Benjamin Franklin Gender Roles Essay

Words: 967
Pages: 4

Gender and the Age of Reason

“In these two books, we have the story of a young man coming of age and finding success in the world and the story of a young woman coming of age and failing to do so. In either book, what gender roles prevailed?”

In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, we are reading the path that one man took to go from a middle class child to a well respected adult. Benjamin Franklin created what we know today as the American dream. Today we understand the American dream to be that one can go from rags to riches with a little hard work. The autobiography is based around the age of reason and a time man was thought to be able to be perfected by means of science and invention. The Autobiography of Benjamin
…show more content…
That being said, this doesn’t mean he is wishing their success in following the American dream like many women are more than capable of doing today. Nonetheless, the fact that Franklin promotes their educational well-being at all is a big step and is of significance. Benjamin Franklin doesn’t mention too much about his own family’s success. However, the beginning of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is written as a letter to his son, William. William did succeed however, quite well in fact. He went on to be the royal governor of New Jersey in 1771. Benjamin’s wife, Deborah Read, was never mentioned as being a very successful woman. In fact, together, they lost a son who was only four years old at the time. This death is only given a brief mention, most likely in order to not relive the tragedy. Within Franklin’s family, the male gender prevails. The most significant sign of this is with William Franklin’s rise to royal governor of New Jersey. However, there is also a great deficit within the male gender of Franklin’s family. The passing of Franklin’s second son shows that while the male gender succeeded greatly during the Age of Reason, there was also a great loss as well. The 1700’s were designed for a male to succeed. From the beginning of the discovery of America, which was done by Columbus and mostly men, the male gender has taken leadership. It has taken nearly