Franklin Vs Emerson Essay Research Paper Franklin

Franklin Vs. Emerson Essay, Research Paper

Franklin vs. Emerson

Ben Franklin’s philosophies centered mostly on

Enlightenment ideas. He believed in the value of

individual freedom and that we should not be governed by a

monarchy. Franklin also found that trust in method was the

best thing, because that is the method with which he went

through so that he would become a better writer. He had an

eagerness to expand his knowledge in a quest to learn more.

More weight was placed on the discovery of truth through

the observation of nature, rather than through the study of

the Bible.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophies were based on the

idea of self-reliance. He would critique the conventional

values of property and ambition. Emerson was known as an

experimenter who urged other Americans to reject their

deference to old modes and values. He spoke to people

about the ideas of creative reading and creative writing,

which would reject the traditional oppositions between

thinking and acting. Emerson is not afraid to do what he

fells necessary regardless of what other people might think

of his actions. On page 1627 he says, “Your genuine action

will explain itself and explain your other genuine

actions.” I believe that he is saying your actions will

speak louder than words. If you do an act of goodness then

people will think that you are kind and thoughtful despite

what they might have heard. On page 1630 he says, “he

dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am’, but quotes some saint or

sage.” In this quote it seems that he tries to convince

people that they should not be afraid to say how they

really feel.

The only similarity that I was able to see between

these two men is that the idea that both of them seem to be

a fatherly advice giver. Franklin was very scholarly and a

good leader. The evidence that Emerson might be a fatherly

advice giver as well can be seen in a quote from his essay

entitled “Self-Reliance”. On page 1629 he says, “If I see

a trait, my children will see it after me, and in course of

time, all mankind.” It seems that he is saying that if he

acquires good traits he can pass them on to his children or

that they will pick up on them on their own and pass them

down to their children as well. If his children keep

instilling these valuable traits into their own children

and they pass them on to the next generation, then in time

all of mankind will value the same good traits.


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