Literary Evolution: Differentiating Romanticism And Modernist Literature

1403 words - 6 pages

The idea of what literatures function is in shaping society saw a huge change throughout the years, each one of these periods can easily be separated by what literature was used for in each specific era and the ideas that are represented in the literature of these years. The two periods I would like to analyze are romanticism and modernism, namely for the dramatic change in both the form and the use of literature, along with its value to society. Between the romantic and modernist era of literature, writing went from a complex expression of ideals and evocation of emotion to a much less explicit and much more of a social commentary meant to convey unique and new ideas and bring a much different form of realization to the reader.
A simple introduction to this idea can be observed through analyze the purpose of “lyrical ballads” by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth states the “purpose (of the writings) will be found principally to be: … to illustrate the manner in which our feelings and ideas are associated in a state of excitement… (and) to follow the fluxes and refluxes of the mind when agitated by the great and simple affections of our nature”(Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads). For those studying the Romantic period of literature this should seem awfully familiar. The key ideals found in Romantic literature are the sublime, emotion, nature, and the ability to humble yourself to the simple beauty of what you already have. This was in direct response to the industrial revolution, as literature gave us a stark contrast between the realities of the 1800s. Literature at the time was an advocate for the simple beauty and power of what surrounds us every day, and for appreciation of the simple things in life, which was meant to change the views of the aristocracy and shape middle class ideals of what it means to be lower class or from a more rural setting. While yes this was a form of protest against the aristocratic ruling class at the time, it was going about this “protesting” in a much more direct and simple way by showing the ideas and morals of a different (possibly working class) culture, and through demonstrating these ideas by commenting on what is so readily observed by even the most unobservant readers.
Modernism, much like Romanticism still served a function to awaken the audience which it addresses, but both the way it goes about this in a completely different way and the ideas carried by this literature dramatically changes from the ideas held by the romantic era authors. Modernism is characterized by feelings that the traditional ideals (much like those of romanticism are outdated or have become far too distant from our society. A great example of this is T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. In this poem we observe a picture painted much more with imagery and metaphor rather than the traditional romantic method of allowing the natural imagery to carry the message itself. The vehicle used to carry...

Find Another Essay On Literary evolution: Differentiating Romanticism and Modernist Literature

A Light in the Darkness: Modernist Writing

1441 words - 6 pages similarities of despair, escapism, and isolation. The main issue of this story deals with the modernist fear of being unable to surpass the things done in the past. The modernist author was only interested in creating new forms of literature, and loathed their literary past. The literary past of romanticism dealt with the way things ought to be, but ignored the way they really were. The literary past of the modernist was full of false

Comparative Essay

749 words - 3 pages woods are lovely, dark, and deep” (Frost 1347) as he references darkness. Another aspect of Modernism is the departure from narrating in the third person or having omniscient narrators. Modernist speaks in the first person or they speak with several different voices, and Frost poem does this by writing from a first person narrative. Romanticism is a style of literature, art, and music common at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the

The Similarities between Romanticism and Modernism

1777 words - 7 pages Many may argue that the Modernist movement was a completely new and unique movement within British literature. The goal of this paper is to determine whether or not the Modernist Literary Movement was completely unique or not. The similarities found in the works of Modernist authors and poets, such as Joseph Conrad and Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), will be examined against Romanticism themes and authors such as William Wordsworth. What will

Welcome To The World of Literary Theory

1244 words - 5 pages telling you I once had the same thought process as many of you as you begin your journey into the world of literature. I will also tell you to discard this negative notion of literature and prepare to begin a journey into the understanding of life. I bet you did not know it, but that is the essence of this concept students run away from in fear - life. When you begin to understand literary theory, you begin to understand how the world works and


1546 words - 7 pages sexual desires impacted his literary works and how the role of women within society was different during that era. I will compare Whitman to Emily Dickinson, and show their respective contributions to American Literature. I also wish to expand on the progression from romanticism to realism to naturalism in American Literature. Allow me to open with excerpts from “A Woman Waits for Me”. In Whitman’s “A Woman Waits for Me”, he expresses the

God's Omnipotence and Omnipresence in Joyce Kilmer's Trees

1294 words - 5 pages perspective. Instead of believing in the progression and growth of the earth, a Modernist observes decay and a growing seclusion of the human being. A Modernist does not care much for nature, being, nor the structures of the history of the growing world ("Modernism - Literature Periods & Movements"). According to ("IHAS: Artist/Movement/Ideas"),Romanticism involves the inner spark of one’s religious beliefs that brings human beings together and


1081 words - 5 pages modernist movement really took place. Eliot was an expert in various philosophies, classical studies, philology, and theology. When Eliot combined this knowledge with the tumultuous conditions of post WWI modern society, he was able to create poetry that was both distinctly modern and transcendent in meaning and intellectualism, which placed his poetry on a much higher plane than the other modernist poets of the time. From a young age, literature

Frost's Place in Poetic Traditions

964 words - 4 pages PAGE PAGE 2 Holland Dawn HollandJohn LoweryENG 42522 October 2014Frost's Place in Poetic TraditionsAlfred Tennyson (1809-1892) and Robert Frost (1874-1963) were both poets from different literary eras. Tennyson wrote with more of a Modernist perspective, while Frost wrote from a decidedly Romantic perspective. This being the case, both writers had shared characteristics which belonged to the other school of thought. Tennyson's "Break, Break

The Romantic Period in Literature

1220 words - 5 pages authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville have influenced the way we write today because of this amazing period. Until present day no other style of writing in literature has surpassed the incredible, filled with variety writing that was formed during the period of American Romanticism. During the growth of this great literary period the country was going through many changes. Between 1800 and 1803 there was a

20th Century Latin American Literature

3284 words - 13 pages community and literary styles grow and develop a common vein (Candido 1980: 273). In 1962, in a daring meeting called the Congress of the Intellectuals at the University of Concepcion, Chile, the ideas within the post modernist spirit of the new Latin American novel were fluidly exchanged between collectively frustrated domestic writers. “Pablo Neruda, Jose Maria Arguedas, Jose Miguel Oviedo, Augto Roa Bastos, Pepe Bianco, Carlos Fuentes

modernism in latin america

1024 words - 5 pages can otherwise be known as Rubén Darío and José Martí. The Spanish language literary movement Modernismo (also known as Modernism) emerged near the late 1880’s.It was a form of language that by now has faded due to changes in society. For starters, this literary movement had a large influence on romanticism and symbolism, and found influence in European models that were greatly admired (""). Modernism is a movement that fought

Similar Essays

God’s Transition To A Feared, Cruel Deity In Modernist Literature And Poetry

2490 words - 10 pages Previous literary schools, such as the Renaissance writers and Romanticism, depicted God as an extremely powerful, but benevolent deity that ensured that the conclusion to most events turned out in a positive fashion. After World War I’s catastrophic cost in lives, souls, and property, many authors and poets changed their views of God. Instead of a loving, all-powerful force for good, God turned into a cruel, supernatural being that chooses not

Literary Review Of Sexuality And Gender In Science Fiction Literature

3277 words - 13 pages Literary Review My argument is that SF literature offers a utopian hope for the future where individual differences are no longer criticized. To conduct this literature review I used multiple information sources to examine issues of gender and sexuality within science fiction literature. None of these sources claim to have produced a conclusive work on the interpretation of gender and sexuality in SF. Some of what I have read seems to be a

Role And Evolution Of The Hero In Literature

1492 words - 6 pages .("Hero", Encyclopedia Britanica). Heroes were thefirst human beings in literature and where able to spark a general interest in theaudience. They risked their lives for valiant causes and created a moment' s glorythat lived on longer after they were gone. Although this was a great change, theseheroes were still very much like the gods that preceded them and in turn created aclassic picture of heroism in all of our minds.Nearly every literary work

Alienation And Fragmentation In Modernist Literature

1968 words - 8 pages With Sasha Jansen, Jean Rhys created in Good Morning, Midnight a female character who does not have a place in the world. Sasha walks the streets of Paris, commenting, reflecting, remembering. Her few coping-mechanisms show how deeply she is already alienated from the world, even from herself. As a reader you get this fed bit by bit, in fragments, jumping between the actual narration, memories and inner monologues. As a woman in Paris in the