Essay on Benjamin Franklin 's The Autobiography

Essay on Benjamin Franklin 's The Autobiography

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Who would have thought that writing about yourself could actually have an effect on others? This is actually the case with many autobiographies in history. Take Benjamin Franklin’s The Autobiography for example; in this piece, Franklin describes his own attempt at self improvement. He lists several virtues he was going to attempt to obtain, but he wasn’t successful in becoming the perfect man he had set out to be. However, this work of literature would prove to be very effectual. Benjamin Franklin’s The Autobiography had an effect on both himself and society especially through the ideas of industry, justice, and order.
First of all, Franklin had a goal of attaining the virtue of “industry” as he calls it. He defines this virtue as, “Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.” (p.142) The first obvious effect that can be seen by Benjamin’s attempt at attaining industry was his large array of activities and accomplishments. As a result of Ben trying to stay busy and always make the best of his time, he expanded himself to the areas of science by inventing many useful items, politics by being involved with our nation’s beginning, and his literary wonders, such as this piece. Some would say that Franklin spread himself then in an attempt to be busy and effective, but he saw it as a large step in becoming the perfect man. The pursuit of industry also went on to affect the thought of American society. Americans became very work oriented, very early on and this idea lives as part of the American idea still in modern times. Working and economy(industry) are part of the basis of this country and Benjamin Franklin was one of the original influences of that idea.
Another virtue that had mult...


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...jamin Franklin failed at attaining it.
Benjamin Franklin wrote The Autobiography and attempted self-improvement for himself, but it ended up affecting himself and the rest of American society. His attempt at industry gave him the ability to accomplish as much as he did in life, while also laying a group principle for all Americans in the idea of being completely intentional. Also, Ben’s journey to justice made him the good man we remember while simultaneously affecting American thought about how to treat others which created the justice system. Lastly, his attempt and failure at complete order taught him how to accept a spotted ax and it gave Americans a sense of order while at the same time conveying the fact that looseness is okay. Benjamin Franklin was the ultimate example to himself and America, and as he would say, “A good example is the best sermon.” (p. 149)

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