The Autobiography By: Benjamin Franklin Pg. 86 • What character flaws does Franklin admit to here? • 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. Pg.88 • 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 lonely. • 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 with”? • On his journey from Perth Amboy to Philadelphia, many events occur. List what happens at the following places: – – – – The first inn Dr. Brown’s inn Burlington Cooper’s Creek Answer pg. 89 • He is brave, hearty, humorous, resourceful, or foolhardy. • 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 Philadelphia? • 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 century? • 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 here. 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 garden. • 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. Homework • 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.