The Telling of Franklin
Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography has been written in the author’s first point of view. Therefore, we are able to venture into Franklin’s stream of consciousness and thoughts, fears, and pride. This book has highlighted the major events in the author’s life as well as the telling of the American historical tale. The use of language is simple with rhetoric marking some of the major life highlights. The author has been able to persuade the reader to see his his eyes as he continues to unravel the marvels and achievements of his life and the treacherous journey of America. The autobiography further uses footnotes to explain some of the major insights. In addition, this book has brought to light some of the unpublished epistles from Franklin culminating to a breathtaking read.
Benjamin begins this autobiography with telling us about his life and the fact that he was born in want. However, he acknowledges the importance of his family background into his making (Franklin, 1). Benjamin does not impose his point of view on his readers; instead, he puts facts on a plain paper and leaves the reader to make his/her own conclusion. He affirms that if given another chance, he will live his life almost the same way he did. He also exonerates himself from perfection. Indeed, he notes that he has made mistakes, indulged in vanity, but he has no apology. This makes him appear as arrogant and patronizing. However, it will be noted that he is avoiding playing righteous. As a result, the novel is real and devoid of bias (Wiley).
Benjamin’s life as a writer begun in an unusual note as he was afraid that his work might never be published, but in the end, Benjamin decided to run away to a place where he made a career after a long time of struggling and discouragement (Franklin, 35). Benjamin notes that he was always in the good books of the British. People loved his works and as a result, he was widely read across the United States.
He wrote on issues affecting women and other social ills. His writing gave rise to a rebellion and activism against the colonial rule. Indeed, he was in the forefront and a key architect in the formation of an alliance between America and France that fought and worn against the British in battle. In this, we see him as a dual edged character. One time is is a loyal knight and in the next he bits the very hand that has been feeding him (Franklin, 89). However, Benjamin is aware of his situation and needs too. He clearly notes that he did what he thought was right and correct. Benjamin was forced to swallow the bitter pills when his own son, whom he raised, refused to join him choosing to remain loyal to the imperialists (Wiley).
To Benjamin, the American freedom was paramount and he did his part of the bargain in ensuring that America got on her feet. To top up his quest for freedom and justice, he released his slaves. This made him one of the famous abolitionists of his time. This, he notes, gave him serenity and a true sense of being. Therefore, he opens the debate, is ready to be judged, and is sure of utter vindication (Wiley).
After his spirited fight for freedom, his life took a turn. Benjamin joined the political world with gusto. He was elected as the Philadelphia governor. Later, he would become the American ambassador to France. This, he notes, was a kind of a turnabout for him. Going back to Europe and living there was inevitable. In France, he was instrumental in encouraging the county to embrace religious tolerance. In a factual filled autobiography, he notes that he was behind the signing of Edict of Versailles (Franklin, 169). This is a law that made it possible for non-Catholics to exist in France without discrimination. Despite his political and writing prowess, Benjamin had a life of science and inventions.
In his autobiography, he notes all the major inventions he has brought to light. None of his inventions were patented. According to him, making life easy and bearable were at his heart. He notes that if other people were trying to make things easy, he would also be happy to do so (Franklin, 196). Other major highlights in his life include population studies, electricity, wave theory of light, the concept of cooling and decision making among others. These he has talked about at length in his autobiography.
In the end, Benjamin has given the world a read that compares to none. He is able to conjure images of America in struggle, rebellion, and in freedom. Benjamin does not offer himself as a force to reckon with; instead, he makes it easy for his reader to make out and decide what he is in their life. Benjamin does not try to exonerate himself form any of his actions. Moreover, he does not heap praise for a life well lived. Instead, he has placed things as they were. This makes his work a worthy read in the process, and the readers revere him for his meticulousness. Looking at this work, one can only note its brevity. Benjamin could have added more details to this biography since his narrative and tone makes the reader eager for more and more of the American tale.