Northanger Abbey copared to the ideals of Rambler No. 4

             How Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is the epitome of what is wrong with fiction, according to Samuel Johnson’s Rambler No. 4.
             Fiction and its growing popularity during the mid-1700’s was at the root of many problems within the literary community. It was a time of transition, the importance of poetry and prose was shifting towards works of fiction due to growing literacy within the general public. It became such a vital issue that one of the literary world’s finest contributors, Samuel Johnson, expressed his discontent for works of fiction and how it was degrading the quality of literature in Rambler No. 4. Jane Austen was a novelist, who came about during this transitional phase of time and she benefited from the novels newfound success. Even though Austen was a fictional writer she was known to be a fan of Samuel Johnson’s work. How is it that so much of her work suffers from the problems that Johnson had with fiction? The following will analyze the themes of the two works of literature. Also examining Johnson’s opinions from Rambler No. 4 and explore how Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey adheres to Johnson’s beliefs about fiction. How Austen’s work relates to other novels from the same period and how they encounter similar problems. And what Johnson believes the novel should become in order for it to develop into an acceptable form of literature that can educate and inspire society instead of dragging it down.
             The main objective of Rambler No. 4 was to point out the flaws that could be found in works of fiction. Johnson’s opening statement sums up his feelings about fiction. “The works of fiction, with which the present generation seems more particularly delighted, are such as exhibit life in its true state, diversified only by accidents that daily happen in the world, and influenced by passions and qualities which are really to be found in conversing with mankind” (Johnson, Rambler). Johnson points out tha...

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Northanger Abbey copared to the ideals of Rambler No. 4. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:42, March 01, 2017, from