Romanticism vs. Enlightenment Essay

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When you hear romanticism, you think lovey dovey? No. It is actually a time frame in the 19th century that was a reaction against much of the thought of the Enlightenment. You could say it was a challenge against the Enlightenment views of not only human beings but of the natural world. The Romantic writers and artist used imagination but in the end it was all reality, where everyone really understood it. Unlike the philosophes, many Romantics liked the art, literature,and architecture of medieval times. They were also interested in the folk music and fairy tales. The dreams, hallucinations, sleepwalking, and other phenomena that suggested the existence of a world beyond the empirical observation, sensory data, and discursive reasoning was what interested the Romantics. Two writers who were closely related to the Enlightenment provided the immediate intellectual foundations for Romanticism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. They raised questions about whether the rationalism to the philosphes was sufficient to explain human nature and be the bedrock principle for organizing the human society. It was like Roussea and Education, where as it was Kant and Reasoning. Rousseau's conviction that society and material prosperity had corrupted human nature profoundly influenced Romantic writers. In his novel, the Emile, he stressed the difference between children and adults. He distinguished the stages of human maturation and urged that children be raised with maximum individual freedom. Each child should be allowed to grow freely, somewhat like a plant, and learn by trial and error what reality id and how best to deal with it. Rousseau thought that, because of their physical differences, men and women would naturally grow into social roles with different spheres of activity.To Romantic writers, this concept of human development vindicated the rights of

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