Rhetorical Analysis Of Benjamin Franklin 's ' The Autobiography ' Essays

Rhetorical Analysis Of Benjamin Franklin 's ' The Autobiography ' Essays

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There are many men in American History whose lives helped shape the future of not only this nation, but of the world and one man among them is Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is known for his inventions, his philosophies, political influence in the American Revolution and his published writings, including his autobiography. Though he is an important man in history, there are some people who say that as a person, Franklin wasn’t someone to be admired. To determine if Franklin is worthy of admiration, many critics review his autobiography and through it, many aspects of his actions and his personality throughout different experiences in his life.
When analyzing Benjamin Franklin’s “The Autobiography,” two opposing personality traits battle during many situations in his life, his humility and his vanity. Although Franklin vainly brags to his son about leading a group of sea-loving boys in adventures, he humbles himself when he admits an error in judgement made when he led the group of boys to steal stones from a construction site, an action that was quickly discovered and for which they were all reprimanded and punished (485). Years later, Franklin’s position as an apprentice at his brother’s print shop leads to the publishing of two poems which although found popularity in the town, found only criticism from his father, effectively humbling Franklin, whose pride had been boosted from the short-lived success (488). While those two short tales demonstrate his vanity and the humility which results shortly thereafter, Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert, co-authors of the book “The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family,” say that Franklin’s entire purpose for writing “The Autobiography” was the story of his thirteen virtues...


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...ry person and include guidelines both on what to do in life and what not to do. How the information is perceived is subjective to the reader, some may view his life as overall positive with negative moments and others may view it as the complete opposite, it is subject to their interpretation. The stories which demonstrate his determination at his pursuit toward his passion of books may inspire dreamers to persevere through life’s obstacles. His story about his thirteen virtues might teach one reader that the journey taken while pursuing perfection is worthwhile as another believes that since perfection is an unobtainable goal, the pursuit isn’t worthy. The goal of Benjamin Franklin when he wrote “The Autobiography” was to give others a guideline to life, not a rule book and based on the information included in the book, his life is suited to serve as a guideline.

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