Silence Dogood Essay #6

Benjamin Franklin published the sixth part of his “Silence Dogood” essays on June 11th, 1722. This essay specifically “exploits” Franklin’s opinion of his town’s worst “vice”: pride. Ben Franklin states that there is no worst sin or trait that God despises more than mankind’s excessive pride. One line that showcases Franklin’s true disgust in pride is when he explains why pride is such an unattractive trait; “The proud Man aspires after Nothing less than an unlimited Superiority over his Fellow-Creatures.” I completely agree with this statement and why it is such a bad thing in society. If humans live to control each other then all autonomy and individuality would be lost. In the time when Franklin wrote this, innovation was a major theme, as was intellectual thought. For men to live with so much pride that they wanted to be “superior” to each other would have been hazardous to their time’s developments and potential. Franklin also touches on the foolishness of “pride of apparel”, which is similar to modern day superficial-ness. Franklin says there is no pride worse than pride of apparel because it has no substantiality and no purpose. He also says that poor men are more susceptible to this sin of pride because they are constantly trying to emulate their rich peers. Franklin’s essay is headed into all the right directions because of this timeless argument against pride, but falls towards the last paragraph. The importance and weight his argument carries turns into a less important subject when he begins to mock women’s dress. He expressed his contempt with “hoop-petticoats” because the skirts are “monstrous” and “topsy-turvy.” This sounds very silly and completely irrelevant to the above statements. I completely lose my mind with his argument when Franklin turns sexist, as well as borderline misogynistic, with this line: “I would at least desire them to lessen the Circumference of their Hoops, and leave it with them to consider, Whether they, who pay no Rates or Taxes, ought to take up more Room in the King’s High-Way, than the Men, who yearly contribute to the Support of the Government.” This was a poor conclusion to this essay and therefore lessens the professionalism and seriousness of his statement. I was not a fan of this piece towards the end.

One thought on “Silence Dogood Essay #6”

  1. I very much agree with Franklin and believe that pride weakens people even though they believe they are strong. Pride is such an ugly trait that holds people back from being able to learn through mistakes and through other people. Pride is just something that will never go away and therefore Franklin’s argument and points made in this essay will be relevant forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *