Ben Franklin uses the same sort of declarative sentences that the Puritan writers used. One example is when he writes about how he describes how he fixed his problem with getting a passage to Philadelphia. He simply writes "She proposed to lodge me till a passage by some other boat occurred. I accepted her offer, being much fatigued by traveling on foot. (Franklin 107)" One of the many Puritan writers who wrote in this style was Mary Rowlandson. Her account of her time as a captive is written almost entirely in short plain sentences (Rowlandson 82-85).
Another thing that Ben Franklin does similar to puritan style is comment on human nature. When he writes about his arrival in Philadelphia he mentions that people are more generous when they have less to share (Franklin 108). Puritan writers did this sort of thing all of the time because their main focus in life was pleasing God through refining their imperfect human natures. The Puritan writer Anne Bradstreet talks in one of her poems about how people like herself sometimes place too much value on the things of the world (Bradstreet 91). I thought it was very strange to see these things in common between the two styles until I realized that Ben Franklin also wrote an almanac full of comments on human nature, and then it made sense.
One thing Ben Franklin does differently is that he uses a fair amount of descriptive words in his writing. When he describes his arrival in Philadelphia I could nearly picture quite a few of the details of the streets and people he saw. This is different from Puritan writing because when I read Puritan writing the settings always seem bare and plain to me. One other difference in Ben Franklin's writing is the he does not reference God or acts of providence all of the time. In fact, i do not believe there was even one in the passages I read. This is very diferent from Puritans because with Puritan writing it is impossible to go four sentences without reading about pleasing God or acts of providence.
While there may be a few similarities between Ben Franklin's writing style and puritan writing, they are both very different from each other. Ben Franklin lived through a good deal of American history, so he may have even been alive in the Puritan period. That being said, he also lived through the rationalist period and must have been influenced by it.
Bradstreet, Anne. "Upon the Burning of Our House." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.
Franklin, Ben. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.
Rowlandson, Mary. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.