The use of metaphor in Samuel Johnson's Rambler (1750-52)

Mills, Sharon Elizabeth (1987) The use of metaphor in Samuel Johnson's Rambler (1750-52). Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Samuel Johnson's Rambler (1750-52) has often been regarded as abstract preaching on moral issues, but of late scholars have begun to realize that these essays possess a concrete, richly allusive style. This thesis focuses on one particular aspect of the Rambler's style, i.e., its metaphorical dimension, a topic which has received only limited attention from scholars. This study endeavours to provide a more comprehensive and analytical treatment of Rambler metaphor than has yet been attempted by scholars. -- Chapter 1 familiarizes the reader with the scholarly work already done on Rambler metaphor. It outlines the ensuing chapters, and provides a working definition of metaphor as the term is used in this study. -- Chapter 2 identifies six categories of metaphor that recur regularly in the essays. Investigation of their use leads to an interpretation of these individual categories as part of an interrelated system of metaphor derived from Johnson's view of life as a struggle. An attempt is also made to establish connections between these iterative metaphors and Johnson's life, interests, and personality. -- Johnson's use of metaphor extends far beyond these iterative categories; hence Chapter 3 offers a general survey of the extensive variety of metaphor found in the Rambler. The main intent here is to reveal the wide variety of sources from which the metaphors are drawn. Some attention is also given to traditional sources of metaphor which are little used by Johnson. -- Chapter 4 examines the way metaphor functions within the structure of individual essays. In the Rambler Johnson appears to use metaphors most frequently in six ways: as allegory, decoration, stock analogy, concluding device, recurring "undersong," and multiple expanders of theme. Examination of each of these functions leads finally to a consideration of the thought process behind these particular uses of metaphor.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 5470
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [132]-136.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. Rambler; Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784--Style; Metaphor

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