Keats And The Go Between And Atonement

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In both Keats' poetry and Ian McEwan's Atonement the imagination is represented as a powerful source, with repercussions from overactive involvement. Each writer allows themselves to indulge in their creative, imaginative spirit, refusing to let it be stunted by reality, however this lack of understanding of the real world as seen in Atonement and the Go Between has a harmful impact upon others, and themselves. Keats considers the imagination as a power which enables the poet to perceive a truth and a beauty which does not reject or attempt to escape from reality but creates a complex vision of the real world: the balance of good and ill. In taking account of reality Keats transforms it into a more complex and inclusive vision of beauty, famously…show more content…
Her will to control reality in order to 'have the world just so' echoes the way she casts Robbie as someone “criminal”, by fetching the letter for “adults” to see, she can provide the evidence to send him away and be the heroine of her own story. Briony is described as being “possessed by a desire to have the world just so” and her room a “shrine to her controlling demon”, this satanic imagery offers darker undertones to this description of the girl, perhaps even hinting that she is the opposite of God, despite her desire to have his level of control over reality. Her obsessive passion for neatness is an indication of the reasoning behind her love for creation. Within her literature, she can control everything, and is enthralled with the idea of writing because “a universe reduced to what was said in it was tidiness indeed”. Briony dislikes the idea of a world in which an individual has their own thoughts and imagination with “two billion voices and everyone's thoughts striving in equal importance” which “offended her sense of order” this rather dictator style view on the world again echoes evil and also the war approaching. As Briony reads Robbie's letter, it's not so much his expression of sexual desire that horrifies her as the recognition that he has an imagination. When she says…show more content…
This argues against the belief of British Romantics such as William Blake, Samuel Coleridge and Keats. They saw the imagination as a force that allows a connection between man and nature to be made. Children were viewed as having access to a unique world view, because a child has not yet rationalized the workings of society the way an adult has, and this mindset was desired. Coleridge relied on his imagination in order to make sense of the world as a child “my mind had been habituated to the Vast—& I never regarded my senses in any way as the criteria of my belief. I regulated all my creeds by my conceptions not by my sight—even at that age.”3. Unlike the children depicted in Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', Coleridge was taken away from the industrial revolution and was free to indulge in romances and fairy tales, to create a feeling of “the Great” and “the Whole.”. The mind was a mystery to Coleridge, one he wished to solve. He is reported as saying “The primary imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation. The poet, described in ideal perfection brings the whole soul of man into activity” 4. Coleridge saw the

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