Free The Autography of Benjamin Franklin Essay Sample

This is an elucidation of an excerpt of the book 'The Autography of Benjamin Franklin: 1706-1757'. It goes deep into the text and exposes some of the figurative speech that has been used by the writer among other major features.  This explicate gives a description of the structure, exemplification of diction,  images as well as metaphors among other major features that are evident in the excerpt. The entire book gives the autography of Benjamin Franklin.

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The excerpt opens with a discussion on the introduction of paper money and the effect it would have on the lives of the inhabitants. According to the writer this issue did not have the support of the wealthy inhabitants who based their argument on the case of New England where the introduction of paper money led to depreciation of the currency. Such a depreciation would affect most of the creditors based on the fact that money owed will be paid in less value and this is one of the reason why the rich were against the printing of more paper currency. However there were some who supported the idea like the persona in this excerpt saying that this would increase trade, number of people in the province, the employment in the region. Based on the fact that this was an autobiography that was written by Benjamin himself, the whole of the excerpt and the book as well as written in a narration tone, the writer gives the flow of different events as they unfolded.

The reason why the persona argued that an increase in the number of people in the region was because he compared the time he came and then as he was narrating this story. At the time, walking around the area one would find so many houses with a board that was written, 'to be let' hanging on their roofs. This has since then changed because the old houses in the region have tenants living in them and other new houses are still being built.  Through this excerpt, the reader is able to understand the effect that to much printing of the currency would have on the entire economy, the effect that less amount would have too and how much would be enough to sustain the normal operations and to ensure the equity of both the rich and the poor too. In this section the writer uses direct quotation of the posters that he saw hanging on the walls of the houses at the time he entered the province, 'to be let'.

The writer got engrossed into the topic that he produced a pamphlet with the title, "The nature and necessity of a Paper Currency". Many people supported his work but the rich did not like it for reasons stated earlier. It amplified and reinforced the bellow for more wealth and money. One reason why they could not win this fight was because they lacked the majority and the fact that they did not have a writer of their own or one of them who could address their personal wishes they were to loose in the entire argument. After all, it is the majorities that usually have their say in such situations. The writer became a hero among his colleagues and some rewarded him with a job to print money, a job that the writer claims was a precious job. According to the writer, writing has so many advantages and this was one of the benefits that one can be entitled to.

The currency's utility begun to rise and rose for a very long period but it reached a point when the writer wondered whether it could rise beyond a given point and whether there would be a value that would actually pose danger to the kind of life that these people had adopted. The writer narrates how he later obtained another printing job from a different friend. This involved the printing of money with the Newcastle paper. This was a profitable job too as he argued but he was not sure whether to take it. He thought deeply about it. According to him this was a small opportunity as a humble person would look at it but if considered, it had the potential of taking a person to greater heights and therefore it was a great encouragement. Through the friend too, he got a contract of printing the votes and laws for the same government and this he continued to hold for as long as he remained in the business.

Sometime later the writer opened a stationery shop that had stocks of different kinds. In it he employed a compositor who he had come to know in London and the person worked for him quite diligently. He later took a trainee who was the son of Aquila Rose.

Franklin continues by narrating that he had to pay off the debt that he owed as a result of the printing house. He explains how much he aimed at securing to the optimal level his own character as a tradesman by beautifully using contrasting phrases in the same sentence. Franklin says that he had to avoid the contrary of being industrious and frugal. This sharp contrast of characters that he has used acts very effectively in bringing out clearly the level of integrity that Franklin had attached to his name. The next statements where Franklin is explaining his character regarding to the life he lived after work, the use of very short and joined adverbial phrases is very effective in building emphasis onto the main activities that one cold never expect to find Franklin and those activities that he was mostly involved in. This is illustrated clearly when Franklin differentiates himself form activities such as fishing, shooting and other idling activities. During his free time, Franklin is very categorical to note that he spent this time on reading a book or even perusing through the newspaper.

This lifestyle is what Franklin describes as being the reason as to why the people around the community looked up to him not only for help but also as a model. In an effort to offer contrast to other businessmen whose performance was not adorable at all, Franklin offers the example of Keimer whose credit business was on the downhill. The end result is destruction that Franklin describes using the fact that Keimer went back to Barbados where he spent his later years in poverty. This artistic expression of paradox by the writer is very effective in helping create the desired sense of success that was enjoyed by Franklin unlike his other fellow business men in the town.

Franklin then shifts the reader's attention to David Harry so as to eliminate the element of boredom setting in as a result of the concentration on a single character. With the introduction of David Harry, Franklin is very effective in using flashback which has been strategically used to enlighten the reader on the fact that Harry had been helped into work by Franklin. It is due to the fact that he had been equipped with enough skills and knowledge that Franklin deemed that Harry being the apprentice to Keimer formed a huge threat to Franklin's business. He saw him as a huge source of breaking competition. Franklin goes ahead to propose a partnership to David Harry. This part of the text leads Franklin into heavy usage of imagery which he has strategically placed so as to become more effective in creating in the reader's mind the picture of David Harry. Imagery in this particular part has been effectively created by the use of heavy usage of descriptive adjectives and adverbs. This he starts by indicating that harry not only rejected his offer but did so with scorn, he describes Harry as being very proud, dressed in a manner similar to a gentleman (this presents a vey crucial point of contrasts that the writer uses to highlight more of the poor qualities of Harry), ran in debts, neglected his businesses and took more pleasure in travelling abroad. This figurative writing that has been employed at this particular point has been very effective in helping Franklin undermine to the readers' eyes the type o uncompetitive rival that he had in David Harry. These proceedings are closely followed by Harry's departure for the city to follow Keimer back in Barbados. As if reuniting for t two misplaced business men was not enough opportunity for the to start a new in regard to the business, they ended up having gross differences between them which was only solved by Keimer's death.

This leads the trader into the final part of this paper's rhetorical analysis. In this section, Franklin is devoted to describing the traits that marked his main competitor at Philadelphia after the likes of Harry and Keimer were already gone. Once again, imagery has been used in describing Bradford who by this particular moment was the only remaining reasonable source of competition that Franklin faced. Franklin says that Bradford was easy, rich did little of printing and unlike the other people in the printing business, he was not anxious about the business anymore. The business environment which is always affected by speculation, the paper that was distributed by Bradford gained more popularity and had a higher customer base than that of Franklin given the fact that he owned the post office. Franklin describes the situation as resulting into Bradford having better advertisements than he did. Although at the end of the text, Franklin is informing the reader that he had the last laugh in regard to the successful businessman although this has been done indirectly as he compares his situation with that of Bradford by indicating that he finally became like Bradford.


It is very apparent form just the extract that has been used to perform rhetorical analysis on just two pages of the book that Franklin is very perfect in using various writing styles such as paradox, contrast, figurative language among other in an effort to make his work as interesting as possible. By the end of the extract used in the rhetorical analysis one can be able to convincingly state that the writing features have helped in making Franklin's work more as clear understanding is enhanced.


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