Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Romanticism was the reaction to the logical Age of Enlightenment.  With the industrial age coming, people started to react with their emotions, which was expressed with art, literate etc.  Its main focus was the search of aesthetic experience through feelings such as horror and awe.  Nature, which at the time was more intimidating then it was now, was also a source.  In the face of industrialism, people were trying to reach back to medievalism.  The heroes were usually emotional or loners.  Romanticism, even though it had similar themes, was different when it came to different countries.  In Russia, Romanticism is associated with writers such as Konstantin Batyushkov and Alexander Pushkin.  Such topics as metaphysical discontent or nature and love, was dealt with.  Romanticisms effect on America was basically a support of it’s revolution ideals.  It did not accept religious intellect or rationalism.  Because of it’s focus on the individual, it became oppose to Calvinism, which believe in predestination. It also led to bring New England Transcendentalism to the fore front at the time.  Transcendentalism had less restricts then other religions at the time.  Romanticism tried to bring down the barrio involving the arts between the rich and the poor. The artists and the writers wanted it to be experienced by everyone.  It also helped the movement of nationalism.  People started to look back at old folktales of their own countries.  Romanticism also helped countries that did not have national identities to find them.

            Romanticism, I believe, was a sort of escapism.  People might have tried of finding that the truth was not up to their expectations.  Also with the beginnings or industrialism and factories, with people working in less then safe conditions, not dealing with reality was a blessing.  With the revolution over and everyone in America being able to settle down, it’s understandable that everyone started to think about themselves.  I find the individualism aspect of Romanticism funny because I remember a quote in class that said that once man start thinking only about themselves, government would start to break down.  I wonder if the person who said that quote was still alive when Romanticism came around?  I also find the correlation between nationalism and Romanticism interesting.  Without expression of feelings nationalism wouldn’t be able to exist and Romanticism helps fuel it..  Also Romanticism works with nationalism because it is flexible.  The truth is (usually) not very flexible and The Age of Enlightenment lends itself towards realism.  Romanticism was one of the first step toward being introspective towards art, I believe, because it questions truth and perception.

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