Comparing Franklin's Autobiography, The Way To Wealth And

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Franklin and Tyler share similarities in their definition of what it is to be an American. Franklin’s Autobiography, The Way to Wealth” and The Contrast include frugality in their definition of what it means to be an American. Franklin primarily promotes frugality in “The Way to Wealth.” He argues through Father Abraham, “So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one’s own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful” (“The Way to Wealth” 460). Consequently, this quote suggests that Franklin defines frugality as an American characteristic. In Franklin’s opinion, frugality enables one to become more successful. Franklin’s frugality is also evident in his Autobiography. For example, after he purchases his printing- house he is frugal he can pay off his debts. He writes, “In order to secure my Credit and Character as a Tradesman, I took care not only to be in Reality Industrious and frugal, but to avoid all Appearances of the contrary” (The Autobiography 523). This quote suggests that Franklin thought if he was frugal people would respect him more. “The Way to Wealth” and The Autobiography prove that Franklin defined one aspect of American identity as being frugal. Tyler’s definition of what it means to be an American also includes frugality. Tyler’s characters with American…show more content…
Tyler’s characters with American values are hard-working, they are not idle. Manly, Maria, and Johnathan are industrious. Conversely, Charlotte, Dimple, and Letitia are lazy and do not appear to do anything productive. The contrast between Tyler’s characters with American values and the ones with European values highlight how Tyler considers the virtue of industry and American values to be intertwined. According to both Franklin and Tyler, the definition of what it means to be an American includes the virtue of
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