look, he even gets, like, cherubs

We’ve been reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin for my Survey of English Literature class. He isn’t the character I imagined him to be—which isn’t surprising because the founding fathers tend to be glossed and idealized into kinds beautiful heroes who are something more than human. Franklin is refreshingly facetious, sarcastic, and real underneath the surface. In this painting (I could not find the artist or date online) Franklin comes across as the paragon of beautiful American patriotism…his serious, noble and enlightened face looks just meant to be stamped on small change for generations to come. Rather than Madonna descending with her son and salvation on the clouds…Franklin looks up into the sky…self helped through his own ingenuity and invention. He is the hero of the American “religion” attended even by little cherub creatures! Not that the founding fathers weren't great.  I think it is good to realize though that though they were talented they were still just people (in the right place at the right time) who sometimes got wasted, used ivory dentures and uh had affairs with their slaves, among other things.