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Evolution of Literary Style in Different Eras

1350 words (5 pages) Essay

18th May 2020 Literature Reference this

 Literature is written pieces of works that have artistic and intellectual worth. There are many different pieces of literature such as poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction journalism and songs. There are many reasons for literature. A couple of reasons are to let the authors express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas to their audience. Their reasoning for that is to educate and enlighten those that read their pieces of literature. Over time, literature has changed or evolved like technology. My knowledge about the changes in literature is that stories and books are not all the same. Literature stories have many different genres and aspects in certain types of writing. The period these pieces of literature were written in influence the tone, mood, emotion and many other elements.

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 The Romanticism period was an era that “was achieved though intuition and emotional connections, rather than reason” (“Unit 4 Introduction”). William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” was written during the Romanticism period. Wordsworth’s poem was written as a lyric poem so his feelings could be expressed with a beat or music. This poem also has a rhyme scheme, where the first line rhymes with the third, and the second line rhymes with the fourth line (“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud Analysis”). Wordsworth used one metaphor in the last stanza that says, “they flash upon that inward eye” (Wordsworth). The author uses a metaphor when he says, “inward eye” so he can tell his readers that he imagines daffodils in his spiritual dream. Throughout the poem, Wordsworth uses imagery, so his readers visualize the writers’ feelings and emotions when writing this poem. Wordsworth uses detailed descriptions such as “lonely as a cloud”, “a crowd”, “never-ending line”, “milking way”, and “jocund company” to help his readers imagine the poem. There are two similes used in this poem. The first one is in the title, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” to compare Wordsworth’s self to that of a cloud (Wordsworth). The second simile is in the second stanza, “Continues as the stars that shine” to compare himself to the endless row of daffodils with countless stars (Wordsworth). There are many more figurative devices that Wordsworth uses to express his feelings of seeing the field of daffodils during the Romantic era.

 According to class notes, the Realism era was from 1820 to 1920 (“Unit 5 Introduction”). I learned in this class that there are many ways that the Romanticism era was rejected by the Realism era. The reason Realism rejected Romanticism was being during that time, emotion and intuition were used to reach insight. Realism on the other hand concentrated on more tangible issues, using exact and upfront language. Another distinguishing marking between Romanticism and Realism is its assessment of human psychology. To be direct, the Realism era highlight problems in society and the Romantic view, but also offer comments instead of proposing changes. During this period, Charlotte Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wall-Paper” almost as an autobiography because she was treated the same way as the woman did, but her mind did not decline to the degree as her character. Gilman’s purpose in creating this story was so society would not damage a woman’s psychological and physical health by forbidding her the freedom she needs. This story focused more on the specific issue in society with precise and direct language. Gilman uses direct language in “The Yellow Wall-Paper” when she says,

If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with on but temporary nervous depression – a slight hysterical tendency – what is one to do? My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing. So I take phosphates or phosphates – whatever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas (Gilman).

In this passage, the character voices how she disagrees with everyone that test her. She believes that what she needs is to be outside with people and doing what she loves because what she is doing is decreasing her mental and physical state. Women did not have rights during this time. Kelly Smith wrote in “Historical Brief-Lives of Woman in the Early 1800s” that “Some even compare the conditions of women in this time to a form of slavery. Women were completely controlled by the men in their lives. First, by their fathers, brothers and male relatives and finally by their husbands” (Smith). So women do not go through the same mental and physical damages as Gilman, the issue of how women are treated in England needs to be clearly announced.

 According to class notes, Modernism was a movement in art and literature, which involved the artists response to two influential forces, the results of industrialization and the outcome of wars, specifically the Russian Revolution and World War I. Many modernist writers and artists discarded conservative religious faith and appreciate authority. The underlying thinking of Modernism was that the traditional ways of thinking should be reexamined and remade (“Unit 6 Introduction). “The Dead” by James Joyce was written so people would not focus on the machines or objects that are used between people, but the relationship that are created when using those objects. What a better time to create new relationships with others than at a Christmas party (Joyce). During the time this story was written the Russian Revolution was taking place. I feel as if James Joyce’s purpose or idea for writing this story was so there would be more creation of relationships than losses of people. Another reason to write this story was so people could focus on more happier events than death of people in the Russian Revolution.

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 Over the many eras mentioned, all of them had many emotional events in life that fueled the production of each story in each era. During the Romanticism era, William Wordsworth’s emotional event that fueled his to write “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” was the joy he felt seeing a flied of daffodils. He also used figurative language to express that joy to his readers. In the Realism era, Charlotte Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wall-Paper” because of an emotional even in her life. She wrote this story because she wanted to change other women’s lives so no one would go through the same mental and physical destruction she went through because of men.  The Modernism era had two events that fueled the production of many other pieces of literature. James Joyce wrote “The Dead” was written around the time of the Russian Revolution. I believe that the reason Joyce wrote this story was people can focus on something that brings joy instead of the revolution.

Works Cited

  • Gilman, Charlotte. “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” World Literature II Section 02G, Summer 2019.
  • “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud Analysis – Literary Devices and Poetic Devices.” Literary Devices, 28 Jan. 2019, literarydevices.net/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud/.
  • Joyce, James. “The Dead,” World Literature II Section 02G, Summer 2019.
  • Smith, Kelly. “‘Historical Brief-Lives of Woman in the Early 1800s.’” Lives of Women in the Early 1800s, staff.washington.edu/cgiacomi/courses/english200/historicalbriefs/women.html.
  • Unit 4 Introduction,” World Literature II Section 02G, Summer 2019.
  • Unit 5 Introduction,” World Literature II Section 02G, Summer 2019.
  • Unit 6 Introduction,” Worth Literature II Section 02G, Summer 2019.
  • Wordsworth, William. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” Worth Literature II Section 02G,              Summer 2019.


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