Rationalist Vs. Romantics

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

download word file, 2 pages ( 3 KB ) 5.0

Downloaded 2243 times

Authors during the Revolution were classified as either rationalist or romantic, but whether they were classified as rationalist or romantic depended on their style of writing. Rationalist and romantic authors wrote smiliarly using the same techniques, but they also were different from each other.

A rationalist author during this time period was Patrick Henry. In the Virginia Convention of 1775, Henry stood up and gave a speech. Its subject was about Independence that they need from Great Britain. Henry believe that "No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotidsm, as well as the abilites, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House"(1.1). Henry is saying that their patriotism is the feeling they need so they can break away from England. One of the syntax that Henry uses is an Anaphora. Henry repeats the word fight twice in the 4th paragraph, and parallelism is also used in the passage.

In the 4th parapraph, the author uses period sentence, "If we wish to be free-if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending-if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left of us"(4.22). Rhetorical strategies are what Henry uses to make his speech more effective. Arguementation is used throughout paragraph 4, by asking rhetorical questions such as "Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction"(5.6). Appastion is used in paragraph 6 with "Gentlemen may cry peace, peace-but there is no peace(6.2).

A romantic author of this time period was Ralph Waldo Emerson's From Nature. Emerson uses figures of speech such as imagery. He says, "But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile"(1.8). Another example of imagery is, "The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected al the wisdome of his best hour, as muchas they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood"(2.5). A similie was a figure of speech in paragraph 4. "In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snack his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child"(4.14). Cause and effect was used in Emerson's passage; "Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend"(7.6).

Both of the authors have similarities between the styles of writing.

They both contained the syntax elements to make their speech and passage powerful. They were both considered to be rebels, because of their actions towards rules and or laws.

The difference between these authors, is the fact that Henry was very passionate about patriotism and how America needs to fight Britain to be free from their rule. Emerson writes about nature and how nature is beautiful, and relates to man. Emerson wasnt involved with any of the rationalist actions against the British.

In Conclusion, Henry and Emerson styles of writing were similar anddifferent. Those both contained key elements of literature, while they used different words and phrases.