Benjamin Franklin Autobiography Essay - Essay Prowess

Benjamin Franklin Autobiography Essay


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Benjamin Franklin Autobiography

Question 1

In 1700’s, books were not only expensive but also one was required to travel as far as Boston or New York to purchase one. The situation took a toll on Benjamin Franklin who had a passion for reading and determined to improve his language “While I was intent on improving my language…”(Franklin, P 21). Consequently, in 1731, he worked with Junto philosophical organization members and together they wrote Articles of Agreement with the goal of creating a library. During this time, almost all Americans in his community were illiterate. There was limited access to reading materials that would help them improve their knowledge since public libraries were inexistent. Another problem was that most people could not afford books. While all the Junto organization members had a quest for knowledge, none had more than a handful of books. A substantial books collection would only be found in the clergy or rich households.

 Accordingly, Benjamin realized that if Junto members combined their books, they would have more access to a wider collection than individual ownership. They agreed to make purchases with a guarantee that all organization members would access to the books. The organization started with fifty members who contributed forty shilling for making the initial purchase and agreed to a ten shilling annual contribution for increasing book collection and library maintenance (Franklin, 2006). The library would also benefit the community especially the common people who had no access to books. The idea of a public library was later imitated by neighboring towns and cities. Success of the library was realized since it catered for need of the illiterate community as well as, embracing cultural diversities. The team a variety of books from England including poetry, novels, history, travel and other fields such as sciences and practical arts. With time, the library got donations from several companies and grew bigger.

Question 2

It is rather awkward that in the present society people would not associate the word virtue with manliness but rather use it describe a woman’s sexual conduct. Virtues are applied different circumstances in relation to pay levels, age and social angles. Ben Franklin is described as one of the wisest thinkers and writers in the world who lived an ambitious adult life that was driven by the quest for achieving moral perfection.   Franklin described morality as the means for attaining a healthy lifestyle that brought out ideal experiences for humans.  “I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into? “  (Franklin, P. 64). Conscious humans therefore consider work, family and companions as important. Discussions also revolve around accomplishments such as distinction and money.  Ben Franklin was also considering religious, ethnic and self-mutilations as sorts that bring about ethical quality. According to him, morality would simply mean approaching given conditions correctly. Consequently, various courses rely on circumstance and truth.

His ethical flawlessness indicates incorporates a journey towards acquiring a living, how to treat children, scholarly interests, conduct with neighbors and companion as well as way of talking and own cleanliness. His ethical perfection drive was triggered by his desire to live a life without committing fault at any time. To accomplish his goal, Franklin developed and committed to a personal improvement program comprising of 13 virtues including temperance, silence, order, resolution, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility (Franklin, 2006). To track his adherence to the virtues, he carried along a little book with 13 charts and columns for every week day and 13 rows that were marked with each virtue’s first letter. He made daily self evaluation by placing a dot next to each violated virtue with the goal for minimizing the mistakes consequently, indicating a vice free and clean life. At the beginning of the program, the marks were more than he anticipated but they diminished with time. Franklin did not attain the moral perfection goal due to some notable flaws such as womanizing and love for beer that affected his temperance and chastity. However, he felt that his attempt was beneficial.

The saying a speckled ax is best by Benjamin Franklin is mean to tell the audience that it is better to give a try into observing morality regardless of temptations and obstacle rather that giving in to evil actions and thoughts. The struggle against evil will enable one to realize his or her good and bad faces as portrayed by Franklin. Benjamin believed that he knew what was right and wrong making it easy for him to avoid committing faults

Question 3                                                                                                    

Based on the autograph, Ben Franklin respected and valued religious ideas. He begins by thanking God and acknowledges that his past happiness is contributed by God’s providence. He adds that only God knows his future and has the power to bless even in our flaws.  “And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence…” (Franklin, P. 1) He has also described the experiences he faced while in England where he gives a story of a doctor who distorted the biblical messages maliciously. His opinion of the doctor clearly shows that Franklin is a religious man. His description of the doctor as a wicked and unbeliever primarily based on the doctor’s malice are evidence of his religious roots.

Furthermore, he mentions how he observed the Christians lent season portraying his religious foundations. The concept is strengthened by the fact that lent season is mainly celebrated by Christians in the Roman Catholic doctrine. In his 13 virtues he explained that humility meant that he would imitate Jesus and Socrates. Christianity believes in Jesus as the son of God and savior, by him trying to imitate Jesus shows that he is religious. In his letter to Madame Brillion, he describes that he is charmed by her description of paradise and her plan to live there (Franklin, 2006). He says that in the meantime he would draw the goodness of the world and draw more from it. He also writes a letter to Samuel Mather where he says that he remembers his father and grandmother having seen them in them both pulpit and in their houses.


Franklin, B. (2006). The Project Gutenberg eBook of “Autobiography of BenjaminFranklin..” Retrieved 1 October 2019, from

Develop the topic into a well-organized essay, following the guidelines below. Correct spelling and grammar will be considered during grading. Part of your grade will depend upon the inclusion of the required block quotes. If you do not include the 3 required block quotes to support your position, your paper will lose one letter grade. Be sure to answer all parts of the question.

The Autobiography of Ben FranklinRelying only on material from the The Autobiography of Ben Franklin, thoroughly answer the following questions:Section 1 (25 points): Describe how Benjamin Franklin established the public library in Philadelphia. What was the effect of this library on Ben Franklin and on his community?Section 2 (50 points): Explain Franklin’s quest for moral perfection. What process did he use? How successful was he? Which virtues did he find the most challenging to maintain? What was meant by his saying, “a speckled ax is best?”Section 3 (25 points): Was Franklin a religious man? Why, or why not? Provide specific evidence to support your conclusions.*****Include at least three direct, block quotes from the Autobiography to support your position.  Be sure to put your citation for these quotations in parentheses and in all caps. For example, your citation might look like this:”She assisted me cheerfully in my business, . . . .” (FRANKLIN, P. 119) or, if there is no page number, (FRANKLIN, Chapter 6).

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