The Impact of the American and French Revolutions on the Literature of the Romantic Period

The Impact of the American and French Revolutions on the Literature of the Romantic Period

Document details
Category: World History and Cultures Essay
Subcategory: U.S. History
Words: 1716
Pages: 3

New Subjects in Romanticism During the Romantic Period there seemed to be revolution in the air. The American Revolution and the French Revolution of 1789 had a great impact on literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This impact can be seen throughout Romantic literature but especially in the area of new subjects. Before the 19th century authors tended to write about the aristocratic class. There was nothing written for or about the common people. There are three areas in which the discussion will focus upon in the area of new subjects. The first area will focus on the children, the second will be women, and the third will be the new attitude towards God. The Romantic period strongly emphasized the lives of children. Authors writing at that time did not just look at children playing outside but within real life situations. Writing started to be explored in the language of the common man. The topics presented by most of these writers appealed to the general public. Today, the area of children within literary works does not seem revolutionary. At this time, however, there were no writings that reflected the everyday lives of children. The first important poem in the Romantic period with regards to children is by William Blake, "The Chimney Sweep." This poem focuses upon the tremendous abuse of children during this time. This poem portrays visions of death throughout "were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black"(Norton 31). This quote catches the reader's attention with a vision of death. These children talked of death very candidly because they died young. The sweeper almost inevitably would have died before he even knew how to live life. They worked in horrible labor conditions with no sign of relief because there were no labor laws. These children mainly died from consumption of the fumes within the shaft or by an accident. "We are Seven" by William Wordsworth...

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