An aphorism is a short statement expressing a truth or clever observation. Benjamin Franklin and Robert Fulghum both used aphorisms in things they have written. Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac” uses aphorisms in a more literal way. However, Robert Fulghum uses his aphorisms in a more metaphorical way. Although the two are different, both writers have the same type of ideas on how to morally live your life.
Living a balanced life is an aphorism used by Franklin and Fulghum. Although used in different context and in a slightly different way, they mean the same thing no matter who uses it. In Fulghum’s aphorism he says, “Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and paint and draw and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.” Being simpler in his words yet not in his meaning makes this an interesting aphorism. Also being a little more direct and straight to the point are Franklin’s words, “Eat to live and not live to eat.” In spite of the fact that Franklin’s definition may seem simpler, they are in fact saying the same thing only wording it differently. Both aphorisms mean that one must balance themselves and that you must do everything in moderation and never to excess. Taking a slightly different approach, both men got there message across in an clear and precise manner.
A metaphor can be described as a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity. On the contrary, a literary term is one that can be described as very clear and one that expresses emphasis on a topic. Robert Fulghum being a more metaphorical writer, wrote his aphorisms in such a way that they seemed almost too simple to have a deeper meaning. However, that was quite the opposite. The aphorisms were meant to be that way; they were supposed to have a deeper meaning that wasn’t available to someone looking at the surface writing. While, in great contrast, Benjamin Franklin wrote his aphorisms with such literal depth that it shone right through his work. Every aphorism of his has a meaning inside of a meaning. Neither of these styles were better, nor worse then the other, yet they both were productive ways of using aphorisms.
Using both methods of credible writing, these two terrific men and writers are inspirational and influential in their examples of aphorisms. I personally, prefer Robert Fulghums style of writing to, Benjamin Franklins. I like looking into a statement and pulling it apart to find out what it is truly saying, and Fulghums writing exemplifies that quality in his aphorisms. I respect both styles of aphorism usage, and I think that both, literally and metaphorically, are equally interesting and are helpful incites to our lives. Aphorisms are a much more appealing way to learn about how one views their life and how they view everyone else’s life as well.
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