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The Autobiography of Ben Franklin Essay

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The Autobiography of Ben Franklin


Question one
Ben Franklin was a man who had a quest for knowledge but during his time that 1700s, books were expensive, and besides one had travel for a long a distance to New York or Boston to buy one. Ben describes that reading was the only amusement in his life and would never consider games, taverns and frolics as a way of spending his time. In collaboration with his friends, they formed a club known as Junto, where they wrote articles of agreement and created a library. As at that time, the highest population of Americans was illiterate since they had no access to reading materials that would enable them to improve their English reading skills. Moreover, public libraries were inexistent. All Junto members were interested in learning, but each one had a couple of books in different areas and could not afford to buy more. As of that time, only the clergy and the wealth had a notable books collection. The members realized that if they assembled their books, they would have more access to reading materials than they would if each purchased individually. The fifty group members contributed 40 shillings each and would also invest 10 shillings per year to buy more books. Franklin was faithful to the idea of Public library and was determined to fulfil it “And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a subscription library….” (FRANKLIN, Chapter 8). The idea bore a library that not only benefited Junto members but also the whole community. Neighbouring cities later imitated the design after realizing that its success was beneficial to community members who could not afford books. With time, donations from different companies kept coming, and the library hosted a variety of publications including travel, sciences, martial arts, poetry, history, novels and travel.


Question 2
A Pennsylvania Gazette by Ben Franklin was an issue that reflected politics and people. He would illustrate news using pollical cartoons to attract the reader’s attention. In 1974, he made up the first pollical cartoon in America known as join or die that was concerned about the increase in French pressure and the western frontier colonies. Consequently, Ben Franklin is one of the most influential figures for moral perfection in American history. He represents his moral outlook, frequently quoting “Dost thou love life” and also advising people not to squander their time since it is a core aspect of life. He would also spend lesser time on leisure activities since he felt that it was unproductive. Through his moral outlook, work ethic and constant self-improvement, his life became famous and emulated by people. His description of morality was that one needs to attain a healthy lifestyle and bring out the best experiences. Consequently, a conscious human being would consider the importance of companions, work and family. According to Ben Franklin, approaching different conditions in the right way would bring out a moral aspect of life.
One of the critical assets for moral perfection was a little book that he never left behind. The album contained his commitment to morality since he desired to live his life without committing a fault. “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). A self-commitment program outlined in the book contained 13 virtues, namely, order, silence, temperance, moderation, sincerity, cleanliness, justice, chastity, tranquillity, industry, resolution, and humility. Also, in the book were charts, rows and columns marked with each virtue first letter. To evaluate his progress, he would place a dot beside each virtue whenever he made a mistake to ensure that he was on the right track.
Consequently, his life would have lesser mistakes, and he would accomplish his goal of living a clean life. At the onset of the program, the dots were more than his plan, but they continually reduced as time went by. Through the virtue of order, he would divide his day per hour and ensured that he was accountable for every minute spent. At some point, he almost gave up. Ben Franklin was determined to achieve his goal, but he had other flaws, including alcohol and womanizing, that soiled his purity and temperament.
A speckled axe is best is a perfect description of Ben Franklin life that is best demonstrated by his virtue of humility. Even before he put down humility virtue, he had mastered morality which was shown by his actions. In his entire life, he practised the principle of temperance by avoiding heavy drinking and ate in moderation. Although he was good in a debate, he was keen when creating the virtue of silence by saying that people should only speak when necessary, but when caught up in a petty argument, it is best to remain silent.
Question 3
Although he was raised as a Presbyterian, Benjamin did not believe in religion. He never attended church service, and besides, Sundays were his study days. However, he respected religious virtues, believed in eternal life and God. At the beginning of his autobiography, he thanks God for his providence and believes that God gave him a happy life. He also believes that God future is in God’s hands and only him that can bless us even if we have flaws. “And now I speak of thanking God, and I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence…” (Franklin, P. 1). While describing his life in England, he is not happy with the malicious acts of a doctor who distorted biblical messages. His religious roots are evident from his opinion that the doctor a non-believer and wicked. He has a good knowledge of lent season as observed by religious people, especially the Roman Catholics.
Surprisingly, when formulating his 13 virtues, his motivations were from Jesus and Socrates who he vowed to imitate. Although he argues not to believe in religion, His admiration of Jesus, who is a religious character shows that he has some aspects of understanding religious teaching. Ben Franklin also writes a letter to Madame Brillion, where he shows his admiration for her believe in paradise, although he would love to draw the goodness of the world. His message to Samuel Mather also describes where he remembers seeing his father and grandmother in the pulpit.

Works Cited
Franklin, Benjamin. “The Project Gutenberg Ebook Of “Autobiography Of Benjaminfranklin.””. Gutenberg.Org, 2006, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/20203/20203-h/20203-h.htm.

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