Essay review of Ben Franklin autobiography

Essay by AhallmackCollege, Undergraduate September 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Benjamin Franklin's life began as the youngest son and the 15th of 17 children in a large Boston family. His father who had migrated from England to Boston, Massachusetts, owned a soap and candle business. All the boys started working at very young ages which indicated that the family was not affluent. Franklin always strived to improve himself. He had developed a love for reading and had no desire to work in his father's business so at the age of 12 he became an apprentice to his brother James who was a printer. The brothers did not get along and eventually Benjamin quit and headed for first New York and then Philadelphia to look for work. In Philadelphia he found work with Samuel Keimer, a local printer whose business he would eventually displace. Even though Benjamin Franklin's autobiography begins in Boston and ends in London most of the story takes place in Philadelphia where the growth and expansion of that city occurs at the same time as Franklin's own rise from the lower middle class to one of the most prominent men of his time.

The largest theme in the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin appears to be self-improvement which first appears in Part One and almost dominates Part Two. In Part One Franklin states reasons for writing his story which includes to provide his son with details about his life so that he can be an example for him and to show others, as a boy from a poor background, how to survive hardship and live well. He also mentions the mistakes he would correct if he had the chance to live his life over, the first of which is quitting the job with his brother which he refers to as his "first errata." Religion is also a recurring theme...