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MonkeyNotes-The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
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In life, Franklin rejects the soap-making trade of his father. It is not challenging enough for his sharp mind. As a young man, Benjamin already exhibits many of the traits that will make him great in later life. At a very young age, he has shown his leadership qualities amongst his friends. He also has the ability to persuade others to see his point of view, as demonstrated in the event of building the fishing wharf. Once he enters the printing business, his fascination with books increases. He reads voraciously and tries his hand at writing, first creating poetry. When his father tells him how to improve his prose style, Franklin diligently works to better his writing.


Several things about Benjamin are indirectly revealed in this section of the autobiography. Franklin's choice in narrating the incident of the fishing wharf and telling the moral lesson he learns from it is a clear indication that Franklin aims to impress upon society the importance of virtuous conduct. He also reveals the importance of respect in a family. Benjamin respects the wish of his father that he not enter an occupation of seamanship. In return, Josiah allows his youngest son to leave the family business of soap making that he found unpleasant. He knows and respects the talents of his son and decides that the printing business is a better place for the young Benjamin, who is a voracious reader. When Benjamin takes up writing poetry, Josiah discourages him for practical, monetary reasons, and Benjamin again listens to his father and follows his advice. When Josiah reads the persuasive paper that Franklin writes to his friend John Collins, he takes the time to critique the writing style and give Benjamin advice on how to improve. Once again, the young Franklin listens attentively. Alertness, obedience, and sharpness in learning are features of his personality, which help mold him into the person he will become.

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