Franklin's Autobiography, The Way To Wealth And The Contrast

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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,…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…show more content…
Tyler demonstrates how independence, honor, virtue, are values that define American identity. Tyler suggests that Maria, Manly, and Johnathan possess these values, thus they define what it means to be an American more than Dimple, Charlotte, or Letitia who seem to cherish European values. Manly suggests that American values are different than European values, for example, he says, “ I am proud to say America, I mean the United States, have displayed virtues and achievements which modern nations may admire, but of which they have seldom set us the example” (4.1.p. 807). Manly’s support of American virtues suggests that Tyler believed Americans followed different morals than Europeans. Additionally, he considers American morals to be superior to European principles. This idea is supported by Roger B. Stein in his article,” Royall Tyler and the Questions of Our Speech.” Stein contends, “Within the context of the drawing-room comedy, Tyler asserts the superiority of American life in a variety of ways” (Stein 456). Consequently, Tyler illustrates that American values are both different and superior to European principles. His characters with American principles triumph at the end of the play and are represented as being more American than the characters that follow corrupted European morals. Overall, both Franklin and Tyler’s definition of what it is to be an American suggest
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