Analysis Of The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, with related documents by Louis P. Masur, entirely proves how persistent self-improvement and a love for learning lead to Franklin’s success. The autobiography was the first example of the “American dream.” The motive of the book is to show how a person’s character could become an honorable one through self-assessment. Franklin wrote it almost as if it were a review on the failures and successes of trials in living. Franklin’s audience was specifically his son, to set an example, but Franklin changed the mindset of millions.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin has some themes that show clearly throughout the book. The main ones being self-betterment, generosity, and perseverance. All of these purposes are significantly explicit. The significance behind Franklin’s purposes is that he left a model for the advancement of others. It permits us to know what life was like in the 18th century. Franklin attains his purpose by writing several pieces separated by many years. There are occasions in the autobiography when Franklin sounds like he is trying to display one of his virtues. When Franklin is practicing vegetarianism with Keimer, he explains how he was able to maintain the diet because of his great perseverance. Keimer was unable to keep up the practice. Franklin states “but poor Keimer suffer’d grievously, tir’d of the Project, long’d for the Flesh Pots of Egypt, and order’d a roast Pig; He invited me and two Women Friends to dine with him, but it being brought too soon upon the table, he could not resist the Temptation, and ate it all up before we came.” Franklin uses this to show the reader his own skills of determination by showing that another person was unable to accomplish the same things he did. Franklin presents high moral standards. He uses his life to present examples for others to follow in the future.

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The book itself explains all the ways in which Franklin betters himself more than the people who were superior to him earlier. He writes about him and his brother’s disputes. Franklin’s brother saw himself as better and so to get revenge, Franklin goes to Philadelphia and ends up printing the most successful newspaper in Philadelphia, if not in the entire the New World. He displayed self-betterment in this scenario because instead of doing something to abuse his brother, Franklin did something to better himself and the New World. With the Enlightenment and Great Awakening, Franklin found a way to overlook the struggles and benefit the world by writing the most successful newspaper that others would soon use as a tool. Franklin demonstrates that he does have a generous side. For example, he loans money to Ralph. Franklin says, “I had 15 Pistoles: So he borrowed occasionally of me, to subsist while he was looking out for business.” Franklin reveals here that although he thinks it necessary to live righteously, he doesn’t mind helping others and giving to people who do not live righteously, such as Collins and Ralph. Franklin reveals the quality of being kind and generous is to simply give to others in need.

Franklin’s life is far from perfect. He is hurt, for instance, his son dies at the age of four. Despite hardships, though, he does return to Boston for a visit to see his family, and he makes up with his brother, James. This shows more of Franklin’s side of perseverance and determination. With both of these characters, you have the ability to overcome anything life throws your way.

In conclusion, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was no doubt the hardest piece of writing to read. Although it was extremely difficult to focus on, after writing this review it is easier to understand why a professor would choose this as a book review. Reason being, you don’t understand the purpose behind The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin until you sit down and review the book as a whole. Franklin used his virtues to demonstrate no matter who you are or what type of situations you are going through, overcoming and becoming successful is clearly possible and doable. Franklin wrote a book that we all can look back and reflect onto to better ourselves as human beings.

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