The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Junto Club
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The Junto Club represents male friendship and intellectual community. It's a forum for sharing ideas, getting feedback, and working on social change. In case you were wondering, it's nothing like today's idea of a gentleman's club. Instead of cigars and strippers, this is a safe, masculine space for thinking and free speech. The Junto's important in the Autobiography both for what they give to Franklin and society – in terms of places for ideas and places in which to house those ideas – and what those gifts represent.
Franklin and his friends name their club the "Junto" after a Spanish word that, depending where you look, can mean "united," a "meeting," or a "council." We think it's interesting that the club chose a Spanish word in the first place, instead of a Latin one (which might be seen as more typically scholarly); for example, does this choice show something about what the club members think of their place in the New World?