Discuss key ways that Franklin presents his story as an Illustration of Self-improvement. Is he Successful in the attempt?

Benjamin Franklin is one of the most beloved figures from American History. An elder statesman by the time of the American Revolution, Franklin was considered by many in both Europe and the American Colonies to be the epitome of what it meant to be an ‘American.’ He was considered a leading intellectual of the period as well as publisher, inventor, diplomat and political philosopher. Franklin’s Autobiography was originally intended for his son but was published publicly soon after his death in 1790. His story captures observations on colonial American life in Philadelphia as well as his views on literature, philosophy and religion. After you have read Ben Franklin’s Autobiography choose one question below and write a 3-4 page paper, 900 – 1200 words. Note: It is important that you not simply offer a summary of the book, but that you give full analytical attention to the question you choose. Questions: (choose one) 1.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. 2.Franklin intended the Autobiography to be a unified work; he drew up an outline and tried to stick with it. In what ways does the book seem to be unified and in what ways disjointed? How does the span of time it took to finish the work detract or enhance its overall theme and effectiveness?

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