Benjamin Franklin's "Arriving at Perfection" Essays

Benjamin Franklin's "Arriving at Perfection" Essays

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Perfection? Can any one person be perfect? Benjamin Franklin believed that he could accomplish this task. Benjamin Franklin was known for being a cognizant and diligent perfectionist. During his lifetime, many people were concerned with correcting themselves of any fault that they may have had. Benjamin Franklin did have an interesting way to proclaim how he, could show everyone how to be perfect. He believes that he can make himself perfect. Even though his ways of being perfect are not the same as everyone else's ideas, he still tries to show them he can be perfect. In his essay "Arriving at Perfection" Benjamin Franklin tries to tell everyone how he will be perfect and how he is going to actually accomplish this task.

The tone of the essay is pretty straightforward. Benjamin Franklin means what he writes and thinks. There is no pun or sarcasm in this piece. He does however seem to put an apostrophe where the "e" of the past participle goes. This is something that they did during his lifetime. It is something that the audience can recognize right away because it catches your eye right off the back. An example of this is "...that I conciev'd the bold and..." Benjamin Franklin lists his virtues in a numerical order of their importance. A person could also think by looking at Benjamin Franklin's essay that it could be more of a science lab report. The way it is written could look easily like that because it has a list and a table and steps on how to be perfect.

Benjamin Franklin begins his essay with the following statement: "it was about this time that I conciev'd the bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral Perfection." Reading this sentence, a person could wonder what the word "arduous" means. According to Merriam-W...


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...rtue. He made columns for the days of the week and for the virtues on each page. If he broke a virtue he would put a black dot in that column for that day. He was only concentrating on that particular virtue that week. After that week, he would concentrate on that virtue and the one(s) previous until he mastered them all. His final sentence, "I should be happy in viewing a clean Book after thirteen Weeks daily Examination..." We finally heard what his method was.

After carefully reading Benjamin Franklin's "Arriving at Perfection," the audience can see how he wished to accomplish the greatest feat of all, to be perfect. If any one person could be perfect, then that would be a miracle on its own. Anyone would like to be perfect, yet no one is. Benjamin Franklin had a good idea though to try and see if he could indeed be perfect. Did he ever accomplish this feat?

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