How Franklin Presents His Story of Self Improvement

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Latonya R. Brand
HIUS 221
Professor Daniel Christensen
16 July 2012

One of the over-arching themes in Franklin's Autobiography is that of self-improvement. Franklin intends for his own experience to serve as a model for others. Discuss key ways that Franklin presents his story as an illustration of self-improvement. Is he successful in the attempt? What motivates him toward this attempt? Does he strike you as a self-promoter or a genuinely benevolent man desirous of helping others? In your answer, use specific examples from the book to illustrate your points.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 being the fifteenth of seventeen children to Josiah and Abiah Franklin. He was the 10th son out of his father’s children. He was a diplomat, scientist, inventor, philosopher, educator and a public servant (Compton’s Encyclopedia pg. 379). I thought after reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, I felt like he did present his story as an illustration of self-improvement. Further into my essay I will present some of the things he did to illustrate his self-improvement.

Benjamin Franklin became a model to some people. At an early age, he worked as an apprentice in his brother’s printing shop. Together he and his brother made and printed newspapers for the New England Courant. After working with his brother for some time, they both had a fallen out which led to Benjamin Franklin’s move to Pennsylvania. When Franklin moved to Pennsylvania, he started to print newspapers for himself.

After starting printing his own newspapers and many of the other success he had, he acknowledges and thank God for that. He mentioned in the autobiography that without the help of God, he would not have done the things he had done. Now days, we should always give thanks to God because if it was not for him we would not be here or able to do the things he is allowing us to do. Throughout Franklin’s lifetime, he encouraged others just by doing the things he did...
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