Born into a pious, conservative family with a Methodist minister and the daughter of a clergyman as parents, it is no wonder that Crane would turn away from the religious orthodoxy of his household and the conventional norms of his time (Szumski 13). Understanding his childhood and upbringing is vital to grasp why Crane would create a work of literature so contradictory with others of its time. Crane’s mother was an active participant of the temperance movement and president of two chapters of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (Szumski 13). She also contributed reports on religious events in the community (Szumski 13). Crane’s father held an important position in the Methodist Church; he later lost it as a result of rebelling and denouncing Methodism’s emb...
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...s attempt to justify himself using the so-called “enlightened” individualist principles turns into an instance of narcissistic self-pity (Crane 49). This attempt contrasts with how there is “natural goodness in man,” as Fleming’s ego is inflated (Campbell, American Romanticism).
The onset of the twentieth century was without a doubt a period of change. New ideas spread across the world, shaking long-established beliefs that comfortably rested in traditionalists’ minds. Stephen Crane was a radical pioneer in the field of intellectualism and literature; he sought to inform the world of his thoughts on the Romantic Movement from his own life experiences. This literary revolution does not end with Crane’s death, however. Crane’s revolt against accepted beliefs represents the strong-willed courage that he encourages his readers to use to define their own place in life.
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