Arts & Ideas
November 8, 2010
An Analysis of Romanticism of Atala
The Romantic Era brings to the mind of an uneducated person of a time of idyllic pleasure, carefree and light. If asked to picture it some may say a damsel in distress rescued by her knight riding in on a white stallion. However, the Romantic Era was more of an era of rebellion as the world moved away from the “correctness” in literary art and religion. It was an era of artistic movement, in literature, music, and the visual arts, that emphasizes pleasure in the natural world, fascination with the legends of the past and supernatural beings, creativity, imagination, exploration of human emotions, human activities struggling and striving and even rebellion. (Frameworks, p91) Romanticism traits can be found in Francois Rene de Chateaubriand’s novel Atala. The novel depicts the love story of a young Indian couple who escapes death and family traditions, and after facing difficulties, finds solace in a new and rejuvenated Christianity, yet still fall into the cruel hands of fate. It is through this story that Chateaubriand weaves the style of romanticism, using suggestive language, the human activities: struggles and emotions, and creativity that make Atala a novel of the romantic period.
The suggestive language can be found sprinkled throughout the novel as Chateaubriand describes the landscape and the nature that involves the characters lives. Chateaubriand states in describing land in which Chactas is captured and first encounters Atala: “The seventeenth day walk, to the time where the short-lived exits waters, we entrames on great Savannah Alachua. It is surrounded by hillsides, fleeing the one behind the other, which are in elevating juice and praised, forests storied sweetgum, lemon trees, magnolias and oak charged."(Chateaubriand, Atala) We further see more poetic language in the line Chactas says of himself and his relationship to...