I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud, And Auguries Of Innocence Essay

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud, And Auguries Of Innocence Essay

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Since the dawn of human intellectual capacity humanity has been given a choice: embrace the natural ignorance of common life or innovate in hopes of advancement. This question has been asked of all of us and has been answered in various ways throughout the generations. During the 18th century, the age of Enlightenment answered this question through the application of the scientific method. The advancement of science and reason quickly became the center of daily life, eclipsing humanities view on the natural world in the process through the industrial revolution. This rapid advancement resulted in a cultural shock to a few important thinkers of the 19th century, including William Blake and William Wordsworth. In the poems that they composed, including: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “Auguries of Innocence” the poets were able to capture the essence of the Romanticism; whose cultural values promoted and celebrated nature, emphasizing emotion and individualism (Wordsworth 1807 and Blake 1803). The Romanticism was symbolic of man’s natural resistance to the cultural shock experienced by the Enlightenment and the glorification of the past and nature itself as demonstrated in poetry by William Wordsworth and William Blake.
While nature was a prevailing theme of the Romantic period but it wasn’t the only major topic of conversation among the thinkers. During the Romanticism heavy focus was also placed on the innocence of children, individualism, feeling / emotion, imagination and nostalgia for the past. The elevated manner in which children were perceived can be seen throughout the poetic works of Wordsworth particularly in his poem Ode (1815): “The Youth … still is Nature 's priest” and also in his poem Michael (1800): “This son … ...


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...iety had been tipped when the cultural shock of Enlightenment presented its radical ideas of reason and faith in science. It caused an influx in mechanization separating humanity from nature. The romantic thinkers believed that the general society lost their way and they attempted to restore the balance through their poetry, artwork and writings. Painters such as Caspar David Friedrich who painted Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) asked humanity to slow down and spend time with not only themselves (emphasizing the individual), but also with nature. All this the Romantic thinkers believed was vital for the individual to keep their sanity and escape the horrors of city life during the industrial revolution. They intended to tip the scale yet again in an effort to restore balance to society, by the glorification of the past and nature through their poetry and artwork.

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