Is this guy for real? : LUSENET : americanlit : One Thread

Does anyone else out there think that Franklin maybe blew his autobiography just a little out of proportion? Because he was writing it for his son, he might have wanted to make it a little more interesting (or a little less). It seems that whenever he ran into a little trouble, someone prestigious came along just in the nick of time to keep him from being totally destitute. It also seems like he narrowly missed some disasters that most young men would fall for (sorry, guys). This makes me think he left out the parts where he, for instance, had more than casual aquaintance with some loose women on a ship. It might be my imagination, but several times he got connected with people who turned out to be not of the best character, and ol' Ben always landed on his feet. While I was reading, I kept thinking that he was covering his behind, making up for a rather more naive lifestyle than what he's written. I mean, come on....who would board a boat bound for London (a big step even now) without having full knowledge of what was going to happen when they reached their destination?

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2000


I'm not finished with the assignment, but my conclusion thus far is that BF enjoyed writting. Deciding if the stories of his journey are fact or fiction perhaps are only known to those who really know and understand his works. By reading more about BF, it is only natural for an author to reveal themselves, giving clues as to their honesty, how they think and where their heart lies. BF is writing to his son. It is my conclusion thus far that he did stretch adventure on the literary side, but he also appears like a successful person who comes out king of the mountain the majority of the time.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2000

I would probably have to agree with you when you say that Franklin's story seems to be too good to be true. However, I think that I might see where he is coming from. No one wants to come across to someone as a boring person. For this reason, I think that some of Franklin's stories were told to be mildly entertaining. This keeps the reader involved in the story and makes him learn more about the author. While I believe that everything he told happened, I do think that some things were elaborated on to make the reader have an interest in Ben Franklin. As far as him "covering his tracks," I would say that this goes along with making the story interesting to read. Besides, no one is going to write about themselves in a negative manner.

-- Anonymous, January 18, 2000

BF does make himself out to be quite an interesting fellow full of good luck...but then wasn't he? Though my first impression of him was "boisterous", I am now thinking...doesn't he have the right to be? He was an extremely giving man as he has shown through his friendships and as discussed in class, his willingness to allow others to patent his inventions. He is obviously filled with knowledge and adventure. He made mistakes as we all are capable of. I only wonder if it is possible that he was trying to gain some approval/respect from his son if their relationship wasn't close...(which I have no idea about)

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2000

I do think that Ben may have sugar-coated his auto-biography just a bit. I don't think I have ever known a person as perfect as he percieves himself. Sure he was an intelligent guy, but what was he thinking when he tried to make himself perfect? He couldn't have possibly believed that he could achieve this task. As for always running into luck, I think some people just seem to have the breaks, and he happens to be one of those types of people. I also think he was the type of person who always knew how to get what he wanted. His arguementitive skills surely helped wiesel his way into or out of any situation.

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2000

I think that Ben had a tendacy to tell the best things that happened to him. It seems like whatever he did, he always got the best. I mean hello, no one can be that perfect and have everything go right wothout any setbacks. He had everyone fooled to think he was a really good honest, and special person, when really he wasn't any better than the rest of us. He had this image he gave to people that was always making him look better than he rally was. He was a man who always got what he wanted, no matter how he had to get it.

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2000

Yes, Franklin maybe sugar-coated things a little when he wrote his autobiography, but is that so wrong. I don't know any person that when tells a story tends to stretch the truth a little to make themselves sound a little better. I think that everything that Franklin wrote about in the autobiography is true, it just may be a little out of proportion with the actual occurances. I think that Franklin told the truth and that he was extremely intelligent and well-known. And for this we think of him as conceited and a liar. I simply feel that he was so smart for his time that people weren't ready for a person of his intellect to simply be walking down the street looking like a regular person, and for this reason he has been the center of a lot of criticism.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2000

Yes, I believe that Ben Franklin made the story seem to fit him the best. I don't think that any person who writes about himself doesn't try to make things sound a little better than they really are. This isn't completely bad, though, it just shows that it is hard to know what is completely factual and what is not!

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2000

I think that Ben Franklin's autobiography is definitely has some far fetched ideas. His actions were only human because I'm guessing that he didn't think that hundreds of years later an American lit class would be analyzing his work in such detail. I think that anyone who would jump on a boat for London without knowledge of their future is naive.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2000

I think that you took the situation and blew it out of proportion. No one knows the life that he lead and all of the details involved. Ben Franklin was and still is a very respected author and I trust the words that he chose to use.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2000

Yes, I agree that he changed things around in his autobiography. I feel he left some details in his life out. He wanted his son to have a good opinion about him. He wrote it the way he wanted his son to see him as. I just feel he made some situations turn out a little better than what they did.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2000

I have to agree with you. I am sure that he is stretching the truth some for no one wants to write a boring story of their life. I have my ideas about what is fact and what is fiction in his writing, but do any of us really know the truth about his life? No, so I just read this and took it in stride. I would have to say that sure he might of jumped on a boat to London without knowing what was ahead of him. He saw adventure and opportunity.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2000

When you are older and you are looking back at your past, you don't always remember everything like it was. Some people wish to forget memories or make themselves believe different things to take place of what really happened. I think this is the case here with good old Benny boy. He writes about getting on the ship for London just for an adventer as it seems, but has maybe told himself this for so long of a time that he has got himself believe that the adventer is the true story when the real reason is long gone forgoten. As everyone as say too that he might of spiced up his story just so that he wanted it to be better. Maybe but when he was writing it he would be able to let anyone see it. If someone he knew for alone time read it and knew he was lying then the truth would then come out.

-- Anonymous, January 26, 2000

As I was reading Ben Franklin's autobiography I began to feel that he was only trying to show his positive sides, yet whenever it sounded like his story was getting caught up on a bad episode in his life he seemed to skim over it quite quickly enabling the readers to not even think any bad on his part. I understand that if I was writing an autobiography about myself I wouldn't want to bring up all my wrong doings throughout my life; however, Ben really didn't seem to show much of his other side, and we all know no one is perfect not even Ben Franklin.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2000

You do have a good argument. Since this is an autobiography, he is intitled to include/leave out any information that he doesn't want his son to know. However, since Ben was so smart I'm sure that some of his brilliance rubbed off on the son enabling him to read between the lines of his father's words. I do agree with you that the book only tells of the "better" things he did/had in his life but who's to say what goes into a person's autobiography other than the book's own author. As for the trip to London, lifes a journey and you live only once so why not take advantage of the unknown?!?!?

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2000

If we were to write our own autobiography, I think we would find it just as interesting as Ben's. Then if one of my relatives or a good friend were to write my autobiography, I am sure there would be a lot of differences in opinions as to how I and they remembered things as they really occured! Of course if we were writing it for our children, we would want our children to have this unremarkable sensation of what a great person we were! If we actually put down the real, true feelings we might have had, I know I wouldn't want anyone to remember me for the "ill-feelings" I had at that time, I would want the good and "right-feelings" to come out for my children to learn from. Not the practice what you preach method! As for the London adventure, I say: No guts, No glory!!Have at it!

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2000

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