Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summary of Ben Franklin Autobiography

In the first four paragraphs of Ben Franklin's autobiography, he talks about how he wanted to start a new life in America.  When he lived in England, he was very poor, and unhappy with the way he was living his life. He wanted to go to America to make a name for himself.  My question about the first four paragraphs is what kind of life was he living in England? What kind of job did he have that did not create much money for him? Was that the only reason why he moved to the New World?
In the last four paragraphs, he talks about his journey to Philadelphia. I am not sure where he was when he was sick, but I know he had a high fever.  He heard that if you drink cold water, it would make the fever go away.  He did exactly that, and he was better the next day to continue his journey on foot.  He got to the dock, and realized he was too late for a boat to Philadelphia.  A lady took him into her home and fed him a nice meal, in exchange for his printing, since he was a printer.  He also stayed with another man who also fed him generously. He made it to the ship on Tuesday, and the ship got lost. They finally found a landmark that told them they were only forty miles away from their destination. They finally made it to Philadelphia. A lesson Franklin learned from the trip was that you don't have to have a lot of money to be generous.  Those people that helped him didn't have that much money, but they still helped him because he was starving.
In the second chapter of Ben Franklin's autobiography, he goes to a bakery to buy some bread. As he was walking down the street, he saw his future father -in-law, along with his future wife. They looked at him like he had the most ridiculous appearance. He finally walked a street filled with clean looking people, and walked in and listened to a Quakers meeting.  He fell asleep during the meeting, and someone had to wake him up to tell him that the meeting was over.  He was looking for a place to stay as well, and a Quaker took him to a house on Water-Street, where he slept soundly. Then he tried to look for a job with a printer that used to e in New York, but he was not hiring. He told Franklin that another printer might be hiring across town. Franklin eventually worked for the other printer.  Franklin became a happier person living in Philadelphia. After he started to for a printer, and making more money, he finally made some acquaintances with some folks in town.
In the sixth chapter, Franklin shows letters he received from men in France saying how much of an inspiration he was to them, and how he should publish his biography.  He realized Philadelphia did not have a publishing house. There were printers, but they only made newspapers, ballads, and school books.  He took his biography to the library, and made several articles out of them. It wasn't successful at first because subscribers didn't pay that much for the articles. He also talks about his studies of religion. I am not understanding at all what he's saying about religion. Does he not go to church every Sunday? Does he only study at home? Does he think that religion is the most hated practice shown unto mankind?  What are the thirteen terms he is explaining in this chapter. I have never read the bible, so I don't know what he is saying. What is the page chart of virtues? Why is he creating the virtues on the different days? I hope someone explains to me what is going on in the last few paragraphs of this chapter.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good so far, Laura. Make sure to ask your questions in class on Wednesday. What did you find most interesting about Franklin's autobiography? Did it remind you of anything you've read or seen in the past?