Sample Essay on:
The Use of Humor in “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

A 4 page paper which examines toward what ends did Franklin employ humor. No additional sources are used.

Page Count:

4 pages (~225 words per page)

File: TG15_TGbfhumor.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

scientist, diplomat, and citizen of the world. Franklin delighted in cultivating his image as a true man of the common people, and his autobiography is written with them very much in mind. Despite the many years that had passed since Poor Richards Almanac, Franklin had not forgotten the power of the written word. He was more interested in laying the groundwork for his legacy than he was in sharing deeply personal thoughts or intimate insights into his life. For example, very little is divulged about his marriage to the illiterate Deborah Read and the death of one of their sons at the age of four is rather brusquely mentioned. Franklin wanted to use his autobiography as a platform to inspire others to achieve the greatness he himself had achieved. The text was more about the mans ideas than about the man himself. There are instances throughout the text where Franklins narrative comes off as pompous and self-congratulatory. He was obviously a man of great intellect with a rather massive ego to match. However, to temper what many might interpret as arrogance, Franklin would employ self-deprecating humor as a kind of common touch, or to show his countrymen that fame and success had not spoiled him. This would further endear him to them and cement his status as an American icon. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 as the tenth son in an impoverished family of seventeen children. While he cannot be regarded as an atheist, Franklin was more of an intellectual than a spiritual man, but so as not to antagonize his Christian contemporaries, he softened his views on religion in his autobiography through humor. Of his austere craftsman father, Franklin observed, "My elder brothers were ...

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