Essay on The Importance of Romanticism in Literature

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The Importance of Romanticism in Literature


In Wordsworth’s “The World is Too Much With Us” can be seen all the classic signs of the Romantic movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century well embodied, complete with a near-worship of nature (“Little we see in Nature that is ours…for this, for everything, we are out of tune”) that was perhaps an understandable reaction to not only the classicism of the prior era, but the sociopolitical realities of the day (such as the French Revolution), a sort of intellectualized version of the hippie movement of 1960s America. Clearly, Wordsworth here is taking a typically Romantic view of the social order and what remained acceptable norms even in religious view (“I’d rather be a
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Regardless, her poem shows signs of the residue of Romanticism as well as the potential beginnings of weariness with industrialism (certainly the Romantics would have abhorred the most inhuman manifestations of industrialism’s witty offspring, modernism).

Bishop’s “The Fish” reflects a certain tinge of the Romantic ideal, one could argue, in the poem’s climactic reversal of nature-worship via nature-conqueror in favor of a conscious movement towards reevaluation of nature not as a vehicle conquest for victory but as an ally for sustenance and kinship; in other words, there is a movement, in Bishop’s poem, away from nature as enemy (which she seems to be representing as typical of the modern mindset, exemplified by the common fisherman) towards nature as companion.

Bishop’s poem, of course, arrived at a moment in history not especially marked for a wellspring of Romantic thought and writing (one could argue that later postwar sentiment, exemplified in the Beat writers and resulting from shifts in thought following the countercultural hippie movement of the 1960s, was more overtly “Romantic” than much of what was produced at the time “The Fish” was written). But therein lies a deeper truth which betrays efforts to systematize…