Charles Lamb as a Romanticist
Charles Lamb was a famous English prose-writer and the best representative of the new form of English literature early in the nineteenth century. He did not adhere to the old rules and classic models but made the informal essay a pliable vehicle for expressing the writer’s own personality, thus bringing into English literature the personal or familiar essay.
The style of Lamb is gentle, old-fashioned and irresistibly attractive, for which there is no better illustration than Dream Children: A Reverie. From the analysis of this essay we can find Lamb’s characteristic way of expression.
Dream Children records the pathetic joys in the author’s unfortunate domestic life. We can see in this essay, primarily, a supreme expression of the increasing loneliness of his life. He constructed all that preliminary tableau of paternal pleasure in order to bring home to us in the most poignant way his feeling of the solitude of his existence, his sense of all that he had missed and lost in the world. The key meaning of the story shows the beauty that resides in sadness. There are remarkable writing techniques to achieve such an effect.
Through the stylistic approach to Dream Children, we can see that Charles Lamb is a romanticist, seeking a free expression of his own personality and weaving romance into daily life. Without a trace of vanity of self-assertion, Lamb begins with himself, with some purely personal mood or experience, and from this he leads the reader to see life and literature as he saw it. It is this wonderful combination of personal and universal interests, together with Lamb’s rare old style, which make the essay remarkable.
1 Lexical Feature
1. Old-fashioned but elegant diction
Lamb prefers to use archaic words in order to reach a certain distance between the author’s real life and his whimsies, such as:
(1) and how in her youth she was esteemed the... [continues]
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