Romanticism Authors A Comparison Essay

1661 words - 7 pages

The 19th century have been dominated by a movement known as Romanticism. This movement is defined as a strong belief that imagination and emotion are stronger than reason. "A conviction that poetry is superior to science.....belief that contemplation of the natural world is a means of discovering a truth that lies behind reality." (Holt, Elements of Literature, 1183) Authors, such as Emerson with his work of "Self Reliance", and Thoreau's work of "Where I Lived and What I Lived for" and "Solitude" are works of literature that incorporate the ideas of romanticism. There work would later influence Kate Chopin with her novel The Awakening, as seen with her protagonist Edna whose actions are similar to their works.In Emerson's "Self Reliance", he stated his ideas on what he believes to be the right steps to a successful life. "Though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till." (Holt, Elements of Literature, 185) In this quote, Emerson believes that through hard work, one is able to achieve his/her desires, so goals are to be filled with work, not just plain desires and dreams. He also believed that each person has a unique talent and passion that can only be discovered by that person. In the later content of "Self Reliance", that a man is "relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace." (Holt, Elements of Literature, 186) This explains that one is only satisfy with one's achievement, if full potential are put into the effort, which is the only way one can get the satisfaction of achieving one's dream and desire. In Emerson's view, a man is someone who is a non-conformist, someone who follows the integrity of their mind. Someone who "Speak of what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again" (Holt, Elements of Literature, 186) Edna, the protagonist of The Awakening certainly fits those descriptions. She is someone who uses actions instead of words; she puts her ideas into forms of expression that makes the general public what she is thinking and her dissatisfaction with the conventional society. Through her passage to the awakening, which she realizes that her life is only a dream, stemming from her marriage to her unaffectionate husband, Leonce. Through this passage, she is able to discover her talents and her passions just like what Emerson believed in. Her passion of art has made her decide to depend on herself for survival, as she did when she moves out of the mansion her husband provide for her. She begin to realize her power as a female in the society, and her works of art, which is able to make her an independent person, which is something she seeks for and cope for. She works hard to achieve her goals, by pure determination, she is willing to break the traditional rule, by falling in love...

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