During our semester long journey through Core II: The American Experience, we have attempted to trace the quest for freedom through various readings. Every historical figure we have read about has had their own quest for freedom and had to endure their own hardships along the way. I believe that from the readings we have examined so far, the quest for freedom was best exemplified by: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Declaration of Independence, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?, written by Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth's piece, "And Ain't I a Woman?" All of these pieces have many similarities and differences at the same time.
The first piece, which shows the quest for freedom, was The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Ben Franklin lived what many people today call the "American Dream" He began his life living in poverty and obscurity and worked his whole life to achieve, "a State of Affluence & some degree of Reputation in the world." (p. 3) We are also able to see in the autobiography that Benjamin Franklin was a very avid reader. Through his love for reading he not only became a much more educated man, he also helped establish the first Subscription Library where people could come rent books for a small charge. This led to our Free Public Libraries that we have today. By educating himself he was able to help educate others. He expanded his knowledge and education through reading, therefore, he was able to overcome many of the obstacles that he faced and achieve many of the things that he wanted to in his life. He was able to see that the quest for freedom becomes a lot easier with the help of education. .
I feel that one of the most powerful pieces of literature ever written was the Declaration of Independence. This is true because this piece helped Americans and all of mankind take a huge leap forward in the quest for freedom.