The Romantic Ideal Of Individual Spirit By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1125 Words Feb 9th, 2016 5 Pages
Romanticism is a direct response to the Age of Reason where many authors talk about their main ideas and philosophies throughout their works. They optimistically describe the basic elements of human nature which are emotion, imagination, and most specifically, individual spirit. The Romantic ideal of individual spirit is most effectively expressed in the works of “A Psalm of Life,” “Self-Reliance,” and Walden.
The ideal of the individual spirit is most effectively expressed through the work “A Psalm of Life” because the author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, tells the reader how to express individuality throughout the whole poem by being very inspirational and motivating. He begins by explaining, “Life is real! Life is earnest!/ And the grave is not its goal” (“A Psalm of Life” 5-6). He is trying to motivate everyone to live life the way he/she wants to because life is short. It is earnest in the fact that one only has a limited time to make the most of his/her life and live it without thinking the final destination is death. Next, Longfellow motivates everyone to be a hero, “Be not like dumb, driven cattle!/ Be a hero in the strife!” (“A Psalm of Life” 19-20). His definition of hero is someone who does not follow the crowd and makes up his/her mind for himself/herself. He exclaims to be an individual by being a hero. Finally, he finishes the poem by saying, “And, departing, leave behind us/ Footprints on the sands of time;/ Footprints, that perhaps another,/ …Seeing, shall…

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