The Child As A Symbol Of Innocence And Hope Essay

1692 Words May 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
If there is one thing that I have learned throughout the course of this semester, it is that the role of the child is immensely important in romantic literature. The Romantic Movement in England was centered on imagination, and regaining the sense of childhood innocence that we lose once we are subjected to the harsh realities of the world. Though there are many examples of the child in different aspects of romantic literature, they are not all depicted in the same way. Some authors see the child as a symbol of innocence and hope, while others see childbirth and parenting as a difficult and unrewarding struggle. The child, during the Romantic period, was a figure seen in prose, poetry, and even during political debates. This is because the idea of what it really meant to be a child was being completely reconsidered. Children were historically viewed as being “miniature adults” before the nineteenth century, and more as extensions of their parents (Davis). Jean-Jaques Rousseau was the first to really recognize the child as separate. His ideas and findings about the characteristics of childhood raised discussion on how children were being raised. Education changed for children, as well as working conditions. The life span during the nineteenth century was very low, and death during childbirth, as well as diseases, created an abundance of orphans. Orphans soon developed into a literary icon, and began to be used in literature due to the struggles that these children faced with…

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