What Would I do in My Autobiography That is Different From What Darwin Did?

Charles Darwin(1809-1882), was a very famous naturalist, geologist, and biologist; who is best known for his development of the science of evolution. Later in Darwin’s life he even wrote an autobiography, which I have been reading for the past week. But by reading and studying Darwin’s autobiography I have been able to build upon my knowledge of autobiographies and how I should attempt writing one. So what would I do in my autobiography that is different from what Darwin did?

Right from the beginning of reading Darwin’s autobiography I have noticed some issues with it. The major issue is the fact that the autobiography itself lacks a lot of detail. For example it lacks detail on his personal life, his family, his beliefs, and just in general just lacks a lot of important details. He does include a few details on his personal life but his autobiography mainly consists of his work life.  So the autobiography is pretty vague in general. So the first thing I would do differently is include some personal life details. Darwin’s autobiography is pretty bare when it comes to personal life details, maybe this was because his personal life was boring. But I would include more personal life details, not just my career life details because personal life details are a part of your life and if you want a complete and detailed autobiography it is important to include some of those details.

The second thing I would do differently than Darwin is including details on my family. Darwin includes barely anything on his family. The only thing he mentions about his family is that he has sisters and his mother passed away when he was young. Other than that the autobiography is purely on his work life. His work was his life, but an autobiography is about “you,” which includes your life outside of your career. Maybe he didn’t include those life details because people were only interested in his work, but he had already written many things on his work.

The third thing I would do differently is including my personal beliefs in my autobiography. Darwin did not say anything about his personal beliefs in his autobiography; which if he had would have made his autobiography much more interesting. Hence why I will include my personal beliefs and how they develop over the course of my life.

The fourth and final thing I would do differently is to not write my autobiography in the career orientated perspective. Darwin’s autobiography was written in the perspective of science, which left the book itself with a lot of missing details on his personal life, etc. An autobiography is technically supposed to be about your life, your personal life story, and not just about your career or work. 

Reading autobiographies is the best way to figure out how you would approach or attempt writing an autobiography. By reading quite a few autobiographies I have been able to figure out what to do and what not to do when I will write my future autobiography. Darwin’s autobiography has been a pretty good example of how I would not write an autobiography myself, and what to avoid when writing one(which I listed above). Hence these are the things I would do differently with my autobiography.


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