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Was Benjamin Franklin a "success"? Why or why not? Write a one paragraph response to the question. Use examples from his Autobiography.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write15,967 answers

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I have not read Franklin's autobiography in full. However, I think the definition of success is broad enough that most people can answer this. Franklin was involved in the revolution, was an inventor, and helped to establish the fledgling United States government. He did enough that I think we can call him a success.

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stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write2,948 answers

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This is an opinion question. It sounds like your teacher has asked you to express your opinion in response to the question and then provide support for your answer, whatever it is.

First of all, what do you define as being a "success"? The answer to that question will influence how you interpret Franklin's activities and their outcomes. I think Franklin would consider his life as being a success. After recalling various efforts and their outcomes, including positive reactions from others, he summarizes

I would not however insinuate that my Ambition was not flatter'd by all these Promotions. It certainly was. For considering my low Beginning they were great Things to me. And they were still more pleasing, as being so many spontaneous Testimonies of the public's good Opinion, and by me entirely unsolicited.

Franklin was curious about electricity and engaged in experiments that led to advances in understanding of its nature and use. Franklin was always practical and used his creativity to invent many items that simplified and improved life. Franklin strongly believed in the need for the American colonies to become an independent nation and contributed time and effort to supporting the writing of the Declaration of Independence and representing the would-be new country in France, gaining invaluable assistance for the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

I would say his life was highly successful because he was able to successfully complete many of the tasks he set out to accomplish.

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