What else can I learn about U.S history from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin other than economic mobility and the importance of literature?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most important elements regarding the narrative of history that is believed to be a part of the United States is that individuals who are successful have a bit of luck in helping them succeed.  The United States historical narrative that emerges from Franklin's work is rooted in the idea that there is a luck factor that lies at the heart of each success narrative.  Franklin's work supports this.  Franklin's autobiography depicts a reality where individuals seize opportunities that are in front of them.  Making contact with important people, being able to "capture" a moment that is in front of the individual, and experiencing a positive turn of events to make what is beneficial as a part of one's experience are all elements that not only define Franklin's narrative, but the experience of America, as well. I think that this is one area where Franklin's work details what it means to be in America. American History is defined as a dialectic where success often comes because one is located at "the right place at the right time."  Franklin demonstrates this and in doing so, embodies one of the core ideas embedded in American History.

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