Addison And Steele Essay, Research Paper
The Tatler and the Spectator
During the early part of the 1700’s Joseph Addison, the Tatler and Sir Richard Steele, the Spectator, came together to write “The Tatler and the Spectator”. Through their hardships of life they came about understanding what others were feeling and the actions that they took. They documented five hundred and fifty-five essays that were depicted from the world around them. They used the feeling of love to show about human nature and what it did to achieve its goals. Through stories, such as “Jilts and their Victims”, “Country Festival”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Knowledge and Time”, and “Reasons” Addison and Steele show what they know about life and the power they had publishing it.
The two men met at a young age at the Charter House School in England where from their they became the best of friends. Through their hardships they ended up going separate ways. Addison went into politics where he became a popular figure in society.(World Book Addison) Steele went to the military where he later got knighted. In 1710 they were united when Steele asked Addison to join him in writing in the “Spectator”.(World Book Steele) Addison gladly excepted and the two men would go out and view the world around them. The two men would write about any occasion, but whenever they wrote they were really in depth of their feelings and thoughts. Their was one topic in particular that fashioned their writings and that was the topic of love. Love was portrayed as being good and bad throughout the writings.
Love was used repetitively due to it is a constant in every bodies life and they could easily relate to the characters. Allowing others to relate to their writings helped make them popular. Addison and Steele gave love a good and bad side to show the readers that love is not cracked up to what it really can be. It was good in the way that it showed people having a good time together and enjoying the presence of another. It also demonstrated those relationships that everyone dreads getting into. Love is bad in a way that in a way that it could be used as a possession, or a gold-digger. Steele himself was a god-digger and in his two marriages he had never dealt with the true meaning of love. (World Book Steele) Some the essays may actually been about the feelings that Steele was dealing with in his own life.
In the story of “Jilts and their Victims”, it talks of a particular species of man that would prey on the richer women of society. They would call them jilts so that people would be aware of what they were about. These men would move in on women who were on the downfall and they would bring them up. In this particular story there is a woman who had just lost her husband due to a work accident. There was a festival going on in the town a couple of weeks later and her friends insisted that she goes and has a good because she needs it. She goes and meets some new people that she took interest in. One man stood out among the crowd in that he was a very good sweet talker. She had fallen for his trap, and so they talked the night away. They started seeing each other daily and became very close. She said that she loved him and would do anything for him and that is when he started taking advantage of her. He started off slow but then nailed her for everything she had. She became so depressed that she killed herself in the end. Her mind kept thinking before she died and it confused her beyond belief. She had two thoughts of why this happened, one was that of she believed her late husband had done this to her for her seeing another man. The other was that she believed she was used but before she figured it out she was dead. This goes to that love is not a force to be reckoning with.(Addison and Steele)
In the story “Country Festival” love is portrayed as a possession. People all go to this town festival to show off what they have. They dress in their best clothing and wear their best jewelry. Men were being loud so that they could be noticed by all. As for the women they are told to just stay and keep to themselves. As the party goes on the women are used to show others in the community to show how much their husbands get off of them. Men in these times would just use their women for their own pleasure and would not think of the real feelings of love. Not only are the men cheating the women out of true love, but they are also cheating themselves.(Addison and Steele)
The story of “Knowledge and Time” it shows how the hardships of life can really bring a person down. In this story a man becomes unemployed and things just start going down hill from their. He loses everything just to stay alive. Just when he thought death was the only way out along comes a woman who takes interest in this man. She allows him to come back to her house and cleans him up. She then helps him get hired at the local bakery. The two just seemed to have a special connection that could not be broken. As time goes on they live so happily together until one day she falls ill and dies. Then he remembered how things went wrong and he had learned from his mistakes by not drinking and lounging around. This was a happy story yet a sad story. The story showed true love and yet it was a tragedy in the way that he had lost what gave him rebirth.(Addison and Steele)
In this fourth story “Reason” it shows what it takes to survive in the cruel world around us. It starts off with a young boy losing both of his parents at a young age and from their the hardships of life control him. He has to move to a foster home and becomes the bad kid on the block because he did not fit in with the rest of the kids. He gets into so much trouble that at the age of fifteen he is out on his own. He begins to steal just to survive, then finds a job to get a little cash. He maintains that job for about two weeks then is booted because he starts living their and stealing from the place. One day he steals a purse from an old lady on the streets and for some reason he feels bad about it. He ends up returning the purse and the lady told him to stay awhile. The old lady starts talking about how her family moved away and she misses having people around. She ask the boy if he would like to stay for a little bit and he accepts the offer. The boy ends up living with her and she loved him as if he were one of her own. From that day on the boys life had a complete turn around and he became one of the finest young men in town. All that this boy needed was to feel loved to make a real man out of him.(Addison and Steele)
In the evaluation of the story “Knowledge and Time” author John Jestead recognizes that concepts of their writings show how people act in painful situations. He goes on saying that;
And so I doubt not but it would be to a walking man,
if it were possible for him to only keep his mind, without
variation, and the successions of others; and we see, that
one who fixes his thoughts very intently on one thing,
so as to take little notice of the succession of thoughts.
That pass in his mind whilst he is taken up with that
earnest contemplation, lets slip out of his account a
good part of duration, and thinks that time is shorter
than it is. (Jestead 124)
In these thoughts it is described not matter what the situation it will get better in the end. It also says that if we worry about things that we can not control we are not getting all we can out of life.
Author George Dowling sees the Addison and Steele combination of stories as a way to live. He describes that through the “Tatler and the Spectator” people can see that others in the world may have the same problems as them so they have something to relate to. Dowling goes on saying;
Through their wisdom and knowledge of the world
we come to understand the concepts that build internally.
Through which we comprehend therefore allowing
us to be free and demonstrate our true characteristics.
Relating to the powers of human nature can make us
feel more intact with our revolving world.(Dowling 76)
These words describe the feelings of people that can relate to the Addison and Steele writings. They also show that life can be published to bring us closer to what and who we are.
Addison, John and Steele, Sir Richard “Spectator Papers”
Dowling, George “Authors of the Past”
New York, Double Day and Incompany 1990
Jestead, John “Relating to Authors”
New Jersey, Castle Books 1988
World Book Encyclopedia “Joseph Addison”
Chicago, Ill World Book Incompany 1999
World Book Encyclopedia “Sir Richard Steele”
Chicago, Ill World Book Incompany 1999