Childhood is a social construct that has been weaved together by societal norms and domineering perspectives. Childhood is not a physical or mental state but an abstraction that has been melded by society as time has progressed. In Karen Sanchez-Eppler’s excerpt titled “Childhood” from the novel Keywords for Children’s Literature, she explains how the attitudes and atmosphere surrounding childhood have vastly changed throughout history to yield the general, modern conception of childhood. Children have been deemed adults in the Middle Ages and childhood has been a vaguely regarded concept. However, as society has become more progressive and developed, an interest in distinguishing the young from the older individuals
The Romantics held women to a higher standard when it came to nature. They did share the thought of women not having any reason, even if reason was important, with the Enlightenment theorists. (p. 79). The Romantics did hold women on a pedestal, however the standards they held them to would be hard to achieve and thus women would only end up being disrespected in the end. The Romantics did see that women had somewhat of a purpose.
Ground-breaking, momentous, and a time of great struggle, the Industrial Revolution was famous for its innovations and infamous for the sobering reality it inflicted upon the standard family. Mid-18th century Britain brought poverty to everyday urban workers. With it, came an increase in child labor like never seen before. In order for a normal family to survive in the urban lifestyle, all members of a family had to work. This included children as young as four years to work as chimney sweepers, miners, and most popularized in 18th century Britain, factory workers. By the year 1800, children under the age of 14 in Britain’s factories accounted for 50% of the labor force (“Industrial Revolution, Child Labor”). Though the number continued to grow, all did not go unaccounted for. Romanticism, an effort opposite the movement, gave recognition to the emotional conflicts overlooked. Romanticism shed light on the daily struggles of the everyday man, woman, and the most neglected up until that period of time, the child. Throughout history, others have written about childhood, but Romantic poets began to question what it meant to be a child. The question, though not answered directly, later became revealed in their works where it exposed their belief systems. The role of the child in British Romantic Poetry represents the early life of Romantic poets, and the qualities they possessed in childhood.
To the Romantics, the imagination was important. It was the core and foundation of everything they thought about, believed in, and even they way they perceived God itself. The leaders of the Romantic Movement were undoubtedly Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his close friend, William Wordsworth. Both were poets, and both wrote about the imagination. Wordsworth usually wrote about those close to nature, and therefore, in the minds of the Romantics, deeper into the imagination than the ordinary man. Coleridge, however, was to write about the supernatural, how nature extended past the depth of the rational mind.
Since the view of childhood changes in the nineteenth century, the potential of children’s literature becomes evident. With the reference to the sources of children’s literature, they can be traced back to alterations in translation and in the literature for adults, where a child or childhood are essential concepts; moreover folk literature is concerned to be a wide source for this literary genre. According to Peter Hunt
The Romanticism art movement praised imagination over reason, emotions over logic, and literature over science. The Romanticism artists were known for replacing the classical 18th century literature heroes with much more complex and passionate characters. Romanticism focuses on self-expression and individual uniqueness that does not lend itself to be defined nor controlled by society. The landscape on Romanticism was commonly displayed in cool rich colors and untamed peaceful surroundings. In Romanticism, nature was used to represent the extension of the human personality, the capability of feeling love, serenity, and sympathy.
William Wordsworth’s poem, “Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting The Banks Of The Wye During A Tour. July 13, 1798” (also known as simply, “Tintern Abbey”), was included in the book Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems. This was a joint effort between himself and author Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “Tintern Abbey” remains one of Wadsworth’s most famous poems, and at its printing, the book was completely sold out in two years. The name of the poem reflects the inspiration Wadsworth felt upon visiting the ruins of an old church called Tintern Abbey, with his sister Dorothy.
Children are always portrayed in books as angelic beings that are as close to perfect as they come. Many would suggest that this is not true, that children can be just as manipulative and conniving as adults. They cry when they do not get their way and throw tantrums that are quite obscene. However, the idea of this angelic child did not com into play until the 17th century. The poets William Blake and William Wordsworth are the two poets that coined this idea of the child. In the poems of these two authors, children are portrayed as innocent and pure beings and are closer to God than adults. Although these two poets have very different views of what children are like such as their interactions with adults, their perspective on life, and their
Romanticism has a strong connection with nature and the people of Romanticism take lessons from it and learn from nature. “Pearl gathered the violets, and anemones, and columbines, and some twigs of the
A leader of the romantic era’s poetic revolution, Lord Byron transformed poetry by incorporating realistic perceptions into his works. The romantic era, known for it’s innovative belief in “[praising] imagination over reason, emotions over logic, and intuition over science,” assisted in helping Byron create pragmatic, dramatic tones in his poetry (“The Romantic Era”). One of the most flamboyant of the English Romantic poets, Byron captivated readers through his dynamic views of independence and politics. However, his perceptions of love and women, shown through narrative perspectives, rendered his writings as the “image and name [of] the embodiment of Romanticism” (“Lord Byron (George Gordon),” Poetry Foundation). Love and poetry, constantly
According to Alan Richardson, childhood gained a central position through Romantic Literature, due to its artistic and reinvigorating movement during the eighteenth century. The supreme faculty of mind is reason by stressing strong emotions and imagination, which is the key reason to the shaping of creative power. Childhood acquired a sense of spirituality attached to its phenomenon; it became increasingly valued by adults, since children represented hope and progress within society. Childhood therefore became the supreme symbol of celebrating the cult of nature, the purity of the mind
The Romantic Period centered on creative imagination, nature, mythology, symbolism, feelings and intuition, freedom from laws, impulsiveness, simplistic language, personal experiences, democracy, and liberty, significant in various art forms including poetry. The development of the self and self-awareness became a major theme as the Romantic Period was seen as an unpredictable release of artistic energy, new found confidence, and creative power found in the writings of the Romantic poets Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley, who made a substantial impact on the world of poetry. Two of the Romantic poets, William Blake, and Percy Bysshe Shelley rebelled against convention and authority in search of personal, political and artistic freedom. Blake and Shelley attempted to liberate the subjugated people through the contrary state of human existence prevalent throughout their writings, including Blake’s “The Chimney Sweepers,” from “Songs of Innocence”, “London,” from “Songs of Experience” and Shelley’s A Song: “Men of England.”
The voice in this poem is one of pure happiness and innocence. In this state of joy, the infant is unaware of the world in which he lives and that awaits him. In these opening lines, we see Blake revealing the everyday modeling and structure that categorizes the world, but is absent in the simplicity and purity of childhood. The child has no name because joy needs no other name. Labeling and classification are products of organization and arrangement that the world uses to assimilate innocence into experience. Blake demonstrates that it is through this transition, that the virtue of child’s play is destroyed. Blake utilizes specific emotions such as “happy,” “joy,” “sweet,” “pretty,” “sing,” and “smile” to describe this uncorrupted state of being. There is no danger, darkness, or struggle for the infant. Instead, he exists in a care free state, free of guilt, temptation, and darkness. The birth of a child is celebrated by Blake and it stirs in us powerful emotions of peace, love, and hope.
'In children 's literature the notion and construct of 'childhood ' became an influential force...it became associated with freedom...and play; focusing on educating children malleablly. '
One of the most popular themes for Romantic poetry in England was nature and an appreciation for natural beauty. The English Romantic poets were generally concerned with the human imagination as a counter to the rise of science. The growing intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries placed scientific thought in the forefront of all knowledge, basing reality in material objects. The Romantics found this form of world view to be restrictive. They felt that imagination was crucial to individual happiness. The imagination also provides a common human bond; a means of sympathy, of identification. However, the absence of imagination, the Romantics felt, would lead