Benjamin Franklin Biographical Essay
Reasons for seeking out the relative comfort of the United States of America are many; some do so in order to utilize its economic advantages, others yearn to flee oppressive governmental regimes, and so on. Benjamin Franklin has a reputation in American – and around the world – as a self-made man for rising from indentured servitude to become a wealthy, independent man.
Part One of Franklin's memoiris addressed as a letter to Franklin's son William, perhaps as a literary conceit—and although the two would later become estranged over the events of the American Revolution, Franklin still preserved this aspect of the work.
It is also uniquely useful as the story of a successful working printer in eighteenth-century North America, revealing much about the art and business of the printer's trade that is not documented with such coherence elsewhere. By the summer of 1782, both documents had been seen by a friend, Abel James, who wrote to Franklin urging him to resume the project.
Written over the course of several decades and never completed, Franklin's is divided into four distinct sections that differ both in tone and in focus—though Franklin always intended the work to stand as a whole. Franklin drafted Part Two in 1784 while living in France.
In keeping with the Puritan ancestry that he details at the beginning of his autobiography, Franklin is at ease with introspection.
Often, however, this introspection serves not so much to enlighten Franklin about himself as to provide an object lesson for the reader.