People Value Materialism In Benjamin Franklin's 'The Whistle'

Decent Essays

In “The Whistle,” a short essay by Benjamin Franklin, he observes that people value materialism in an effort to achieve misguided happiness, and he portrays this by illustrating individuals who believe that their desires are more important than their morals and individuals who value materials and objects over other people.
A person who gives great attention to their acceptance in society and other people's adoration towards them and disregards everything else to gain that acceptance is a person who throws away the truly good things in life to be valued by others. The first example of an fallible human that Franklin provides his American readers to learn from is a man he met during his lifetime. Franklin observed this man and recognized that he had a liking for acceptance, and was constantly engaging himself in political excitement, disregarding his own affairs, and destroying them by that disregard. Franklin then declares, “He pays, indeed, too much for his whistle.” (Franklin 46). To put it another way, Franklin is essentially saying that this man valued popularity over his integrity. This statement by Franklin advocates that the mans careless behavior destroyed relationships and because the man had such a hankering need for popularity he threw everything away to reach it. Since Franklin points out that the man destroyed his affairs, he suggests that this kind of desire for acceptance in society brings consequences that a person cannot avoid. This mans need for

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