It shows how an ambitious individual can move up in the world by being willing to work hard, by having a decent amount of good luck, and by seizing opportunities.
James says he has wanted to write Franklin for some time but feared the letter might fall into the hands of the British. He begins to think of it as something for the public at large.
He includes a copy of it so that Franklin might continue to write the history of his life. He says the book would be entertaining to millions. The work would have many other values, he adds, but this would be most important. Because Franklin has begun to think of the Autobiography as a work that might be suitable for a larger audience, it seems he feels anxiety and a corresponding need to justify the vanity inherent in writing a book about himself.
The second letter is longer and more categorical than the first, containing many of the same arguments, and much to the same purpose, but expounding those arguments in greater detail.
Perhaps Franklin included the letters of these friends as much for personal motivation as public justification. A man should arrange his conduct to suit the whole of a life, not simply a moment.
He concludes his letter with a personal application. Vaughn says he himself is desirous of seeing the Autobiography come into the world.
It is a work applied to life, not built purely on literary concern and allusion. Active Themes Franklin continues the account of his life, writing from Passy, near Paris, in He says he had been too busy to set to work again when he first received the letters.
He speaks of the lack of booksellers and the poor state of printing houses in New York and Philadelphia when he first moved from Boston. Franklin retreads some of the ground he began to cover at the end of Part One, which is understandable given that nearly twenty years have passed since he last looked at the manuscript and that he is restarting his story without a copy of the old manuscript in front of him.
Active Themes Franklin recounts how the Junto formed a small library, and he transformed this into a subscription library after seeing its utility. Other towns copied the idea, reading became fashionable, and people became better read. He says that Brockden, the scrivener who helped him start the library, criticized that they would all be dead before the term of subscription had expired, but he says that, in his case, Brockden was wrong, and a charter allowed the library to continue in perpetuity without subscriptions anyway.
Once again we see Franklin get the last laugh with a naysayer. Active Themes Franklin says his attempts to gain subscribers showed him that soliciting his fellows was more easily done if he did not present himself as the author of the idea.
It was best to fain modesty because the sacrifice of vanity would later be amply repaid. He said the library gave him a chance to improve by constant study, for which he set aside an hour or two every day.
His own self-improvement, like the improvement of his fellow citizens, was part of the reward. Active Themes Reading, Franklin adds, was his only amusement.
He says he became industrious to provide for the family he was starting and to achieve success, eventually standing before five kings and sitting down with one, the King of Denmark, for dinner.
He reiterates his luck at having such a good wife, and tells how he eventually went from eating from a wooden bowl with a pewter spoon to eating out of china bowls with silver. Franklin emphasizes how his industrious was so prevalent that his only leisure activity is one many of us consider to be industrious as well.
This industry, he said, not only transformed the material conditions in his life, it also changed his social station, so that no sphere of social experience was closed to him.
The best way to serve God, he thought, was to do good to man. He eventually refrained from debating points of religion with others. He said he would have gone to church more if the minister had been a good preacher. He laments that when he did go to church he received no practical moral instruction.
Questions of religion and spiritual searching were of the utmost importance to Franklin. His chief issue with his religious experience was that he found the services and teachings to lack practical value—he found them inapplicable to his daily life.
It is unclear why he continued to donate to his church despite his feelings about the services. Perhaps he felt morally obligated. He devised what he calls a more practical means for moral improvement.
He established a list of thirteen virtues with definitions. Active Themes Franklin wanted to achieve all these virtues, but thought it best to focus on one at a time. He resolved to pay strict attention to one virtue per week for thirteen weeks, improving in one area before moving on to the next.
The ordering of the virtues was planned to build toward success. He made charts, and tracked his failures in each realm of virtue with a dot, wanting, eventually, to keep the charts completely clear of marks.
One of the ways Franklin sought to enhance the practicality of his plan for moral improvement was to focalize his efforts on one of his thirteen virtues, only moving on to the next virtue after a week of concentrated effort. Naturally the reader may pose such questions as:The Autobiography of Ben Franklin - Benjamin Franklin was an exceptional intellectual and gifted personality.
He went from being a poor uneducated young boy into a very intelligent and wealthy man. Review of the Autobiography of Benjamin (Ben) Franklin: Rocking Chair, Philadelphia, Brothers. Benjamin Franklin. a printer, writer, inventor, scientist, and great American what Benjamin Franklin discovered after his attempt at being morally perfect.
That moral perfection is unachievable.
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Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography: The Story of a Successful Social Animal Presented by its author and regarded by generations of readers as a pattern of the successful life, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography illustrates critically important adaptive goals and strategies.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin BENJAMIN FRANKLIN INTRODUCTION PLOT SUMMARY THEMES HISTORICAL OVERVIEW CRITICAL OVERVIEW CRITICISM SOURCES INTRODUCTION. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a blueprint for the prototypical American, chronicling Benjamin Franklin's life as a printer, diplomat, statesman, patriot, scientist, inventor, and .
David Ruano David Parker History March 1, Franklin’s Virtues: Attaining Moral Perfection Besides Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read.
I now understand why .