A Different Attitude

This week, the reading that caught my attention was the account of Henry McNeal Turner. This account stood out from the rest in that it had a different tone than most others that we’ve read thus far. While the other accounts have been characterized by tones of devotion, frustration, unfeelingness, etc., this particular account had far more of a sarcastic, even indignant sort of tone to it.


This account was written in response to statements given by Bishop Benjamin Tanner (Sernett 289). As such, the account was written in a defensive, argumentative perspective. Its purpose is to refute the statements given, which is accomplished efficiently and eloquently throughout the account as Turner provides evidence against Dr. Tanner’s statements. Turner provides some intriguing and thought-provoking arguments, such as the idea that “People must have one like them on high to inspire them to go high.” (Sernett 290). This is just one of the many interesting statements within the chapter, but this is definitely one that encourages further thought.


The most memorable part of the chapter, though, was the line, “If I were so ignorant, I would hold my tongue and pen and not let the people know it.” (Sernett 294). This line in particular set this chapter apart from the other chapters we’ve read, simply for the attitude behind it. It was quite unexpected given the fairly formal tone of many of the other accounts and made this chapter incredibly memorable.


In short, Henry McNeal Turner’s chapter is entirely engrossing as it captivates readers with the author’s attitude and earnestness throughout.

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