Ben Franklins Autobiography

Franklin's memoirs, his Autobiography, project a Benjamin Franklin who is a highly self-conscious individual able to reason himself into a life of self-control, self-improvement, virtue, and multifaceted success. To what successful ends does this Franklin apply himself? Some may argue that Franklin takes no action but that which ultimately benefits himself. This paper argues, however, that the Franklin we see in the Autobiography—as author, as boy, and as young man—is not merely self-serving (in the positive sense) but also other-serving. Indeed Franklin has eliminated self-denial from the picture, ...

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of his ancestor's life; (2) Franklin has the time and ability to write a good memoir; (3) his moral posterity, desiring self-improvement, may want to imitate those actions, "suitable to their own Situations," that led to Franklin's successes; (4) composing his autobiography provides Franklin the pleasure of recollecting his successes; (5) recording his memories permits him to return continually to more pleasures of recollection in the future; (6) old men, as a rule, tend to repeatedly recount their lives; (7) Franklin aims to gratify his vanity; (8) he desires to acknowledge God's part both in leading him into success and in making his efforts successful. Of these eight, (2) is merely instrumental, (8) is beyond anyone's control, (1) and (3) overlap considerably, and (4) through (7) overlap as well.
Franklin's insertion of the phrase "suitable to their own Situations" emphasizes from the start that Franklin has in mind a more diverse audience than himself and his son. The author ...

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juries; Chaucer's Franklin was "worthy . . . generous, just, . . . Renown'd for courtesy, by all beloved" (Lemay 1308-09). But this Franklin also finds himself, quite humbly, "the youngest Son of the youngest Son for 5 Generations." Nevertheless, his great-great-grandfather was an ingenious freethinking Protestant, his grandfather worked until he was too old to keep going, and his father and uncles became important in public affairs. (Lemay 1308-12, 1314-15) We justly conclude from this genealogy that Franklin prepares to set himself up as a model through his ancestors, especially via the image of the transmigration of the virtuous character of his uncle Thomas into Benjamin himself ...

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Ben Franklins Autobiography. (2007, February 19). Retrieved February 24, 2019, from
"Ben Franklins Autobiography.", 19 Feb. 2007. Web. 24 Feb. 2019. <>
"Ben Franklins Autobiography." February 19, 2007. Accessed February 24, 2019.
"Ben Franklins Autobiography." February 19, 2007. Accessed February 24, 2019.
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Added: 2/19/2007 06:30:17 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1667
Pages: 7

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