The Life and Works of Samuel Johnson

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The Life and Works of Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, a prominent English writer of the early eighteenth

century, brought vivid life to the literary realm of that era. He is

known by many to be a writer of great intellect, thought, and positive

influence in the writings of literary to follow. Johnson has been

hailed as a literary giant in his day, as well as in present times.

Samuel Johnson is a great writer because of the critical approval of

specific elements, namely satire, the moral romance, and the


The first element for which the critics have praised Johnson is his

powerful satire. Johnson's best example of this is displayed in his

work The Vanity of Human Wishes. In this highly regarded poem, Johnson

intertwines moral elegance and majestic verse in this satirical

masterpiece. The Vanity of Human Wishes is hailed as one of Johnson's

greatest literary accomplishments. This wonderful work illustrates,

according to Albert Perry Walker in his book Life of Johnson, "The

futility of man's ambitious struggles for happiness..."1 Samuel

Johnson had a keen sense of his surroundings, as he was a common

figure in English society. Johnson did not, however, begin his life in

a stately position within the class system. He grew up beneath the

weights of poverty as his family struggled to make ends meet.

Determined to get the best education possible, Samuel Johnson worked

hard to earn his acceptance into Oxford where he eventually received

his degree from. A decade or so upon graduating from the university,

Johnson compiled the satirical poem, The Vanity of Human Wishes, which

keenly expounds on his tragic yet comical view on life...

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... of the most widely written

pieces of literature. Samuel Johnson gave the world his gift of the

biography in which people can freely express themselves in a written

work of their life.

The critical approval of his powerful satire, moral romance, and aid

in the development of the modern-day biography make Samuel Johnson a

great writer. Johnson gave the world his gift of literature. Through

his gift, the realm of literature is held in higher regard. To be a

writer is a privilege; to be a writer as gifted as Samuel Johnson is a

vast world of imagination that the finite mind cannot comprehend.

Samuel Johnson truly was a beacon of light for those to follow his

example. Without his remarkable contributions, the greatness of Samuel

Johnson would never be known, and that would be a great deprival on

the part of humanity.