Hyong Du Lim
Professor Art Schuhart
20 March 2013
“Now, Gods, Stand Up for Bastards”: Reinterpreting Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography
Shurr emphasizes that “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin has been judged as one of the most important and influential of American books” (Shurr 435). American people have admired Benjamin Franklin as a role model, for his self-improving mindset and his remarkable service during American Revolution, but the untold truth lies beneath his cowardly, concealing, and astonishing human being that was never brought up and reinterpreted the way it should have been. Who really is Benjamin Franklin really? What has he accomplished to be who he is known today? One of the main concerns Shurr cites of how the autobiography hides a truth meaning that illustrates why part 2, 3, and 4 was written thirteen years later. Part 1 was written before American Revolution, when Franklin took side by faith of uncertainty for his future with thirteen colonies. Shurr mentions, “Part 2 was written thirteen momentous and revolutionary years later when the war was finished and Franklin’s party was the clear winner” (Shurr 437). Clear intentions of Franklin were so obvious, that he was using his own son, William as insurance for outcome of the war. William was a governor, who had noble connections with King George III, which gave Franklin a cowardly choice of ditching America for England if the war hadn’t been the way it has. This is the true meaning why part 1 was written addressing to his son as calmly and thoughtful, using as a leverage. Franklin’s choice of choosing against England was the right choice as he continued writing part 2 in France, where he was secured financially, not needing his insurance, William any further and in doing so “disinheriting,” his own son, who favored England, which was the right thing to do as a leader because, it appears patriotic to the American people. The reasoning for such choices was to...
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Shurr, William H. “Now, Gods, Stand Up for Bastards’: Reinterpreting Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography: Duke University Press. 2002. Book
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