- Term Papers and Free Essays

Benjamin Franklin

Essay by   •  December 21, 2010  •  777 Words (4 Pages)  •  992 Views

Essay Preview: Benjamin Franklin

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Benjamin Franklin, one of America's Founding Fathers, and a major contributor to the success of the American colonies, was yet a critic of his society. In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, he provides his opinion on his society, and by this giving us a window onto his time. Franklin believed that his time, the 18th century needed improved virtue, and more success. Through this he sought to implement positive changes on the culture.

In Franklin's view, the society of his time didn't have true virtue. He thought that they had adopted a "speckled axe" viewpoint, and this was that many have given up the struggle for perfection because of the difficulty of being good â„-. Franklin condemned this proposition, and devoted a lot of time and energy to achieve "moral" perfection. One of the ways he attempted to accomplish this was to create a list of thirteen virtues that he had wrote because he struggled with them. He dedicated a week for each virtue in which he was resolved to attempt to master them. The more Franklin strove for perfection by these 13 virtues, the more he realized how imperfect he was. Though he realized that reaching perfection was not a possibility, he never ceased giving up his drive to live a moral life.

Franklin also believed that many people were not striving for success in everything that they spent time doing. In order to encourage people to reach their best performance, he published three ways that someone could achieve this. The first factor

that he thought success started at was frugality. Though this virtue is often not upheld, he believed it to be essential to reaching success. His definition of frugality is "making no expense but to "do good" to others and yourself"â„-. As a young lad he valued every penny he earned, often fasting to save a little money for books. He made sure that all things were used for a beneficial purpose. His second factor for success is a good work ethic. While in the printing business of newspapers, he would diligently work until the job was completely done. Thirdly, he believed industry was extremely important. This meant that people should "always be employed in something useful."â„-. By these simple guidelines, BF was able to exemplify true success.

Franklin believed that what his society needed was Christianity, not because he liked it, but because it was beneficial to society. His parents wanted him to have a successful career in the church, but he strayed from his "Christian" background after reading a book that argued against deism. As said in the book, ". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the



Download as:   txt (4.3 Kb)   pdf (72.2 Kb)   docx (10.1 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Benjamin Franklin. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Benjamin Franklin" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Benjamin Franklin.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Benjamin Franklin." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.