September 15, 2012

Self-made man, slave

Benjamin Franklyn coined the concept of "Self-Made Man", applying it to himself, the poor son of an unknown candle-maker who made his way up in society. The concept was further developed by Frederick Douglass. But in fact it goes back to the Roman concept of novus homo: who achieved a seat in the Senate without familiar precedents, such as Cicero.

A self-made man own his destiny and time and self. He is authentically free. The opposite is being slave. A self-made man struggles to free himself, the slave resigns to his fate.

Opposites tend to look similar...

Bobby Carlyle, Self-Made Man

Michelangelo, Bearded Slave (1525-1530)


Humberto E. said...

It is, however, evident in these two sculptures that the "self-made man" has a hammer and a chisel and the slave doesn't. Education, virtue, determination are the tools that the former use to free himself that the latter lacks of...

Great entry, by the way.

Enrique G de la G said...