Romanticism And Allegory In Thanatopsis By William Bryant Cullen

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Romanticism is a cultural and literary movement which began in Germany, but spread quickly through Europe and America in the 1800's. The period is characterized by emotional, individualistic pieces, which were always fueled by raw creative power and often inspired by nature. Writers of romantic literature took great satisfaction in the analysis of self using strong emotional language, metaphor and simile to examine the deeper facets of humanity, as well as to effect change in their society. Writers who contributed to the Romanticism moment regularly used metaphor and allegory to steer the reader towards some deeper moral theme. Frequently, these analogies occur within nature. One of my favorite readings during this unit was "Thanatopsis" by William Bryant Cullen. It opens "To him who in the love of nature holds communion with her…show more content…
Although death became a popular subject of the time, especially from infamous writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe, Romanticism had purposes other than introspection. Political activists and revolutionaries wrote persuasive arguments to inspire abiding change in the government of our country. Thoreau wrote "Resistance to Civil Government," which influenced the some of best nonviolent activist leaders in history, a hundred years after he himself had died. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's romanticized interpretation of "Paul Revere's Ride" echos also through the ages, creating not only a public figure, but also a history many Americans still believe as

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