A Declaration of Self-Reliance: The Declaration of Independence and the Birth of a Nation - Benjamin Church

American literature essay. Literary analysis of works and characters - Sykalo Evgen 2023

A Declaration of Self-Reliance: The Declaration of Independence and the Birth of a Nation
Benjamin Church

Written by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, the Declaration of Independence is more than just a piece of history. It is a potent statement of independence, a human rights manifesto, and the founding document of the American experiment. Through a literary lens, this article will evaluate the Declaration of Independence, looking at its topics, literary devices, structure, and long-lasting influence on the global and American identities.


The structure of the Declaration is coherent and unambiguous:

Introduction: It starts with a declaration of universal truths, stating that all men are created equal and that natural rights are a given.
List of complaints: It lists the complaints made against the British government and King George III, emphasizing the ways in which certain natural rights have been violated.
The thirteen colonies publicly declare their independence from Great Britain and their creation of a new nation in their declaration of independence.
In conclusion, it makes a somber plea to the world, defending the colonists' acts and requesting acceptance of their newly formed nation.

Throughout the Declaration, a few major themes are present:

Natural rights: According to the Declaration, everyone has the intrinsic right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This idea became a pillar of American democracy and now serves as an inspiration for human rights organizations across the globe.
Self-governance: The declaration upholds the people's right to self-govern by consent, denouncing the legitimacy of despotism and promoting representative government.
Revolution and resistance: The Declaration establishes the right to oppose an unjust government and defends revolution as a final choice against injustice and tyranny.
National identity: By outlining common ideals and goals for the young country, the Declaration of Independence acts as a foundational text for American identity.
Literary Techniques:

The writers use a range of literary techniques to increase the effect of the Declaration:

Rhetorical questions: These pose direct challenges to the reader, drawing them into the discussion and encouraging introspection.
Parallelism: The main themes of justice and equality are emphasized and rhythm is produced via the use of parallel phrase structures.
Figurative language: The repressive character of British rule and the suffering of the colonists are powerfully shown via the use of metaphors and similes.
Reasoned justifications and emotive pleas are used in this document to create a powerful and convincing message.
Durable Effect:

American and world history have been profoundly and enduringly influenced by the Declaration of Independence:

The fundamental tenets of American democracy were created, motivating countless numbers of people and influencing the country's judicial and political structures.
Global revolution inspiration: The document's advocacy of freedom and self-governance in the face of oppression has sparked innumerable revolutions and independence movements worldwide.
Symbol of human rights and freedom: The Declaration of Independence is still a potent representation of these concepts, offering hope to oppressed people all across the world.
In summary:

A literary classic that goes beyond historical records is the Declaration of Independence. It is a potent declaration of independence, an enduring defense of human rights, and evidence of the tenets of liberty and self-governance. Its influence on the global quest of freedom and the American identity is immeasurable. Generations to come are still motivated and challenged by the Declaration to work for a better society in which everyone's rights and dignity are upheld.