and it made things a lot easier when people started writing down their thoughts. People never understand the differences until they can look back on what has happened and on what is happening and compare the two. The Native Americans were treated much worse than the slaves and both peoples used literature to make it known how they were treated.