Study Guide

George Whitefield in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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George Whitefield

Franklin seems almost more fascinated by Whitefield as a talented talker than as a preacher. In contrast his reaction to Hemphill, Franklin's more interested in how Whitefield preaches and enjoys what we can see as the "performance" of his preaching. Despite Franklin's best intentions not to donate money to Whitefield's projects, after hearing him speak Franklin's so impressed he gives him all the cash he has on him that day. This typical reaction to Whitefield's preaching paints him as some kind of hypnotic charmer, almost like a cult-leader, whose strength is in direct, personal contact and who must be very charismatic. Franklin's fond enough of him to help him do some publishing work as well, although he says Whitefield's doctrines are better spoken than written down, and don't stand up well to review.

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