Ben Franklin’s Identity


Reading Mr. Franklin’s autobiography and studying him in previous classes the man is undoubtably very smart and captivates audiences of various ages still to this day. I can  remember loving to watch an animated movie about Benjamin Franklin’s life when I was younger, and then reading about his experiments in high school, and now getting to his autobiography in college is testament to the mans vivid life and how it captures many ages of his broad audience. In my opinion I see Franklin as much more contemporary, modern, and even liberal when compared to the puritans and their beliefs. The puritans were identified through their religion and their religious beliefs and practices. Even to the point of being expelled from their town or community for not being faithful to the Lord and keeping up with the demands of the Puritan life. Questioning this way of life was forbidden. Franklin, however was not identified by faith alone. Franklin’s identity came from several factors in his life. He was the youngest son of seventeen children, a writer, apprentice, businessman, traveler, explorer, entrepreneur, inventor, scientist, husband, father, post master, government official, delegate, and a founding father of this country we all call home. I find Franklin’s identity however not so much defined by religion like some of his peers whom were puritans. Before reading his entire autobiography I had skimmed some readings for other classes on Franklin’s attitude towards religion and what he believed if anything. Most of my findings were inconclusive stating that the man was religious here and there, but also leaned more towards the secular. After reading Mr. Franklin’s autobiography I find myself in kind of the same boat as before. I see very clearly that he wasn’t defined by the Christian faith and the puritan way of life, yet he still believed. Franklin definitely had what is called a “secular autobiography.” After reading so much of the puritan’s writings lately I found Franklin’s to be refreshing and enlightening. He defined himself as one that makes “errata’s” and by recognizing these mistakes he can look back and fix things and even teach others from his mistake. (I.e. Like his son whom he wrote and intended for his autobiography to be for.) Franklin identified his own character, his own life by many a factor and that is what separates him from the puritans.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.