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The technique of narrating in Samuel Johnson's "Life of Savage" and James Boswell's "Life of Johnson" - Essay Example

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The technique of narrating in Samuel Johnson's "Life of Savage" and James Boswell's "Life of Johnson"

What is common to Johnson's Life of Savage and Boswell's Life of Johnson is the strong autobiographical component. During one of their meetings, Johnson told Boswell that nobody could write the life of a man, without having lived with him. True to his words, Boswell wrote a biography on Johnson called "Life of Johnson" after having spent many years with him. In the book, we find that in more than one way, there are incidents that point to Boswell. "Life of Johnson" in some respects is a reflection of Boswell's autobiography. The reference to Johnson as a great barrister, "The world became a great court in which Johnson, its supreme barrister, scores fantastic victories - the dream of the unsuccessful lawyer Boswell"1 relates to Boswell's inner feelings Boswell had wanted to be a barrister but never got to be one. Boswell used Johnson to identify himself. Johnson lied imprisoned, wrote a critic signifying Boswell's manipulation of the character Johnson to project his inner self.
On the contrary, Johnson's "Life of Richard Savage" characterizes the violent, dark life that he led. Analogical to RL Stevenson's "Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Holmes tells us how Johnson's romantic account of Savage's early life, reflected his strong desire to experience such love and comfort that was not to be. Johnson tries to identify himself with the protagonist. ...Show more


The technique employed in Samuel Johnson's "Life of Richard Savage"and James Boswell's "Life of Johmson"is the strong autobiographical element. A detailed analysis of these books reflect the writers personal thoughts. It is indicative of their life and also how they wanted themselves to be in life…
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