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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

by Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Literature and Writing

Franklin's a printer by profession, and reading and writing the printed word is what shapes his life. He treats his life like a book, using metaphors of printing and reading – like calling hi...

Memory and the Past

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is concerned with memory. The whole idea of writing your life story is sharing that memory with readers. Franklin's autobiography is a work of memory, a "reco...


Franklin's obsessed with principles, which he thinks of as virtues: they're the guiding force of his life. For him, principles are more important than organized religion in terms of living one's li...


For Benjamin Franklin, education isn't something you have to do – it's something you want to do. Think of it as a privilege, not a right: desired rather than dreaded. Franklin, who can't get...

Visions of America

America in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is unformed and exciting; it's not yet a country, but it's more than a random collection of colonies. It's a new civilization taking its first baby...


In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin seems to be saying, it's cool to be ambitious, but only up to a point. It's fine in the private sector, or in business, as long as you're using e...


Franklin's focused on money, but he's no Donald Trump. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is all about saving the money he earns and making the right, responsible choices with it. For Franklin,...


There are two big things going on with religion in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: Franklin's attitude towards organized religion/attending church, and his belief in God. For him, those thi...

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