Below is an essay on "Benjamin Franklin" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, what an American is can be seen in Franklin’s description and example of the American Dream. Franklin exhibits the possibilities of life in the eighteenth century through his own rise from his personal rags to riches story. He grew up in a large family in the lower middle class and transformed himself into one of the most admired, successful, and well-known men in the world as an adult. He emphasizes that he achieved his successes through a hard work ethic and proved that even undistinguished people become great figures of importance in America. Through his personal example of the rise from rags to riches through hard work and determination, the idea of the American Dream is born. Using this model set forth by Franklin, anyone who is driven to accomplish the American Dream can only be defined as an American.
Benjamin Franklin was the quintessential American in the eighteenth century. Not only has he accomplished so much in his lifetime, but he also is not too blinded by his success. Franklin is an honest man and in being that way, he confesses his own faults and seemingly mocks the idea of “moral perfection” because he did not believe that man could be perfected. Also with this idea, he is able to make fun of himself, specifically ideals as a youth which again point out his own faults. Franklin lived a great life of virtue and writes not only to document his own life, but also as a kind of model or guide for the improvement of one’s self and for the betterment of society as well. The hard work and determination shown by Franklin, his ongoing attempts to better himself, his accomplishments, his dreams for what American life should be, his models for people in the future to follow, his honesty, his ability to make fun of himself, his ability to admit his own faults, and the ability to relate in some level to what he talks about are all reasons to how Franklin is the quintessential American.
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