Romantic Writing

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Romantic period is an age when writers focus on the power of human mind and seek for the promotion of individual’s sensibility in understanding the world and even creating its own through imagination. However, Romantic writing is not always aimed at the development of individuals. Actually, literary works in this period have a close relationship with social conditions—seeking to promote the development of society is a crucial purpose in Romantic writing. In the following passage, I would like to discuss two famous Romantic authors, William Blake and Washington Irving, and how their works contribute to the development of society. William Blake is a Romantic poet well-known for the creativity and exuberance in his poetry. Although Blake emphasises on human’s imagination and visions in spiritual world, his poetry also exhibits his reflection upon reality, especially on the social system and people’s living conditions. In his work Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, Blake illustrates two different states of human soul, and he is the “seer of visions and communicator of them to society” (Watson 132)—he establishes the connection between the spiritual world and reality by poetry and stresses on the innocence of society in late 18th-century Britain. Two poems entitled “The Chimney Sweeper” are respectively from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. In these two poems, Blake illustrates the social problem of the abuse of innocence—children are convinced to do their duty, sweeping chimneys, to keep their innocence, and parents force them to do so under the cloak of praising innocence. Children in Songs of Innocence are unaware of the fact that they are exploited and abused and still pursue protection by being obedient and ... ... middle of paper ... ...elopment of their society. Works Cited Anthony, David. “‘Gone Distracted’: ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ Gothic Masculinity, and the Panic of 1819” Early American Literature 40.1 (2005): 111-144 Blake, William. “The Chimney Sweeper.” The Norton Anthology English Literature Eighth Edition Volume 2. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York. 85&90. Print. Irving, Washington. The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print. Hochschild, Jennifer L. Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. Print. Scallet, Lisa. “Teacher’s Guide to The Core Classics Edition of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Tales”. n.p. Core Knowledge Foundation. Web. 12 Dec. 2013 Watson, J. R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period 1789-1830. 2nd ed. London: Longman, 1998. Print.
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