In Franklin’s autobiography Franklin draws on personal experiences to teach his son William and others how to be successful. The memoir begins with the collaborative effort Franklin and his members of the junto club made to establish the first library. They formed a public subscription to their personal books. They believed that reading was significant and the library was a common benefit to society.
Although Franklin was educated as Presbyterian, he treated all religion with respect. He believed that even the worst of religions had some good. Franklin did not let his religion tie him down. He often did not attend public worship and thus received admonishment from his minister. Once Franklin heard his minister’s five points he became conflicted. As a result he withdrew from his church and wrote his own prayer entitled “Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion”
Franklin’s most arduous project was his attempt at ...view middle of the document...
By highlighting his own experience with family, education, morals, and religion, Franklin establishes his authority on success.
The library that Franklin began from scratch served to emphasize the importance of contributing to society and education. Even todays’ libraries exist to provide books to people. Franklin’s dedication to the library exemplified his belief that contributing to mankind defines success and enlightenment.
Franklin always remembered his father’s reference to the proverb of Solomon “Do you see a man diligent in his calling? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Franklin wanted his readers to know that success is achieved by obtaining wealth, distinction, and frugality. In the English proverb “He that would thrive must ask his wife”, Franklin emphasizes the importance of his wife. Franklin and his wife kept no idle servants, ate simple breakfast, and had cheap furniture. However his wife surprised him when she bought him a silver spoon and china bowl. She felt that Franklin deserved as much as his neighbors.
Franklin’s views on religion demonstrate the importance of having an open mind. By believing all religion is good in different degrees, Franklin wants his readers to have the freedom of choice. Franklin further demonstrates this when he writes his own prayer after being conflicted with his minister’s five points, yet remaining Presbyterian.
Franklin’s attempt at moral perfection demonstrates the importance of striving for a goal. Although Franklin failed to reach moral perfection, he points out that his journey toward moral perfection shaped him to become a happier man. This acknowledgement of his failure shows that failure is not the end of the world. Instead failure allows us to self examine to improve upon our faults and appreciate the experience. The motto “shoot for the stars” is a modern day example of Franklin’s attempt for perfection. Today athletes, performers, professionals, and even regular people hone their skills to reach their own perfection. We may never reach the goal of attaining moral perfection, but by attempting to do so, we improve upon ourselves.