Emotion versus reason



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Emotion versus Reason
The age of Revolutions
The period from The Declaration of America Independence to 1830 was marked by great Revolutions, that influenced also the cultural and literary aspects of life.
In the last thirty years of the eighteenth century a new sensibility became dominant and it occurred together with a shift in the attitude towards literature.
This new sensibility has come to be known as “Romanticism”. It claimed for the supremacy of feelings and emotions. It comprised elements of introspection, nostalgia, emotionalism, individualism and let to a new way of considering the role of man in the Universe. In romanticism there was an interest in humble and everyday life and to the country as a place where there could still be a relation with nature. A new taste for the desolate, the love of ruins, such as ancient castles and abbeys, was part of a revival of a past perceived as contrasting with present reality.
There was also a revolution in the concept of Nature. It came to be felt as a real and living being to be described as it really was. Imagination assumed a key role as a means of giving expression to emotional experience not strictly accountable to reason.
The willingness to explore less conscious aspects of feeling was accompanied by a serious concern about the experience and insights of childhood.
His uncorrupted sensitiveness meant he was even closer to God and the sources of creation therefore childhood was a state to be admired and cultivated.
The Romanticism saw the individualism essentially in the solitary state, they exalted the atypical, the outcast, the rebel. This attitude led on the one hand to the cult of the hero – the “rebel” in Coleridge, the “Byronic hero”, and on the other hand to the view of society as an evil force.
The current of thought represented by Jean- Jacques ROUSSEAU (1712-1778) encouraged the notion that the conventions of civilisation represented intolerable restrictions on the individual personality and produced every kind of corruption and evil. Rousseau’s theories also influenced the “cult of the exotic”, of what was far away both in space and in time. Not only the picturesque and the formidable in scenery were welcomed, but also the remote and the unfamiliar in customs and social outlook.
Focus On (Answers)
1. Explain why a new sensibility arose towards 1770.
Because it was a period marked by great revolutions, such as industrial revolutions and able all the French Revolutions that brought in Europe it’s ideas of freedom and equality.
2. Try to definite this new sensibility
This new sensibility is a reaction against the faith in reason that had characterised the previous age.
4. Focus on the revaluation of childhood and point out what the child was associated with in the diagram aside
It give expression to emotional experiences not strictly accountable to reason.
6. Analyse the Romantic idea of individualism and answers the following questions.
a) What forms of individualism did the Romantic exalts ?
They exalted the atypical the outcast, the rebel.
b) What view of society had they ?
Society for them was an evil force.
c) What current of thought encouraged this view ?
They theory of Jean Jacques ROUSSEAU.
The general Characters of Romantic Age
They gave great importance at the power of imagination, they regarded nature as a living force. They loved ruins an ancient castles and abbeys, they exalted outcast, the rebel and the Hero. The gave great importance to childhood that was considered a state to be admired and cultivated.

Leteratura – Inglese