In what sense was Franklin “self-made?” Well, he wasn’t born into a wealthy or connected family. Benjamin Franklin was a “self-made” person which means all the success he had, all the achievements or prominence was by his own efforts. He did not a get lot of help from outside. If there was any one theme throughout Ben Franklin’s life, it was self-improvement. He was born into family of seventeen children and his father was a poor candle and soap maker. He did not have much formal education which was for like two years (if I am not wrong) and begun his adulthood entirely in his own in philadelphia. He remembered, “I continued, however, at the grammar-school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be the head of it” (Autobiography 3). Yet he became a wealthy man by eighteenth century standards and of the most respected intellectual in Western World. He was a model for the rags-to-riches story of the self-made man. Franklin’s entire life reflected his belief in self-improvement, and from adolescence until his death at eighty-four, he worked constantly to improve his mind, his body, and his behavior.
Let’s go back to his early age, he had a quite interesting childhood. Since the childhood, he never meant to be like any other regular kids. He did not have any interest on certain thing as others kid had. He wanted more; probably that’s why he never listened to his dad about settling into regular professions. He loved to read, and this was one of the things that led him to eventual success. He wrote, “From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books” (Autobiography 5). Benjamin by the time he was 12 years old already working as a printer and selling papers and pamphlets in the streets of Boston. By the time he was 15, he had become a popular and witty advice columnist writing as “anonymous” ( not quite as anonymous, is that he did not use his real name). And after quite few times around age of 17, he ran away from home because of his bad and abuse relationship with his older brother James. It can be seen when he says “….in three days I found myself in New York, near 300 miles from home, a boy of but 17, without the least recommendation to, or knowledge of any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket” (Autobiography 16).
Benjamin Franklin is one of the most influential and famous figures of all time. Ben Franklin if often referred to as the “self-made man. Franklin believed that improving oneself is the key to success. Self-improvement, self-education, and self-discipline are the main factors of a self-made man. Imp
Skaggs, Merrill Maguire CliffsNotes on The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 06 Apr 2018