Romanticism nature and man relationship

William Wordsworth | Romantic Natural History

romanticism nature and man relationship

Romantic poets did not talk about cities (but realists did). on the organic connection between man and nature in. On a broader scale, it is also the faculty that helps humans to constitute reality as the ultimate synthesizing faculty, enabling humans to reconcile differences and Romantic nature poetry is essentially a poetry of meditation. William Wordsworth () is the Romantic poet most often a self- consciously literary artist who described “the mind of man” as An earlier passage from Dorothy's journal reveals a similar connection of wind-caused.

In advertisements, artists' sketches, and photographs from the west, sublime portrayals of nature solicited the money of people in the east. The west reaffirmed the existence of the American identity and promised that it was still as robust as ever.

In painting, Romantic art returned to the idealized landscape, but not the landscapes of classical civilizations. Instead, painters like Bierstadt, Church, and Moran used their keen observations of the West to transform it into the promised land of America.

Bierstadt's paintings of the Rockies or Moran's portrayals of the geological wonders of the west depict the American landscape in primeval majesty which transports the spectator to a virgin land of nearly prehistoric character. Almost every landscape painting done by these artists is devoid of any sign of human civilization, European or other, and instead focuses exclusively on the supremacy of the landscape.

To the artists, the idealization of nature was merely technique; they wished to convey the impressions of the wilderness they saw. But for eastern audiences which had never seen such places, these paintings were supposed to be documentaries which accurately reflected the land as it appeared before the human eye. The disjunction between the two perceptions of nature in art created confusion which turned the mythology of the American wilderness into the mythology of the West.

Since wilderness had earned its place in American consciousness as both the source of our national identity and the guarantor of American prosperity, the impressive scenes of Bierstadt and Moran illustrated that the West was America. As long as we had the wild land of the West, America was assured of continued success and a secure national identity.

Nature in the Capitol Between the prosperity of the east and the wilderness of the west, Americans felt that they had at last combined within their culture the very best of nature and civilization. Nonetheless, the contrasting views of nature are troubling.

On one hand, the wilderness is the font of national traits and the foundation of a national identity; on the other, the exploitation and depletion of the wilderness helped build cities and make millionaires.

romanticism nature and man relationship

America maintained this complex relationship with nature well into the Twentieth century. Imagination The imagination was elevated to a position as the supreme faculty of the mind. This contrasted distinctly with the traditional arguments for the supremacy of reason. The Romantics tended to define and to present the imagination as our ultimate "shaping" or creative power, the approximate human equivalent of the creative powers of nature or even deity.

It is dynamic, an active, rather than passive power, with many functions. Imagination is the primary faculty for creating all art. On a broader scale, it is also the faculty that helps humans to constitute reality, for as Wordsworth suggestedwe not only perceive the world around us, but also in part create it.

romanticism nature and man relationship

Uniting both reason and feeling Coleridge described it with the paradoxical phrase, "intellectual intuition"imagination is extolled as the ultimate synthesizing faculty, enabling humans to reconcile differences and opposites in the world of appearance.

The reconciliation of opposites is a central ideal for the Romantics.

romanticism nature and man relationship

Finally, imagination is inextricably bound up with the other two major concepts, for it is presumed to be the faculty which enables us to "read" nature as a system of symbols.

Nature "Nature" meant many things to the Romantics. As suggested above, it was often presented as itself a work of art, constructed by a divine imagination, in emblematic language.

romanticism nature and man relationship

For example, throughout "Song of Myself," Whitman makes a practice of presenting commonplace items in nature--"ants," "heap'd stones," and "poke-weed"--as containing divine elements, and he refers to the "grass" as a natural "hieroglyphic," "the handkerchief of the Lord. It was viewed as "organic," rather than, as in the scientific or rationalist view, as a system of "mechanical" laws, for Romanticism displaced the rationalist view of the universe as a machine e. At the same time, Romantics gave greater attention both to describing natural phenomena accurately and to capturing "sensuous nuance"--and this is as true of Romantic landscape painting as of Romantic nature poetry.

Nature and the American Identity

Accuracy of observation, however, was not sought for its own sake. Romantic nature poetry is essentially a poetry of meditation. Symbolism and Myth Symbolism and myth were given great prominence in the Romantic conception of art.

What Is the Connection between Romanticism and Nature

In the Romantic view, symbols were the human aesthetic correlatives of nature's emblematic language. They were valued too because they could simultaneously suggest many things, and were thus thought superior to the one-to-one communications of allegory. Partly, it may have been the desire to express the "inexpressible"--the infinite--through the available resources of language that led to symbol at one level and myth as symbolic narrative at another.

William Wordsworth

Emotion, Lyric Poetry, and the Self Other aspects of Romanticism were intertwined with the above three concepts. Emphasis on the activity of the imagination was accompanied by greater emphasis on the importance of intuition, instincts, and feelings, and Romantics generally called for greater attention to the emotions as a necessary supplement to purely logical reason. When this emphasis was applied to the creation of poetry, a very important shift of focus occurred.