The Ideology of Romanticism

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The Ideology of Romanticism

As a literary and philosophical movement developed over three hundred years ago, Romanticism is a reaction against the age of neoclassicism, which included reason and logic. We find it mostly in writings from the 18th century but also in more recent years, thanks to the film industry. A good example would be the 1990 movie Dances with wolves with Kevin Costner in the leading role. This phenomenal and acclaimed motion picture is indeed the perfect illustration of the true meaning of Romanticism, mainly because of its unconventional and non-conformist protagonist. The human emotions, the belief in supernatural, the love for nature are three themes enclosed within the ideology of Romanticism as well as in this fantastic movie.

Based on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, Romanticism is “an emphasis on the imagination and emotions” (Webster). This definition could also describe perfectly Dances with wolves since it is based on human thoughts and irrational feelings. It is a three-hour production about a “disillusioned Union Lieutenant during the American Civil War who is sent to guard an abandoned fort in Colorado, only to become enamoured with the local Sioux tribe, learning its language and marrying one of its members” (Dances with wolves, editorial review). Moreover, this man will live a life in complete opposite of what his logic would dictate him. His instinct and emotions will lead his life against everything he was taught. The path of his heart will lead him to a non-traditional and unconventional lifestyle. He will listen to his own feelings and intuition instead of following orders. Consequently, this movie is a great example of Romanticism because Lieutenant Dunbar will not only stop being rational and join the Sioux tribe for emotional reasons, but he will also be drawn to the “savage” traditions and spiritual beliefs and later make them his own.

The term supernatural in Romanticism implies a...
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