Enlightenment and Romanticism

Constructions of reading/writing in the British literature of the Enlightenment and Romanticism Robinson Crusoe, which was written by Daniel Defoe, was published in 1719. At the time of its publish, a revolution was taking place all across Europe known as the Enlightenment period. The Enlightenment period was a time of conflict, suffering, and also a time of growth for society. This revolutionary time period gave birth to such terms as deism, rationalism, skepticism, and empiricism. The period also saw an uprising in a new ideology towards human thought.

Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is primarily defined by a mythic conversion experience as the novel’s core narrative structure traces the hero’s transition from social isolation and disconnection to self-actualisation and social reintegration. As sole survivor of a shipwreck, Crusoe has to survive in, and adapt to a space which he initially experiences as alien and threatening, and he gradually begins to transform himself along with his environment. By the time he leaves the island 28 years later, he has become a resourceful and capable ruler over an economically viable cultural monopoly.

This conversion process is exemplified by Crusoe’s appropriation of the island, as this space becomes the site onto which all of his anxieties and aspirations are inscribed. Consequently, the island is “transformed” from untamed wilderness into a cultivated “paradise” that bears testament to both Enlightenment rectitude and Western accomplishment. As such, the central aim of this article is to examine how Crusoe’s conversion of an unknown, marginal and ambiguous geographical locale into a prototypical British colony establishes a monologic world order on the island that defines identity as fixed and the island space as contained.

In the Bakhtinian sense, a monologic world is closed, static, and limiting in the way in which it denies the Other. In Robinson Crusoe, a monologic world view is manifested by Crusoe’s experience of and adaptation to space as well as processes of identity formation. In this regard, Crusoe’s relation to space emulates processes of colonisation, as illustrated by his appropriation and domestication of the island. Furthermore, Crusoe’s relation to space also reveals his identity to adhere to an unyielding and codified structure of hierarchy and authority. Crusoe ecreates this monologic structure on the island by appointing himself as master over the island’s animal and human residents. Accordingly, literature of the time placed great emphasis on the importance of rationalism and moral righteousness and dealt with themes that showed the importance of conforming to socially acceptable ideals for the sake of achieving self-actualisation. In Robinson Crusoe, Enlightenment ideals are articulated by the novel’s compounding theme of individual advancement from a primitive state to a productive, ordered and purposeful existence.

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Though life seems to have been experienced as a vale of tears since the beginning of recorded history, the manner of feeling has changed considerably from one culture epoch to another. Every reader knows that “sentimentalism”,used almost invariably today to condemn the excessive,maudlin,or false emotional response,refers also to a benevolistic ideal which from at least 1740s made tears rather than leers a mark of society. From Goldsmith`s writings, a reader can see that the focus centers on the simple agrarian life style of the yeoman farmer.

This focus would be natural, since Goldsmith was born and raised in the rural culture of Ireland. Goldsmith and other pre-romantics had a cautious distrust for industrialism, while the Romantics had developed later a strong aversion toward the destruction of rural communities throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland. The Vicar of Wakefield discusses the loss of nobility, faith, and innocence. Oddly, The Vicar of Wakefield did not achieve any greatness until the 19th century.

In his advertisement about the book, Goldsmith states, “The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth; he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family. ” The protagonist is the sort of man that we can all admire. Through the character of Dr. Primrose, the reader will watch a man of honor try to combat the decay of his society around him by attempting to stay true to his own principles, even when he seems to fail to impress these principles upon his own family, particularly his wife and daughters.

Like a conlusion, the first novel shows us the truth,the right situation when the man should be satisfied within his limitations,the work for him is a noble thing and he is driving by ideas,by the other hand in the second novel ,the literary form is more orginal,every day experience and by the way in prim-plan sets the feelings . The feelings provide knowledge and here is no limits, no adventure, no leisure: ‘painful feeling of incomplete destiny”. For the society in romanticism is important alienation and for enlightenment ,the order and the authority ineherently good.

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