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Poor Richard's Almanack Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Poor Richard's Almanack.
This section contains 370 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Poor Richard's Almanack Study Guide

Poor Richard's Almanack Summary & Study Guide Description

Poor Richard's Almanack Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Poor Richard's Almanack by Benjamin Franklin.

Plot Summary

This small book is a collection of sayings, most of which are the original thoughts of Benjamin Franklin. The sayings were originally published in a series of yearly booklets known as "Poor Richard's Almanack" between the years of 1732-1758. Franklin's sayings are often self-explanatory and are just as true today as they were when they were written. The difficulty in understanding Franklin's sayings comes mainly from his use of colloquial language and spelling.

While this collection of sayings may at first appear to be unrelated, closer study will uncover a series of themes which Franklin returns to often in his writings. These themes include ideas of what qualities one should look for in a friend, things to do to remain healthy, the importance of saving and not being wasteful, the glory of hard work, and the problems one's own self can cause. In his sayings, Franklin also shares his views of lawyers and preachers, sometimes even talks about political or governmental issues. Franklin also touches on the characteristics of wives and the challenges of married life.

One important facet to keep in mind while reading Franklin's quotes is the many literary elements he uses in his writing. One of his favorite elements is the use of personification, or the act of giving an inanimate object the qualities of a living being. For instance, in one of his sayings Franklin writes of the qualities of happiness and avarice noting that the two have never "seen" each other, an act impossible for these qualities which have no eyes. Franklin also offers his readers word puzzles and quotes that require thought to determine the true meaning. Remember that in this time period, people got most of their entertainment from media such as Franklin's almanac; therefore, they enjoyed his witty and thought provoking writing style.

Another detail that should be kept in mind when reading and interpreting these sayings is that Franklin wrote his almanac under the pen name of Richard Saunders. Because of the cloaked nature of his writing, Franklin felt more free to express his true feelings about certain subjects, such as government and the nature of wives. Franklin also used his almanac as a way to spotlight his sense of humor and intelligence.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 370 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Poor Richard's Almanack Study Guide
Copyrights
Poor Richard's Almanack from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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