from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. from Poor Richard’s Almanack. Background . Benjamin Franklin arrived in the city of Philadelphia in 1723 at the age of seventeen. He knew no one, and he had little money and fewer possessions.
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from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin from Poor Richard’s Almanack
Background • Benjamin Franklin arrived in the city of Philadelphia in 1723 at the age of seventeen. • He knew no one, and he had little money and fewer possessions. • However, his accomplishments shaped the city in ways that are still visible today.
Franklin’s Accomplishments • He helped to establish Philadelphia’s public library and fire department. • He helped to develop the city’s first college. • Through his efforts, Philadelphia became the first city in the colonies to have street lights. • While Franklin was a brilliant man, some of his success can be attributed to sheer self-discipline which we will explore in this excerpt from his Autobiography.
Literary Analysis • An autobiography is the story of a person’s life. • Autobiography was a new form of literature when Benjamin Franklin wrote The Autobiography. • His work helped set the rules for this new type of writing.
Autobiography • An Autobiography presents events in a person’s life according to how that person sees them. • An autobiography can give personal views of history. Information about the politics, habits, ideas, and values of a society can be found in autobiographies.
Reading Strategy • Franklin tells his readers details about his life. • He explains his goals and interests. • You can draw conclusions about Franklin and his life. • A conclusion is an opinion you reach by pulling together facts and details.
Drawing Conclusions • Use this pattern for drawing conclusions about Franklin’s character while you read. • Details: Franklin changes his plan when he sees he is not meeting his goals. • Personal Experience: You also thought of a different way to meet a goal that was not being met. • Conclusion: Franklin makes adjustments to meet his goals.
Literary Focus: First Person Point of View • Benjamin Franklin writes his story using the pronoun I – using the first person point of view. • A first person point of view shows events from the narrator’s perspective. • When a story is told from the first person point of view, two important things happen • First, we share directly the narrator’s thoughts and feelings • Second, we know only what the narrator knows.
Reading Skill: Making Inferences • Making inferences is like being a detective. • You use your own experiences and knowledge as well as evidence from the text to make inferences, or educated guesses, about what is happening.
Making Inferences Evidence: Franklin gave What little money he had to Some people on the boat. Inference Franklin is a generous Man. He is willing To help people Who need money Knowledge: Giving money is Always generous. My Experience: My brother Gave me the money I needed To buy a new CD.
Into the Autobiography • Franklin began The Autobiography when he was sixty-five. • He continued working on it off and on until his death, at eighty-four, leaving it unfinished.
Summary • Franklin is working on a plan to reach moral perfection. • He will work on thirteen virtues or qualities. • Franklin writes the virtues in a notebook to see how well he is doing. • He makes a black mark beside a virtue every time he forgets to follow it. • He works on a different virtue each week. • Franklin thinks his plan is helpful but not completely successful.
from Poor Richard’s Almanack - Summary • Franklin gives advice about how people should behave. • He presents his thoughts in aphorisms, or short sayings with a message. • Many of his aphorisms come from traditional folk sayings. • Sayings such as “Well done is better than well said” tell something about Franklin and what he values.