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French Literature in the 1800s

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When examining the key features one can easily recognize that this is particularly because of the rapid social changes witnessed by French mind that has prompted its artists to find new varieties of literary devices for expression. Thus, as the aftermath of French Revolution, there was a new sense of freshness in their thoughts and the influences of classical literature began to weaken in holding the intellectual process under sway. The novel viewers about Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in the first place clamored about their conspicuous absence in the society.

Both Rousseau and Montesquieu were speaking obsessively for the possible creation of a new world. Thus the romantic literature ensuing after this movement emphasized the need for placing the individual as an authority on himself and not the society. But the society, as we know, was constituted not by individuals alone but by the collective interaction of individuals and forces such as religion, politics, and economics. However, it was the individual’ s involvement that made these forces possible, yet the hold of individuals upon these forces was not strong enough to assume control over the society as a whole.

On the contrary, these forces largely shaped the individual mind. Therefore, it became obvious that whatever ideology was kept by Rousseau, in terms of placing individual as central in all schemes of things, it began to be perceived as less worthy to deal with a changing milieu, because 19th Century witnessed the emergence of industrial society. The transition from an agrarian society to an industrial society paved the way for various changes both in the social sense and within the individual’ s mind. In the first place there came cities and subsequently a new rhythm of life not least in tune with the rustic life began to be perceptible.

Since man began to associate himself with machines and artificially produced goods, he was increasingly becoming some kind equipment that could manage the functioning of an apparatus.

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preview essay on French Literature in the 1800s
  • Pages: 23 (5750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Undergraduate
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