Saturday, December 24, 2011

32. The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
Samuel Johnson
1759

Three posts in two days.  I am on a roll!  Actually, these books have been really short lately but I prefer to attribute my success to my extreme awesomeness. The next book is pretty expensive and unavailable so I am going to read Moby Dick first.  Wish me luck!


This novel was similar in style to Candide but carried a completely different message.  While Voltaire was saying that life sucks because horrifying things will always happen to you, Johnson communicated a more relatable message.  Johnson's message was that even if you live a life of fortune and pleasure, you will still be unhappy because human beings themselves are unhappy.  You don't have to be raped, tortured, or robbed to be miserable; you simply have to exist.  Johnson's story followed a prince and a princess who were tired of living a life of isolation and pleasure and wanted to see the world (something I can really relate to).


Like I said, this book is often compared to Candide and often loses.  Though I think they are both great, Rasselas carried a more unique message.

RATING: ****-



Interesting Facts:


I need some more pronunciation help here.  Raze-ul-lay?


Johnson wrote the book in order to provide for his sick mother.  Awww...


Rasselas, Pennsylvania was named after a guy who was fond of the story.  U S A!


Referenced in Mansfield Park, Jane Eyre, and Little Women.


It was quite a relief to not have to read about another ridiculous love story.

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