A Romantic And Modernist Perspective

2041 Words9 Pages
Kyle D. Brubaker
Dr. Vernooy
11 December 2014
Memory: A Romantic and Modernist Perspective During an age when Britain was producing more writing than perhaps ever before in its history; romantic writers such as Wordsworth and Coleridge place a large emphasis on nature and what impact this construct has on the mind and imagination, while modernist writers such as Hardy, Lawrence, and Yeats attempt to exercise a strong break from tradition. This ideal of “straying from the pack” creates a sense of bitterness and radical doubt throughout the modernist period, and thus, causes citizens living in this time to carry about their daily activities with doubt and pessimistic attitudes.
After examining the literary movements of
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One can argue that William Wordsworth believes that memory can be utilized as an anecdote that is able to cure someone’s pain, while a writer such as Thomas Hardy would disapprove of this Wordsworthian ideal by believing that memory is simply a “shroud of gray” (Vernooy). This claim can be supported as true when Wordsworth’s Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey is examined more closely. Within this piece, Wordsworth states, “These beauteous forms/Through a long absence, have not been to me/As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye/But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din/Of towns and cities, I have owed to them/In hours of weariness, sensations sweet (Wordsworth 23-27). Here, Wordsworth provides a detailed description about how nature is able to provide a safe-haven for him in a time when Britain’s cities are looking to industrialize more than ever. By personifying nature during this time of economic crisis, Wordsworth is creating an outlet that aids him in moving forward.
Conversely, Thomas Hardy encompasses the idea of nature and memory by almost insulting Wordsworth. For instance, Hardy would argue that one cannot “sit on the couch” and rekindle old memories in order to transgress, but instead, one needs to be out and about in order to gather as many physical memories as humanly possible. Within Hardy’s Under the Waterfall, the female persona is attempting to rekindle one of her past memories, which as we all
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