The Creation of Character

Jane Steen

in Samuel Johnson

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654345
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745003 | DOI:
The Creation of Character

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This chapter examines the creation of character in Johnson's prose. In works such as the Life of Savage, Johnson describes the experience, and the responses to experience, which enable or prevent the development of character. In other works, such as certain Rambler essays, he so writes as to require character-creating responses from the reader. Johnson's understanding of the altercations of experience as offering a testing-ground for human development is in keeping with the biblical and later Christian tradition. It also indicates a more positive understanding of habit than is often associated with Johnson's work, and shows that literary devices may be of moral import.

Keywords: Samuel Johnson; life of savage; biography; prose style; habits; religion; character; experience; behaviour; Rambler

Chapter.  5161 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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