Analysis of George Washington from Jane Addams’ Point of View

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Analysis of George Washington from Jane Addams’ Point of View essay
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What qualities mark a great, respectable man? Surely, for others to consider him an exceptional man, he must be virtuous and brave. Historians illustrate a large multitude of historical figures to be admirable, yet they don’t elaborate as to why. In Jane Addams’ address commemorating George Washington’s birthday, she clearly articulates how and why Washington earned his legacy as an incredible man. Addams not only examines Washington as a statesman, but she also analyses him as a soldier and as a citizen. By taking advantage of several different points of view and the reader’s imagination, Addams allows the reader to grasp how important Washington’s legacy is.

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Addams’ analysis of three different parts of George Washington’s character provides a strong argument detailing how he was, in many aspects, respectable. To start, she elaborates as to why people should mimic Washington as he was when he was a soldier. She explains how a solder such as Washington “...holds his personal suffering of no account” and that all of those within a nation should “preserve that same spirit of the soldier.” This part of Addams’ speech is her evidence as to how even Washington’s legacy as a soldier should be looked upon as memorable and reputable. Following on with this trend, Addams analyses the most famous section of Washington’s life: his legacy as a statesman. By explaining that he was “sustained [by]... the belief that… all men are created free and equal” when toiling upon the creation of the constitution, Addams implies that everyone as well should be driven by our belief of how all people are equal. Furthermore, to prove how Washington was an admirable citizen, she examines Washington as he was once he had retired. Addams explains that Washington was afraid “holding office any longer might bring… harm to his beloved nation.” Although being president put him in a position of power, he retired to prevent the nation from becoming corrupt. By including this fact within her address, Addams is telling the audience that Washington always wanted the best for the nation, even though he could have had more power, and therefore he was respectable. Supported by her analysis of different points within Washington’s life, Addams reinforces how people should follow in Washington’s footsteps.

Through Addams’ manipulation of the reader’s imagination, she paints a believable picture of what Washington would have done, supporting her claim that his legacy is one society should follow. When talking about what Washington was like as a statesman, Addams asks, “...if he knew that all about us are forces making against skill, making against the best manhood and womanhood, what would he say?” Addams answers her own question with “He would say that… if we once lose like the opportunity we lose the only chance we have toward equality throughout the nation.” Although Washington never said such a thing, Addams uses her audience’s imagination to her advantage to make them believe that he definitely would. By connecting the present to the past, Addams indicates to the audience that Washington’s legacy, even as it is imagined, should be revered as honorable enough for us to follow in his footsteps.

Addams’ analysis of different points of view and her manipulation of the reader’s imagination reinforces her claim that society should follow Washington’s legacy. She investigates Washington as a statesman, a soldier, and a citizen. As a result, Addams’ analysis is more convincing due to the dissection of the more overlooked parts of Washington’s character. Using the audience’s imagination and saying what he would have said, she reinforces Washington’s legacy of being an exemplary man. Therefore, Addams’ inspection of Washington’s character is convincing enough to instill the feeling of wanting to follow in his footsteps within the audience.

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Expert Review
In this well-composed essay, the author delves into Jane Addams' address commemorating George Washington's legacy, skillfully dissecting the qualities that defined him as a great and respectable man. The essay adeptly highlights how Addams examines Washington's virtues as a soldier, statesman, and citizen to present a comprehensive perspective on his character. The writer navigates Addams' arguments with clarity, weaving quotes and contextual insights effectively. The manipulation of the reader's imagination to envision Washington's responses and beliefs adds a persuasive layer to the analysis. By connecting past and present, the essay underscores Addams' stance that Washington's legacy is worth emulating. The essay's strength lies in its coherent structure, adept incorporation of evidence, and engagement with Addams' rhetorical strategies, making it a compelling exploration of how Washington earned his place as an exceptional figure.
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What can be improved
Introduction Clarity: Enhance the introduction to provide a clearer context for the essay and outline the main points that will be discussed. Thesis Statement: Craft a succinct thesis statement that concisely conveys the essay's focus and Addams' analysis of Washington's character. Transitions: Ensure seamless transitions between different parts of the analysis for smoother flow and coherence. In-Text Citations: Incorporate proper in-text citations to attribute quotes to Jane Addams and provide a more formal academic presentation. Deeper Analysis: Delve even deeper into the implications of Addams' manipulations of the reader's imagination and consider the potential strengths and limitations of this approach.
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Analysis of George Washington from Jane Addams’ Point of View. (2020, October 20). WritingBros. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
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Analysis of George Washington from Jane Addams’ Point of View essay

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