The Romantic Period Of Jean Jacques Rousseau

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during the Eighteenth Century, influential ideologies, portrayed in literature, from religion to nature, to childhood and education began to shape people’s perception and thinking on such matters. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a contemporary, and is considered one of the earliest prominent voices in Nineteenth-Century Romanticism. The Romantic period marked the gradual but significant shift from the rational thinking of the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment to a more emotional and individual thinking of the Romantics. In a way, Romanticism acted as reaction to modernity, rebutting the social and political norms and the rationalisation of nature from a scientific stance. Romanticism revived medievalism, in comparison to the classicism that was…show more content…
His theory on childhood and education has been remarkable, with his works being referenced still to this day. Émile or On Education (1762) is a major writing, with Rousseau musing on the progress of mankind and the attempt to perfect the human race. Émile sets to "find a way of resolving the contradictions between the natural man who is 'all for himself ' and the implications of life in society". Rousseau’s theory of mankind becoming more civilized has not perfected human society, instead it has corrupted and tarnished it. Émile systematically sets out a new form of education, designed to be more ‘natural’. Émile attempts to protect children from the corruption of civilisation and prepare them for their entry into the corrupt social realm. An important point to make is that Émile asks to be read ironically, with the effects of modernity being reiterated as unattainable. Voltaire, a contemporary philosophical rival was critical of Émile stating that it is “hodgepodge of a silly wet nurse in four volumes, with forty pages against Christianity, among the boldest ever known...He says as many hurtful things against the philosophers as against Jesus Christ, but the philosophers will be more indulgent than the priests.” Many writers in the Romantic period agree with the notion that Rousseau proposed, arguing that we are inherently good, but are corrupted by the evils of civilization. His focus on childhood is due
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