Critically analyze Addison's assessment of himself in the essay "The Spectator."

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While Addison claims to be a mere "spectator" detached from the practical happenings of society and thus able to give unbiased advise, this is clearly not true. To be truly detached and unbiased is impossible. Addison did have a specific history and set of experiences, a specific social position and...

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While Addison claims to be a mere "spectator" detached from the practical happenings of society and thus able to give unbiased advise, this is clearly not true. To be truly detached and unbiased is impossible. Addison did have a specific history and set of experiences, a specific social position and set of political interests, and so on.

It is fair to say that Addison may have tried to set this aside, but an author can never truly set aside who they are. Every choice they make is influenced by their position and their experience.

Rather than taking Addison's claim at face value, we should see it as revealing what Addison thought his audience would be drawn to. The eighteenth century was a time when the idea of detached rationalism was highly valued and where perhaps people were less critical of it than they are today.

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