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Benjamin Franklin Character Analysis

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Benjamin Franklin was a man of many outstanding accomplishments. He was a protégé in his youth, an inventor in his young adulthood, and later an activist. He started a newspaper empire in a city no one had faith in. He invented the Franklin Stove that would be used as a model for modern appliances. He even advocated for the abolition of slavery and the institution of women’s rights. At the surface Franklin seems impeccable, but authentically is far from it. In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part One and Part Two encompass his flaws and his successes. As Franklin transitions from Part One into Part Two a drastic shift occurs in the representation of his character. In the introduction of Part Two, Franklin no longer writes with candor in regards to his flaws and mistakes, but writes with caution. With the progression from Part One to Part Two, critics such as D.H. Lawrence believe Franklin himself transitions from a “moral animal” into a “moral machine” (Lawrence 22). Changing between these two radically extraordinary moralities, Franklin forms his character into figure that should not be loved on the record of his pietism in the second part, however, but should be appreciated due to the duty he takes for his flaws in part one.
Franklin begins the introduction of his youth by framing it as a letter to his son. Having the first part of the autobiography be addressed to his son makes each “errata” he makes more personal and unguarded. His accountability of his faults
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