benfranklin - mkhs

The Autobiography
By: Benjamin Franklin
Pg. 86
• What character flaws does Franklin admit to
• How might these factors have contributed to
his decision to leave Boston?
Answer pg. 86
• He suggests that he may have been rude to his
brother and too outspoken and opinionated
for the governing party and Assembly. He
might have wanted to be free from his
reputation and to make a fresh start.
• Franklin was only seventeen when he set out
on his own. How would you feel if you were in
his shoes?
• What do you learn about Franklin from his
incident on the voyage between New York and
Perth Amboy?
Answers pg. 88
• Most admire his courage and self-reliance.
Some claim they could do the same; others
might admit that they would be homesick or
• Franklin has a sense of responsibility for
others and can act decisively in an emergency.
Pg. 89
• How would you describe Franklin’s character at this
point? Do you admire him? Why or why not?
• How can you use context clues to figure out the
meaning of the phrase “the stock necessary to begin
• On his journey from Perth Amboy to Philadelphia,
many events occur. List what happens at the following
The first inn
Dr. Brown’s inn
Cooper’s Creek
Answer pg. 89
• He is brave, hearty, humorous, resourceful, or
• You can infer from the clues “printer” and “follow my
business” that the “stock” a person would need to start
in the printing trade would include such large and
expensive items as a press, type, and paper.
• People suspect him of being a runaway servant. Then
Franklin makes friends with the irreverent Dr. Brown.
Then Franklin charms an old woman into inviting him
to stay for a few days and then unexpectedly hops a
boat for Philadelphia. Finally, Franklin ad the other
travelers camp out for the night in the cold.
Pg. 90
• Based on his appearance, how do you think
Franklin will be received by the residents of
• Franklin has almost no money and is very
hungry. Why, then, does he insist on paying
for his passage on the boat? What does this
reveal about his character?
Answers pg. 90
• It is likely that Franklin will have a difficult
time, since he is dirty and disheveled.
• Wary of being though poor, he wants to pay
his way and not be indebted to others. This
shows that he is honest, upright, and proud.
Pg. 91
• What does Franklin’s trip to the bakery suggest
about travel and currency in the eighteenth
• Franklin appears here in tattered clothes, with his
pockets stuffed with stockings, a roll under each
arm, and his mouth full of the roll he is eating.
This description has become very famous. Why
do you think it appeals to people?
• What does the act of giving away the rolls tell you
about Franklin?
Answers pg. 91
• There were significant cultural differences between
colonies, since even common items, such as bread, were so
different in Boston and Philadelphia. In addition, Franklin’s
experiences suggest that the colonies functioned as
relatively isolated economies, so the value of money
differed slightly between them. Pennsylvania was one of
the most prosperous colonist.
• The scene is memorable because it is vivid and humorous
and reveals the ability of a great man to laugh at himself. It
also dramatizes the contrast between the great man’s
success and his humble beginnings.
• He is generous, considerate, self-confident.
Pg. 92
• Franklin is writing this passage with the
wisdom of age. What irony does he see in his
youthful project?
Answers pg. 92
• Franklin probably realizes that it is impossible
“to live without committing any fault at any
time.” He is gently mocking his youthful self
Pg. 93
• Elsewhere in his Autobiography, Franklin says
he tacked on the thirteenth virtue after
someone accused him of being smug. What
irony can you find in this addition?
• What do you learn about Franklin from his
plan for moral development?
Answers pg. 93
• It may be presumptuous of Franklin to think
that he can imitate Jesus and Socrates.
• He is diligent, orderly, organized, and logical.
He attempts to control emotional behavior
with reason.
Pg. 94
• What metaphor does Franklin use to describe
the process of eliminating the black dots on
his virtue chart?
• What point does he make with this metaphor?
• How do you think Jonathan Edwards would
feel about Franklin’s plan for moral success?
Answer pg. 94
• He compares it to eliminating weeds from a
• If you try to get rid of all your faults at once, you
will get frustrated and tired.
• Edwards would probably think it was pointless
because it depended on human effort alone
rather than on seeking God’s grace. Edwards
believed in the moral depravity of humanity, due
to original sin, while Franklin seems to believe in
humanity’s perfectibility.
• Complete the reading check on page 97.
• Complete questions 2-5 on page 97.
• Begin a virtues chart. Keep track of this chart
for a week.

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