Benjamin Franklin

The Personality of Benjamin Franklin

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the story of his life written in
the first person. All experiences in the book are told from Ben’s point of
view. There is a slight possibility that not all of this information is exactly
true, or if all of the events in his life are accounted for. When writing this
autobiography, Franklin had the power to choose what he wanted the readers to
know and what he wanted to keep to himself. Although he admits to some mistakes
that he has made, and usually tells how he corrected them, there is no definite
way to ever know if these accounts of his personal life are necessarily true.
There is historical evidence to many of his inventions and ideas, but some of
the events that Ben writes about his life could all be sugarcoated coincidences
or strokes of luck that he happened to come across through his many traveling

In knowing this before reading the autobiography, my mind was set on the fact
that the truth of this book could possibly be stretched a little. Even though
that was the case, I was intrigued by the wit and humor of Benjamin Franklin’s
personality. Just by reading his story, I could tell that his personality was
fueled by an extremely intelligent and creative mind. He seemed to be a type of
person who would not let anyone take advantage of him and, if they happened to,
he knew exactly how to handle himself in any situation. He knew the right person
to help him for any problem that should arise and he knew who to keep distant
and who to keep near. Franklin quotes an old Maxim that he learned which says,
“He that has once done you Kindness will be more ready to do you another, than
whom you yourself have obliged” (105). This means that someone you have
thanked and shown appreciation to for a favor they have done for you will be
more likely to do another one for you rather than someone that you just say a
quick “thanks” to and do not show them appreciation for the favor. Franklin
never wanted to burn any bridges, so it seemed. He never knew when he might run
into a problem and may need some help again.

In the beginning of Franklin’s life, it seemed that he was somewhat
self-centered and tried to do things so that they would eventually benefit him
somehow in the long-run. It is apparent that he was very goal-oriented. He
focused on the future of his work as a printer so diligently that eventually,
after years and years of practice and determination, he mastered the art of
printing. He eventually could write articles without writing them down on paper
first. Ben could see the sentences in his mind and just line up the letters with
out taking a second to think. Everything came naturally to him. Reading was one
of his favorite pastimes. Reading could possibly be one of the roots to his
advanced intelligence. Another root to his creative mind is how observant he
was. Franklin was a person who knew how to read people and enjoyed doing it. He
seemed to be constantly observing his surroundings and this led him to be able
to adapt to all of what life had to give him. Franklin could take things in
stride, learn from his mistakes and know how to operate correctly the next time.
Although Ben Franklin was what seems to me to be self-centered, I believe that
he had to be that way in order to be that successful and intelligent. His
self-actualization led him to be successful, which created a path for him to
walk on that would eventually benefit the nation.

As he grew older and, from the reader’s perspective, wiser he liked to
socialize with a group which Ben created called the Junto. The Junto was a place
where men could write essays and hear the essays of others and have group
discussions where everyone was free to express their own opinions. This
benefited the education of the town that Franklin lived in at that time. The
time Benjamin spent at the Junto was another opportunity for him to observe the
people there and learn from their essays and experiences. This also gave Ben the
chance to show off his intelligence and gain some respect from the other
gentlemen who were interactive in the Junto. Ben tells about the Junto when he
says, “I had form’d most of