In his article, Wood points out that Common Sense
"did not cause
Americans to think of declaring independence," but "it did express more boldly and eloquently than any other writing what many of them had already come to think about America's tie to the British crown" (209). Maybe it's true that Paine wasn't the most original thinker, but he deserves way more credit for what's described in the second part - his role as a writer. Paine could be compared to today's media based on his mission to make political ideas "accessible to the common reader" (220). However, Wood makes it clear that Paine did not write for money. He simply considered it his purpose to translate ideas from "rational, enlightened, restricted audiences of educated men" (219) for the common American people, promoting values of democracy and equality. Paine served a purpose similar to historical figures such as Dante, the father of Italian language, or Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into German to give access to commoners. He should go down in history along with such important figures, not as a Founding Father or a politician, but as a writer.
[Last edited Dec 16, 2012 17:28:28]