Franklin Book Report Essay, Research Paper
Book Review 1
Benjamin Franklin lived a highly productive life as a printer (as well as becoming an honored statesman) and he practiced living modestly, honestly and diligently. In his autobiography, written as a letter to his son, Franklin describes how he lived his life with a strong work ethic and moral character. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography illustrates some of the ideal aspects of the national character that we think of when asked to explain what the character of America is.
Franklin wrote his autobiography as a letter to his son to describe his life and how he went from a wick-dipper to a respected member of early American society. He began with a somewhat detailed account of his family from three hundred years prior to writing the autobiography. He explained the traditions of fathers breeding their sons into different trades. He was bred into wick-dipping, but did not like this, so he decided to break away from tradition to follow what he found more to his interests. He was his brother’s apprentice in a print shop in Boston, which led to his future in Philadelphia. This demonstrates the American ideals of opportunity and pursuing ones desires for more fulfilling careers.
Franklin worked very diligently throughout his life, mostly because he was raised to have a strong work ethic. His ethic for using most of his day for working on not only the day’s tasks, but how he could do something good. This shows that with determination, an impact can be made on society. This is also an aspect of the American character that we like to believe in when we think about our positive attributes.
Not only did Franklin live diligently with a strong work ethic, he believed in living very modestly. Franklin’s dietary habits, in particular, were very modest. He ate only what he needed for each meal and drank only water. He believed that excess in food made one’s body slow and drinking alcohol made for slow wits. This is a practice that is not practiced as much in our country as it may have been in Franklin’s day. This is quite unfortunate because one could probably be more diligent in all aspects of life if one is diligent in diet and drink. This was one of Franklin’s beliefs that aided him in becoming a very important figure in early American history. His work ethic and diligence seemed to stem from his basic, simple existence.
Franklin’s religious beliefs were also very simple. He believed in God and knew that he owed his existence and his success to Him, but he did not worship too deeply. Franklin did not attend church services regularly; he preferred to use his time on Sundays to work privately. He knew that he didn’t need to go to services to believe in God. He also knew that faith can only take a person so far and that hard work finishes the job. He was honest with people about his beliefs and his work ethic. He did not hide behind anything and he told people what he thought of them, society, everything.
Benjamin Franklin was an excellent example of the ideal American character. He was educated in many subjects, most importantly that of life and how to live it modestly, honestly and diligently. If Americans were to strive for excellence, they may want to look toward Franklin’s example for a starting point and guidance. He is one of the first people one would come up with when asked for an example of the ideal American character.