Although many strive for perfection through work, religion or otherwise, Benjamin Franklin realized he was not perfect. Through close examination of The Autobiography, along with some of his shorter essays, "A Witch Trial at Mount Holly," "The Speech of Polly Baker," and "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America," one ascertains Franklin's values and priorities. Values define one's principles and standards that are demonstrated in one's priorities. Franklin's morality was built on a sincere belief in leading a virtuous life, hoping to achieve deliverance through integrity while enhancing society (Franklin 857). By using his works, such as his short essays, and his list of virtues (elaborated on in his autobiography), Franklin asserts his priorities and values clearly.
Franklin seems ahead of his time because his works are so contemporary. In the aforementioned short essays, Franklin uses a light humor, commonly known as Horatian satire. This literary technique is represented in the following quotes. "Their Lumps of Mortality severally were too heavy for Moses and all the Prophets and Apostles" (Franklin 791), when referring to accused persons outweighing the bible, said in a semi-sarcastic tone. Ironically, Holly Baker said, "[I should] have a statue erected to my Memory" (794). She portrays herself as a victim of gender roles and poverty, although the things she did were clearly against beliefs of that era; pleading before the courts after her fifth conviction of having a bastard child. Through these references, Franklin exposes a genuine wit for his time period.
Moving to the piece "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America," Franklin argues implicitly that the European culture is not necessarily superior to the Native culture. With observations such as "the politeness of these savages in Conversation is indeed carrie
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