© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis

Benjamin Franklin

Wait, didn't we already talk about Franklin in the "Protagonist" section? Actually, we're going to get all crazy here and suggest that Franklin's his own guide and mentor, in addition to being this work's protagonist. Consider how Franklin gets to Philadelphia all on his own, makes it in the printing business by hook or by crook, and slowly rises to the top of the civil service game. He's the one who encourages himself to keep reading, learning, and thinking. In effect, he becomes his own teacher, and it's clear he learns a lot from his self-designed educational programs. Sure, Franklin gets help and advice from a few specific folks along the way, but the real constant is his inner self, a voice advocating virtues, principles, and education. He really is a self-made man.