Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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P.T. Barnum "My Start as a Showman" P.T. Barnum wrote about his beginnings as a showman to display to the American public that he is a good, hard-working man who showed through his own ingenuity that advertising was the wave of the future in business. He also set out to convince people that it is healthy for them to be entertained and that those who can entertain people without corrupting them should be praised.

Barnum shows through specific examples that he was an honest businessman from the start of his career, which helped to catapult him to his enormous success. His stories also show that he was naturally a brilliant businessman and that he was open minded in dealing with his peers. He is providing future businessmen with a model to follow by telling his story.

It is important to Barnum that he conveys to his readers the nobility of his trade as an entertainer.

It is this point that overlaps with Whitman's essay, "The Old Bowery" in that both authors stress the importance of entertainers in American society and extol their greatness. Barnum ultimately wants people to remember him as a brilliant, virtuous man who perfected the art of advertising, which has become the cornerstone of a successful business.