Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is widely considered to be one of the most important early examples of American literature, because his recollections not only offer important insights into the historical and social context of their writing, but also because Franklin himself attempted to imbue his autobiography with a distinct authorial voice and a number of important themes. Paramount among these is the theme of self-improvement, and at every stage in his narration Franklin attempts to demonstrate his own process of self-improvement so that it might serve "as a model for countless generations to admire."

However, when considering Franklin's reported attempts at self-improvement in the context of his own political, professional, and personal ideology, it is difficult to determine whether Franklin's instructions for self-improvement were born out of a genuine desire to help others, or were simply an attempt at self-promotion. By investigating Franklin's stated reasons for writing...
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