Essay by katli7 January 2013

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Perhaps one of the most dramatic changes in English literature was the transition from the Neoclassical era in the early to mid-eighteenth century to the Romantic era following the French Revolution of 1789, when many great works of literature were written. In the Neoclassical era, the focus of literature was to imitate the classics of Greece and Rome and to uphold an orderly society. This ideal evolved with the French Revolution in 1789, when old concepts of society, and thus also literature, were overturned. Among writers, emotions and personal experiences that had previously been considered inappropriate for discussion became popular. The beauty of nature, freedom from restraint, and explorations of the psychological and spiritual realms all became topics favored by Romantic writers. The classic poems of one of the best-known English poets of the time, William Wordsworth, emerged from this era, whose writings exemplified all of these ideals of the Romantic era.

On the other hand, another prominent poetress, Emily Dickinson, is in a sense, a link between the Romantic era and the literary sensitivities of the turn of the century into the Realist era. A radical individualist, she does not belong to any one literary period. Instead, she falls into several different writing style genres such as the Romanticism period, Realism, and even the Modernism period. In her life, she concentrated on being herself in her poems; by doing this, one can say she was never truly affected by any external influences from the time period. Coincidentally, she viewed nature in a way that the Romanticism period reflected - finding deep inspiration in animals and plants. On the other hand, Emily Dickinson writes about death in a more Realistic way, investigating immortality and death in a dark, gritty fashion. Although the relation between Dickinson and the influences of...