Romanticism vs Rationalism

Topics: Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Empiricism Pages: 1 (397 words) Published: March 26, 2013
Romanticism vs Rationalism
Romantics value Individuality while, Rationalist value conformity. In the Poem “Ode: Intimation of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth, stanza VII deals with conformity. The young man will have to “fit his tongue to dialogues f business, love, strife” (Wordsworth 13-14) just so that he fits in. He is trying to conform to the ‘imaginary’ rules of society. Another way he conforms is when he is a “little Actor [that] cons another part” (Wordsworth 18). It’s like instead of him being himself he takes on different parts. He wants to fit into the crowd instead of being an individual. On the other hand in the poem “Saturday at the Canal” by Gary Soto, there is a 17 year old guy that hates where he is. He wants to go to San Francisco to “be with people who knew more than three chords on a guitar” (Soto 13-14); people that were following their own individuality. He also did something different then all the people he knew, he “didn’t drink or smoke” (Soto 14). Most teenagers drink to fit in with the ‘cool’ people but, he goes against the grain. Rationalism is being safe and fitting into society while, Romanticism is being yourself-different.

Another aspect of Romanticism is innocence, and experience being Rationalism. In “Ode: Intimation of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” stanza V it talks about the innocence of a young child. “Heaven lies about us in our infancy” (Wordsworth 9) when we our born. Everyone says that heaven is the purest thing out there; they also say babies are. Being so pure makes them innocent because they don’t know the difference between right or wrong. But innocence doesn’t last forever the boy “beholds the light” (Wordsworth 12) of innocence. The boy starts to experience more and loses his innocence. In “Saturday at the Canal” the 17 year old boy thought that “school was [just] a sharp check in the roll book” (Soto 2) because he thought he had experienced enough of...
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