Benjamin Franklin’s “Silence Dogood” essays give readers a satirical account of social life as well as enabled Franklin to publish his works on his brother’s paper, the New England Courant. The fictional character Silence Dogood brings humor and sadness to the colonists’ everyday life. Ben Franklin is able to create a following that gradually increased throughout the writing of the fourteen publications. In his essay Number 2, Franklin introduces the characters and creates an in-depth background on Dogood’s life.
The second essay begins with an explanation of the relationship she had. This brings in the minister, a well-developed character that assists the story of Silence. After many small relationships, Dogood’s soon-to-be husband, the minister, ended up marrying Silence. Her acceptance to marriage, however, did not come so easily. Silence “…promis’d him [she] would take his Proposal into serious Consideration” and later she stated that she would “…speedily give him an answer.” Through things such as love and pride, he was able to persuade her to marriage. The couple later had three kids: two girls and a boy. She seems to brush over the fact, however, as she moves on to explain her husband’s death. The children are not brought up again in the essay, as her sadness and pain play a role in the concluding paragraphs. Though she was sad at her husband’s passing, she finishes by saying that she is ready to marry again, giving readers some insight on the traits of the widowed Dogood.
Ben Franklin’s second essay shines light on the back story of Silence. While it looks like she has an average life in the colonies, the unexpected passing of her husband changes her life drastically. Her story pulls readers to explore her life, and the death of her husband creates a sense of mourning in the community. One of the most important parts of the second essay is the final paragraph; she explains her characteristics and interests, which helps tie the reader to her, and ends up causing her essays to gain popularity.