Presentation Title

The Importance of Human Sociability: Applying Samuel Johnson's "Rasselas" to the problems of modern day human interaction

Presenter Information

Michael Riddle

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

19-3-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

19-3-2016 3:45 PM

Abstract

Sociability is key to the advancement of knowledge. Throughout Samuel Johnson's 'Rasselas' Johnson depicts various means of lifestyles that the characters explore in order to find true happiness. One of the key aspects of this novel is the attention on sociability and how human interaction is key to obtaining logic. The paper that I will be utilizing for the presentation is an analysis of an excerpt from chapter XLIV. This excerpt focuses on an astronomer in isolation who suffers from illusions. It examines how all people, when in isolation and lacking human contact, all suffer from some type of illusion. The idea is presented that illusions prevent knowledge and are a direct result of the lack of human interaction. I will apply the analysis of the astronomer and other interactions Johnson depicts with the illusions suffered by modern day social media. I argue that the negative aspects of social media can be directly linked to Johnson's ideas in 'Rasselas.' The lack of actual human interaction in modern day sociability prevents actual progress mentally and socially, and illusions are formed through false depictions of one's self put on display though social media.

Department

English and Modern Languages

Faculty Advisor

Mervyn Nicholson

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Mar 19th, 3:30 PM Mar 19th, 3:45 PM

The Importance of Human Sociability: Applying Samuel Johnson's "Rasselas" to the problems of modern day human interaction

IB 1010

Sociability is key to the advancement of knowledge. Throughout Samuel Johnson's 'Rasselas' Johnson depicts various means of lifestyles that the characters explore in order to find true happiness. One of the key aspects of this novel is the attention on sociability and how human interaction is key to obtaining logic. The paper that I will be utilizing for the presentation is an analysis of an excerpt from chapter XLIV. This excerpt focuses on an astronomer in isolation who suffers from illusions. It examines how all people, when in isolation and lacking human contact, all suffer from some type of illusion. The idea is presented that illusions prevent knowledge and are a direct result of the lack of human interaction. I will apply the analysis of the astronomer and other interactions Johnson depicts with the illusions suffered by modern day social media. I argue that the negative aspects of social media can be directly linked to Johnson's ideas in 'Rasselas.' The lack of actual human interaction in modern day sociability prevents actual progress mentally and socially, and illusions are formed through false depictions of one's self put on display though social media.