In reading the Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography one can see the true character of a great man. But some may argue that this man, deep down inside, was not so great. Through out his book he touches on many aspects of his life. He lets the readers have a glimpse at what he was thinking and why he did things the way he did. Some critics do not agree that Franklin was such a noble man. They thought he might not have been telling his whole story, and that he was hiding a lot he had to offer. This paper will look at how one critic portrays Franklin---" Benjamin had no concern, really, for the immortal soul. He was too busy with the social man (292)." This critic is D.H. Lawrence.
In Lawrence's piece he disagrees on what Franklin believes in and what his standards are. Most of Lawrence's argument comes from a disagreement with how Franklin expresses how he works to what he really does when he works. He thinks Franklin is more of a social man, a man of himself, more than man of the people. Lawrence has looked at how Franklin didn't come to invent things or try and help others, more than he was out to help himself.
Through out Lawrence's critic of Franklin, he really lays into the high-powered man. At one point in his writings he says, "I admire him. I admire his sturdy courage first of all...I do not like him (293)." This is how a lot of critics and Americans have felt about Franklin. Yes, he might have helped us all out. Yes, he has made advancements for the good of the country. But was he out for making a buck?
Lawrence then again in the next paragraph says, "Because, although I still believe that honesty is
the best policy, I dislike policy...(293)." At this point in his piece, Lawrence is really reaching to disagree with everything Franklin says and stands for. The opinion of many might have been that Franklin as a harsh and cutthroat man, but isn't that the way
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