The Age Of Manufacturing That Preceded The Romantic Movement

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The age of manufacturing that preceded the Romantic Movement was characterized by industrialization and scientific, professional thinking. The philosophy of the era teaches that thoughts and assertions are only meaningful if they can be confirmed with evidence or valid reasoning. As a result, any assertion about entities from the abstract or conceptual alike, whether a statement about mermaids and unicorns or God and nature, is considered meaningless since they cannot be confirmed by factual report. This all started changing when the future leaders of the enlightenment decided that we should resort to more emotional thinking. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the leaders of the enlightenment observed that science was transforming Europe into unemotional machines. He says, "Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains...Let us return to nature.” (Schaeffer 154) Rousseau foresaw a threat to general freedom of thought, which thus sparked the Romantic Movement. Two poets that romanced nature during this era were: William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and John Keats (1795-1821). “To Autumn” by John Keats and “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth are both comparable and representative of the Romantic Movement. They have separate techniques and application, but are both recognized as significant works of Romanticism. The themes in both poems emphasize nature, emotion, and the capacity for wonder and imagination, which reiterate the sentiments of the era.
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