Monday, September 5, 2011

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin stars off by writing to his son to tell about his life. He tells stories about him traveling to different places and the different people he meets. Franklin explains that he loves his life and would not really change anything. In fact he goes on to be a little vain but in a humorous way. Basically he thinks that by reading these things about his life, he can help others with their life. It is the all American "rags to riches" story.

In this time that the story was written education was not a huge thing. I think that's what makes some of the story unique. We see through his story, how well educated he seemed to be. He tells the reader that he was basically self-educated. This issue to me stood out. I have a great deal of respect for people who are self-educated. In today's world, i think people are too lazy and do not care about learning. Some do and those are the ones that are is school trying their best. There are some that cannot afford school and are teaching their selves but for the most part the people that are sitting at home doing nothing do not even care to learn.

I think another interesting thing that stood out to me, was the different letters included in the work by other people. I think that he put these letters in for a reason. Not only to justify what he was saying but to show others that people thought highly of him. It allowed the reader to see a different point of view. It also created a sense of credibility.

To me the two major themes of this reading were: self-betterment and self-improvement. I feel like these two issues were talked about more than anything. There were many examples of these two things. He did come from nothing and rise to someone who "had it all". (“Rags to riches") But the self-betterment came from him taking himself away to become something better. He worked hard and because of that people started to notice him. He ended up being more successful than some of his bosses and family.

I also think that this writing had some humor hidden in it. When he gives the list of virtues but then follows it by saying that he did not live by all but focused on one to two at a time. He also talks about humility and relates it to being like Christ. The idea behind that is funny because one he did not live up to this at all. Secondly, he picked someone in history that was perfect and disputably the greatest person that has lived. He also seemed to be sarcastic in some places when referring to certain things, almost with a nonchalant attitude.

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