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The World of Laws, Crime and Punishment in Great Expectations Great Expectations criticises the Victorian judicial and penal system. Through the novel, Charles Dickens displays his point of view of criminality and punishment. This is shown in his portraits of all pieces of such system: the lawyer, the clerk, the judge, the prison authorities and the convicts. In treating the theme of the Victorian system of punishment, Dickens shows his position against prisons, transportation and death penalty. The main character, a little child who has expectations of becoming a gentleman to be of the same social position of the girls he loves, passes from having no interest on criminality and its penalties to be very concerned on the issue. By means of other characters, for instance Mrs. Joe Gargery, Dickens tries to define the people's common view about convicts, transportation and capital punishment. In portraying the character of the convict, Dickens sets out the case in hand of two people sentenced to transportation for forgery of banknotes and analyses their psychology. By reading the novel, the reader becomes aware of the Victorian unfair justice regarding poor and illiterate people, but advantageous towards the rich and educated middle-class. The prison system in England may have had a significant effect on the life and writing of Charles Dickens due to his father's imprisonment in Marshalsea Debtors' Prison as a consequence of his debts. These kinds of prisons came to be workhouses for people who had lost all their belongings. In case debtors had family, it must accompany them in prison. This painful experience may have kept way in his mind for the rest of his life. His involvement with the legal world came when he was employed as a clerk at a lawyer's office. His later interest in penology made him read many works related to this subject. For this reason, he incorporated both the treatment of convicts and capital punishment in many novels. Great Expectations is a harsh criticism on the British legal and penal System as well as on Victorian society, achieved after exploring his characters' behaviour, since the laws were only unfair for those on the bottom rung of the social ladder. London was one of the greatest cities in the world in the 19th C. At this time huge amounts of money were invested in industry and buildings as trade with other countries increased. On the other side of the business world, made rich by the cheap labour of the exploited working class, there was a world of poverty, theft and criminality, increased by the Industrial Revolution. In this acquisitive society, the only important thing was to make fortune, so people were much terrified of losing it. Because of this, any sort of theft was regarded as a serious crime and laws were made to show people that this offence was harshly punished. At the time when Great Expectations is set, the 1810-20s, there were a great number of offenders, most of whom were convicted of theft. Theft was considered a felony like homicide and was punishable with death. Jails were dark, overcrowded and filthy. All kinds of prisoners were kept together with no separation of men and women, the young and the old, or the sane and the insane. The poor conditions of the Victorian prisons are described in detail by Dickens in Great Expectations. In the 2nd volume of the novel, Pip comes across "a grim stone building" 163: Newgate Prison. Looking with horror, Pip offers us a portrait of the inside of the prison and criticism on capital punishment: "As I declined the proposal on the plea of an appointment, he was so good as to take me into a yard and show me where the gallows was kept, and also where people were publicly whipped, and then he showed me the Debtors' door, out of which culprits came to be hanged: heightening the interest of that dreadful portal by giving me to understand that ''four on 'em'' would come out at the door the day after tomorrow at eight in the morning to be killed in a row. This was horrible, and gave me a sickening idea of London" 164 At this time the reformation of the British Prison System took place and a new alternative for punishment was found in transportation. Regarding the colonialist question, the Victorians believed that the easiest and cheapest way of eliminating the criminal element from the British society was sending them as far as they could and never allowing them to return under threat of having them executed. Many prisoners were convicted because of little thefts such as stealing pocket-handkerchiefs, watches, and jewellery, and the forgery of banknotes. All these little offences, considered as serious crimes, represented a threat to the Victorian commerce. Dickens writes about transportation in the 1860s, when it ceased to be a system of punishment. Probably, Dickens wanted to show how unfair it was to eliminate criminality of the Victorian society by sentencing convicts to transportation as it were not a social problem. The hulks, the name that received the ships that transported convicts to the penal colony Australia, were used as floating prisons. In the novel, Dickens offers the reader a portrait of the convicts when being transported to the hulks: "At that time it was customary to carry Convicts down to the dockyards by stage-coach ... The two convicts were handcuffed together, and had irons on their legs-irons of a pattern that I knew well. They wore the dress that I likewise knew well. Their keeper had a brace of pistols, and carried a thick-knobbed bludgeon under his arm; but he was on terms of good understanding with them, and stood, with them beside him, looking on at the putting-to of horses, rather with an air as if the convicts were an interesting Exhibition not formally open at the moment"¦" 224 Before reaching Australia, convicts spent about eight months on the hulks doing a hard labour for ten hours a day. It was very difficult to survive the horrors of the hulks because not only they were overcrowded, but also there were contagious diseases and malnutrition. As 'Convicts to Australia' reports, "Convicts were housed below decks on the prison deck and often further confined behind bars. In many cases they were restrained in chains and were only allowed on deck for fresh air and exercise. Conditions were cramped and they slept on hammocks". Also the treatment of convicts on trips was inhuman: "Cruel masters, harsh discipline and scurvy, dysentery and typhoid resulted in a huge loss of life". Governed by rules based on survival instead of mutual aid among convicts, the life on the hulks was quite difficult. The cause was that the legal system mixed thieves with criminals. That is, people who committed little thefts because of their poor condition and people with mental diseases capable of committing crimes. For all these reasons, many convicts attempted to escape from the hulks, which makes an appearance in the opening chapters of Great Expectations as the Hulks are part of Pip's habitat. Pip and his family were eating when the guns were fired, which warned people about convicts' escape from the hulks. Once the convicts entered Australia, they were assigned their labours: to work for the government or to work for a landowner. The common view of Victorian society was that convicts were brutal and senseless criminals as, at the beginning of the novel, Mrs. Joe Gargery explains Pip "People are put in the Hulks because they murder, and because they rob, and forge, and do all sorts of bad" 14. Common people showed their solidarity with the forces of law when helping the soldiers to find the escaped convicts as happens in the first chapters. As showed in the last part of the novel, people liked witnessing trials and executions and enjoyed themselves seeing the condemned suffering. This was like a show, which reminds us of the Roman spectacle in the theatre with gladiators and Christians and lions. Charles Dickens not only analyses the criminal psychology, but also that of the little pieces that compound both legal and penal system. In the novel, Mr. Jaggers is the representative figure of the lawyer of the time. His office is located in Little Britain, the street where lawyers had their offices, near the Old Bailey criminal courts and Newgate prison. That is, the Old Town of London: the world of criminality. Dickens describes the interior of the lawyers' offices through Pip the first moment he enters Mr. Jaggers' office: "To Pip's eyes the rooms seem filled with shabby people "¦.These are sinister misfits whose appearances suggest death and degradation and dirt rather than the predictability and neatness we associate with lawyers today. There is an atmosphere of corruption or at least the possibility of it" Barnes. This sinister office also contains in its walls the busts of two clients who died in gallows. This description has contact with reality, as there was a room in Newgate prison where there were many busts of executed prisoners, in which stuck out the mark that the rope had made in their necks. "There were not so many papers about, as I should have expected to see; and there were some odd objects about, that I should not have expected to see-such as an old rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard, several strange-looking boxes and packages, and two dreadful casts on a shelf, of faces peculiarly swollen, and twitchy about the nose" 162. The lawyer's office is also near Smithfield market, a cattle market where animals were slaughtered publicly. The comparison between Smithfield and Newgate is established when Pip is conducted inside the prison and imagines that convicts are going to be executed in the same way as animals are in Smithfield. Mr. Jaggers, the sinister lawyer, has a strong character in the exercise of power. He provokes horror on Pip as Pip notices his unpleasant tone when arguing with his clerk, Mr. Wemmick, and the way he threats his clients. "The description of his office suggests that a large part of his work as a solicitor consists of manipulating evidence and he is always seen followed by a troop of supplicants whom he brushes off disdainfully, much as someone might try to get rid of a tiresome puppy "¦. He bullies them and gleefully profits from their problems" Barnes. The treatment of his housekeeper, Molly, is also another example of his character. Molly was time ago one of his clients, accused of murder. After having defended her and won the trial, she became his submissive housekeeper. Being exhibited as an animal, she was forced to show her disfigured and scarred wrists to the guests Pip, Dummle and Startop in a meal 212. Another example of Mr. Jaggers' power is the fact that his clients have never dared steal in his house despite never locking the door and having objects of great value because they fear him. Furthermore, there is also another passage in which Pip accompanies Mr. Jaggers to the Police Court to examine a client. Here readers can see the fear the clients have of Mr. Jaggers when saying something that he didn't approve 200. Regarding Mr. Jaggers' private life, the world of law is his only life because he has not disconnected the private life from the work. Thus his life is only focused on the office, which is contrasted with his clerk's life. Mr. Wemmick separates radically his personal life in the castle and his office life. The separation of the two lives almost makes him like two people who behave differently in the two spaces. As Anne Barnes observes, "Wemmick and other office clerks were more likely to move just south of the river to places like Walworth, from where it was easy to commute daily into the City". "Wemmick himself, who in Walworth seems a model of upright living, sees nothing sinister about wearing pieces of jewellery which have been given to him as bribes by people who have now been executed for their crimes. The acquiring of portable property by dubious means is regarded as a normal part of legal life" Barnes. Contrary to him, Mr. Jaggers lived in a gloomy apartment, near to Little Britain, filled with books related to his profession. The Lord Chief of Justice the judge and the prison authorities are also treated in the novel. Not only are they presented as people who made business by charging the entry for the judicial spectacle, but also stealing clothes after executing prisoners: ""¦ the more so as the Lord Chief Justice's proprietor wore from his hat down to his boots and up again to his pocket-handkerchief inclusive mildewed clothes, which had evidently not belonged to him originally, and which, I took it into my head, he had bought cheap of the executioner" 164. Moreover, there was a law whereby the money of an emancipated convict who dared to return Great Britain was confiscated by the government. Dickens exemplifies this in the novel when Magwitch is caught in the river and all the money given to Pip is seized by the government. Apart from this, prison authorities made business just inviting people to enter there by some money, which is shown through Pip's eyes: "While I looked about me here, an exceedingly dirty and partially drunk minister of justice asked me if I would like to step in and hear the trial or so: informing me that he could give me a front place for half-a-crown, whence I should command a full view of the Lord Chief Justice in his wig and robes-mentioning that awful personage like waxwork, and presently offering him at the reduced price of eighteenpence" 164. Through the novel, Dickens tries to demonstrate that convicts were victims of the cruel laws that sentenced people to death or transportation, just only for being poor. By doing this, he explores the criminal psychology to difference the good-hearted criminal punished for his/her social status and that greedy criminal who uses people to get profit. As Leavis and Lewis point out, "Dickens is always asking questions such as 'Why do people in similar circumstances and under the same pressure behave differently?' ". Abel Magwitch is one of the two criminals portrayed in the novel who represents the honest man punished for his social status. He was a vagrant who survived due to little theft. He spent all his youth "in jail and out of jail" 342 and all his adulthood in Australia. He was imprisoned for putting forged banknotes into circulation, a common activity that increased during the first half of the 19th C. He received a harder sentence because of his harsh manners when defending himself and his wretch appearance, but mostly for his antecedents 346. Then, he was punished with transportation and was sent to New South Wales, Australia. There, he was assigned to a private landowner and worked as a shepherd until his master's death also an emancipated convict, when he was left all his money and emancipated himself. As an honest man he earned the money by working several years instead of stealing it. Australia meant a new life for the convicted poor because it was rich in primary resources and there were lots of opportunities to get rich. Magwitch understands that despite being wealthy, he will never ascend the social ladder in a heartless society that rejects convicted and ex-convicted people. Magwitch once heard a colonist saying: "He was a convict, a few year ago, and is an ignorant common fellow now, for he's lucky" 317. So He became a benefactor of the little child who helped him on the marshes of Kent and decided to make him a gentleman as a symbol of gratitude towards Pip. When he returned England to see the boy he helped, he was sentenced to death, without pardon. As Leavis and Lewis claim, "Charles Dickens was very sensitive to the physical and psychological effects that punishment had on the individuals" . The psychological effect that transportation left in Magwitch is the fact that he sleeps with a pistol on the pillow 320. Another theme in this novel regarding Magwitch is the idea of fatherhood. He was not allowed to take care of his daughter, Estella, and he was said that she was dead. So the protection for his daughter and his feelings of parenthood are shown in his relationship towards Pip considering himself as Pip's second father. However, Pip, being a respectable gentleman, feels repugnance towards the convict. His snobbish attitude cannot support the idea of being a gentleman because of the gratitude of a convict. Compeyson is the other criminal portrayed by Dickens who represents meanness, greed and disloyalty. He was a gentleman as he was educated in a boarding school. He forged the banknotes so that his associate Magwitch could put them into circulation. He used Magwitch, like he used Miss. Havisham to get her money, to get profit of him in case they were caught. In the trial he got a lesser sentence due to his education and rich appearance, which Magwitch had not. Here Dickens demonstrates that laws were unfair for those on the bottom of the ladder, but not for the gentlemen. The theme of prisons as punishment is also treated in the novel. As I mentioned before, the first time Pip meets Newgate prison, he goes out of the tour round the prison with horror. This feeling is widened when Magwitch is sentenced to death and sent to this prison. Despite being ill, he is jailed in the common prison with sane and insane prisoners. There, some sick prisoners acted as nurses for the prisoners who were worse 453. It is said that Dickens Newgate prison not only is part of the history of England, but also a part of Dickens life. The experience Dickens obtained in his childhood and the visits he made to Newgate may have given him such information to write the novel with a realist tone. By means of the narration of Pip taking care of Magwitch in Newgate, Dickens express his attitude towards the conditions of the British prisons and his totally rejection of capital punishment when the condemned are waiting for the sentence of execution: "Penned in the dock "¦ were the two-and-thirty men and women; some defiant some stricken with terror, some sobbing and weeping, some covering their faces, some staring gloomily about "¦. They were all formally doomed, and some of them were supported out, and some of them sauntered out with a haggard look of bravery, and a few nodded to the gallery and others went out chewing the fragments of herb they had taken from the sweet herbs lying about" 451-452. It is when Pip learns to feel beyond the mask of respectability that he sees the unfair justice that condemns people with good-hearts: "For now, my repugnance to him had all melted away, and in the hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I only saw a man who meant to be my benefactor, and who had left affectionately, gratefully, and generously, towards me with great constancy through a series of years" 441. As a conclusion, Charles Dickens criticises both sorts of punishment, the prison system and transportation as well as the unfairness carried for the judicial systems when creating laws little favourable for the poor. At the same time, he points out the Victorian hypocrisy of the rich and the lack of culture of the poor regarding the world of criminality.
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The World of Laws, Crime and Punishment in Great Expectations Great Expectations criticises the Victorian judicial and penal system. Through the novel, Charles Dickens displays his point of view of criminality and punishment. This is shown in his portraits of all pieces of such system: the lawyer, the clerk, the judge, the prison authorities and the convicts. In treating the theme of the Victorian system of punishment, Dickens shows his position against prisons, transportation and death penalty. The main character, a little child who has expectations of becoming a gentleman to be of the same social position of the...
hunted wounded shackled creature who held my hand in his, I only saw a man who meant to be my benefactor, and who had left affectionately, gratefully, and generously, towards me with great constancy through a series of years" 441.

As a conclusion, Charles Dickens criticises both sorts of punishment, the prison system and transportation as well as the unfairness carried for the judicial systems when creating laws little favourable for the poor. At the same time, he points out the Victorian hypocrisy of the rich and the lack of culture of the poor regarding the world of criminality.

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In the Iliad, Homer's heroes exhibit...In the Iliad, Homer's heroes exhibit many symbolic attributes of heroism, maliciousness, and acquisition to the gods. To be a hero one has to be, quick in battle and always show courage. To honor the men who came before them and to keep his sons from being shamed by their father's memory is to show true heroism. " 'What disgrace! Look at you, carrying on in the armies' muster just like boys"”fools!' "2.400-401 In their heroism they show how they are vengeful against any and all enemies who oppose their family or their lives. These heroes are very malicious in nature on the battlefield. They lack pity or mercy, and have a very vicious ill will for the man who begs for his life, leaving the victim helpless. When his aggressor does not grant him this request, the aggressor shows how he is savage and inhumane by today's standards. By these means they are lacking in the restraints normal to civilized people. " 'So now let no man hurry to sail for home, not yet"¦payment in full for the groans and shocks of war we have all borne for Helen' "2.420-423. Acquisition to the gods is one obligation, which should have been easy to fulfill in Greek times. The hero has to be submissive to the demands of the gods, to do all that they demand of him and to fulfill his destiny according to their will. A Greek hero is one who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and is favored by the gods. He is noted for his feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially if he has risked or sacrificed his life in battle. "The secret hero. Undeniable. Unbreakable. Beyond pain and suffering. Divine"Rollins, 82. Heroes might actually be great men, although Homer treats his heroes as nobles and fighting men. Thus the noble characteristics of the hero are projected through his animal counterpart, as a man becomes as strong as a lion or as swift as a deer. To see error in their actions is to be a true hero. Diomedes, also referred to as Tydides, is not considered a first class hero in the Iliad, but is a hero none the less. "So the great fighter would shine forth and tower over the Argives and win himself great glory"5.2-3. He is gallant and loyal to the cause of the Greek camp. He struggles to some degree until aided by Athena. The fire blazing from his helmet indicates his unbelievable strength, "his shield and helmet flaming with tireless fire like the star that flames at harvest, bathed in the Ocean, rising up to outshine all other stars"5.4-6. He is obedient to the advisors to the Greeks and to the will of the goddess Athena. His rational and controlled nature is clearly established early in the fighting when he remains silent under some rather unfair criticism from Agamemnon, " 'What's this? "“ you, the son of Tydeus, that skilled breaker of horses? Why cringing here? Gazing out on the passageways of battle! That was never Tydeus' way, shy behind the lines"”he'd grapple enemies, bolting ahead of comrades' "4.430-34. "Taunting so, and steadfast Diomedes offered no reply"¦ overawed by the king's majestic scorn"4.466-68. On the battlefield Diomedes performs nobly and views the battle at hand almost in a spirit of play. He also repeatedly shows his bravery and brilliance in the art and skill of war. "Long ablaze as he was to fight the Trojans, triple the fury seized him"”claw-mad as a lion some shepherd tending woolly flocks in the field has just grazed, a lion leaping into the fold,"5.150-53. Diomedes main purpose in the story is to fill the limelight while Achilles is gone from the fighting. Then by these constituents one could say that Hector is a hero as well, however by different means. He is the leader and greatest hero on the Trojan side. He is generally portrayed as the courageous mainstay of Trojan resistance. Hector however does not display any true heroism, by definition, because Achilles easily overcame him on the battlefield. Hector feels he is bound by the duty he owes his city, " 'All this weighs on my mind too, dear woman. But I would die of shame to face the men of Troy and the Trojan women trailing their long robes if I would shrink from battle now, a coward.' "6.522-25, and his devoted wife and child. " 'My heart races to help our Trojans"”they long for me, sorely, whenever I am gone."¦ For I must go home to see my people first, to visit my own dear wife and my baby son. Who knows if I will ever come back to them again? "”or the deathless gods will strike me down at last at the hands of Argive fighters' "6.430-31 & 435-39. Usually mild mannered in fashion, except when he scolds his laggard brother, Paris: " 'Ah Hector, you criticize me fairly, yes, nothing unfair, beyond what I deserve. The heart inside you is always tempered hard, like an ax that goes through wood when a shipwright cuts out ship timbers with every ounce of skill and the blade's weight drives the man's stroke. So the heart inside your chest is never daunted' "3.69-76. Then again he is kind hearted by nature, with his extreme sensitivity to the women who surround him. His emotions usually getting in the way of his focus on battles. Then there is always his ever so present acquisition to the gods he wishes to favor him and his role in the war. He prays and sacrifices to the gods to sway them to the Trojan faction. Hector's main purpose in the poem seems to be as the object of Achilles' wrath. To be heroic is said to be acting for the good of someone or something else without consequence or reward for oneself. To give of oneself for the good of his children, and their future, without reward or concern for consequence to his immediate self. Although the truly heroic people are the ones who give themselves to better the world for any and all others who come after them. "Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timbers bursts with the new buds and spring comes around again"¦ as one generation comes to life, another dies away"6.171-75. They teach their children who they want to be like, how to read and write, and what is right and wrong in their society. They shape the childrens' eyes of the world and they reap no rewards for all their work and dedication.   

In the Iliad, Homer's heroes exhibit many symbolic attributes of heroism, maliciousness, and acquisition to the gods. To be a hero one has to be, quick in battle and always show courage. To honor the men who came before them and to keep his sons from being shamed by their...

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In Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Samuel Keimer...In Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Samuel Keimer is a character who represents the antithesis of Franklin. The development of Keimer not only improves the reader's understanding of the minor character, but also of Franklin, the major character. Franklin makes a point of showing the reader each of Keimer's faults and contrasting them with his own merits. When Keimer is first introduced to the reader, he is in very much the same circumstances as Franklin; they are two young men trying to make a fresh start in a new town, the only difference being Keimer's economic, and thereby social, advantage. In comparison to Franklin, however, Keimer is a flawed and immoral man; this difference is what makes him the ideal model for Franklin to scrutinize. As Benjamin Franklin consistently moves up the social and economic ladders, more than surpassing Keimer's achievements, Keimer quickly falls into poverty and loses everything. "With the rest I Benjamin Franklin began to live very agreeably; for they all respected me, the more as they found Keimer incapable of instructing them, and that from me they learned something daily."1 Franklin goes into great detail to teach the reader how one should live one's life in order to avoid the same fate as Keimer. In Franklin's opinion, many factors attribute to his rise to glory and Keimer's fall to disgrace; these elements help to provide the foundation for some of Benjamin Franklin's thirteen virtues. The virtues are designed to show how a person can lead a morally flawless life, which is why the morally corrupt Keimer is the perfect counter-example for Franklin. The first of these virtues is Temperance. The amount of Keimer's temperance can be summed up in the following quote: "He was usually a great Glutton" BFA 29; he is unable to last through the ordeal of abstaining from meat and eventually orders and eats an entire roast pig before his guests can arrive. This scenario also shows an example of Keimer's lacking of the fourth virtue, Resolution, and of the ninth virtue, Moderation. The lack of Resolution can be named as one of the main causes of Keimer's downfall in society; Franklin points out that it is virtually impossible to attain economic success without drive and perseverance. Franklin, however, eats and drinks little and often goes on vegetarian diets; he has been quoted as saying, "Eat to live, and not live to eat."2 Also, when Franklin resolves to do something, he always follows up and does it, including his resolutions to start his own printing house, to become a morally perfect person, and to correct his errata. The second virtue is Silence; Franklin has many opportunities to speak libelously against others, especially against Keimer, but often chooses not to, except against certain political issues published anonymously. Keimer chooses to use the scene outside of the courthouse as a medium to emphasize his superior position in their relationship; it is Keimer's complete disregard for this value that leads to Franklin's resignation. Keimer also has trouble with the third of Franklin's virtues, Order, as Hugh Meredith reminds Franklin "that Keimer was in debt for all he possess'd, that his Creditors began to be uneasy, that he kept his Shop miserably, sold often without Profit for ready Money, and often trusted without keeping Account. That he must therefore fail" BFA 44. The sixth virtue, Industry, is of tremendous importance to Franklin's success; he states repeatedly that time should never be wasted: "I never went out a-fishing or shooting" BFA 54. Franklin is credited with many quotes concerning lost time including "Lost time is never found again" BFQ 310 and "Time is money" BFQ 310. Keimer, even though he is in tremendous debt at one point, takes both Saturday and Sunday off from work at a time when the six-day workweek is standard practice. Also, as he is disconnected from the inner-workings of the printing house, Keimer is unable to keep his underpaid, unmotivated staff working diligently. Franklin remarks that part of his job is to "put his Printing-House in Order, which had been in great Confusion, and brought his Hands by degrees to mind their Business and to do it better" BFA 42. An example of Franklin's opinion of one of Keimer's workers is that he is "idle, thoughtless and imprudent to the last Degree" BFA 43. Only the short time that Ben Franklin works for Keimer is the printing house well run. Finally, Keimer has a problem with the tenth virtue, Cleanliness, as he is described by Franklin as "slovenly to extreme dirtiness" BFA 45. Franklin, however, takes pride in his appearance as shown by his embarrassment of his "awkward ridiculous Appearance" BFA 20 on his original arrival in Philadelphia. Ben also takes the time to remark on his dress when returning to Boston: "I was better dress'd than ever while in [Keimer's] Service, having a genteel new Suit from Head to foot" BFA 24. The lack of these seven virtues "“ Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Industry, Moderation, and Cleanliness "“ helps to bring about Keimer's failure and forces him to sell the printing-house and move away. Franklin uses the example of Keimer to provide evidence for some of his other theories as well. Soon after Keimer employs Franklin, Ben makes a step towards proving that knowledge is power when the Governor of the Province, impressed with Franklin's letter to Ben's brother-in-law, becomes an acquaintance of his. Though at the time Keimer is the master, Franklin's intellect and education help him to attain a social step up on Keimer. At one point in his autobiography, Franklin gives the reader a lesson on the value of rhetoric and the use of the Socratic Method. Franklin then uses the example of Keimer and their frequent debates to show how, by using the Socratic Method, he is able to completely confound Keimer to the point that Keimer becomes "ridiculously cautious, and would hardly answer me the most common Question, without asking first, What do you intend to infer from that?" BFA 28. Franklin attributes Keimer's failure to all of these characteristics, and attributes his own successes to the opposite traits. Keimer is a role model for Franklin, and for the reader, of what not to become. As Franklin is reminded, "Keimer was in debt for all he possess'd, that his Creditors began to be uneasy, that he kept his Shop miserably, sold often without Profit for ready Money, and often trusted without keeping Account. That he must therefore fail; which would make a Vacancy I might profit of" BFA 44. Thus Keimer, though a minor character, is of great importance to the reader, for without him, Franklin would not get his points of morality across as clearly or as precisely.   

In Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Samuel Keimer is a character who represents the antithesis of Franklin. The development of Keimer not only improves the reader's understanding of the minor character, but also of Franklin, the major character. Franklin makes a point of showing the reader each of Keimer's faults and contrasting...

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