Benjamin Franklin: An Inspirational Self-Made Man Essay

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Benjamin Franklin is one of the most influential and famous figures of all time. Ben Franklin if often referred to as the "self-made man," and his philosophies and principles in the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, edited by Louis P. Masur, has served as a self-help book for millions around the world. Franklin's Autobiography is a prime example of the American dream, a rag to riches story that has inspired many people to think of themselves and the community in a different light. Franklin's moral and social philosophies are packed deeply into his Autobiography. Franklin believed that improving ones self was the key to success. Self-improvement, self-education, and self-discipline are the main factors of a self-made man. Improving …show more content…
Franklin provides these contradictions purposely to help educate other people about natural inclinations. "I balanc'd some time between Principle & Inclination..." (Pg.56). The balance between principle and inclination is a central theme in the Autobiography.

In Part One, Franklin briefs his son on the history of his family and comments on the experiences and interactions he has had with different people over time. Franklin provides examples of how he built character and credit for himself, which are important aspects in attainting a good reputation. Franklin speaks of his reputation when he says, ."..learnt early to swim well, & to manage Boats, and when in a Boat or Canoe with other Boys I was commonly allow'd to govern, especially in any case of Difficulty; and upon other Occasions I was generally a leader among the Boys..."(pg.34). A good reputation is essential for the public self to prosper. Franklin also provides examples of weaknesses in other people, such as not repaying debts and drinking too much alcohol. He talks about how his friend Collins, who he had been friends with since childhood, was starting to become a drunk and in debt. He frequently borrowed money from Franklin, which Franklin did not enjoy lending out, but did because he wanted to help a friend out. Franklin

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