Samuel Johnson Essay - Samuel Johnson World Literature Analysis

Samuel Johnson World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

As James L. Clifford points out, critics who followed Johnson generally were not favorably impressed by his writings. They decided that his work was pompous, didactic, and even bigoted. Critics now consider Johnson a teacher, moralist, and wise man who appeals strongly to readers because of his sincerity, lucidity, and vigor. No one would claim, however, that Johnson is easy reading. His vocabulary is frequently abstract and Latinate. His sentences are often long, sonorous, and muscular. They seem to demand of readers a tolerance for ample and unhurried thought. Yet although Johnson wishes his readers to understand him, he is not condescending. Rather, he tries to raise them to his own level. He provides many examples to make his...

(The entire section is 3703 words.)