Summative Entry

The Nineteenth Century gives me real insights into human and social issues that are still current in the 21st century

Nineteenth Century Literature has been such a pleasant unit to explore. I have found it to be one of the most interesting and diverse periods of literature in all of history. I have journeyed through many exciting and eye-opening units during my studies at ACU, however, nothing quite compares to the magic, awe, and satirisation of the Nineteenth century.

Many of the Romantic authors we have explored such as Wordsworth, Dickens, Percy, and Coleridge, exemplify the zeitgeist of the Romantic era. These poets challenge a neoclassical way of thinking by demonstrating how we have lost our ability to connect with nature. We have given up our hearts for material possessions and other artificial evils that do not touch our inner spirit, nor bring lasting happiness. These poets argue that individuals who live in deep harmony with nature are often far more enlightened as they contain more wisdom and depth.

These aforementioned ideas explored in the Nineteenth Century unit provide insights into human and social issues that are not only witnessed during the Romantic era but are emphatically echoed in the 21st century. Today’s modern world mirrors a similar selfish, acquisitive, and atomistic society as seen in the Nineteenth Century. A world that still devotes itself to material goods by “getting and spending” anytime and anywhere, instead of allowing ourselves to be immersed in the beauty of the natural world and to really be moved by it.

I must state that though I agree with many of the ideas emphasised by Wordsworth and many other romantic poets, I am also guilty of falling into the materialism trap. It is not often I pause and reflect upon the beauteous nature around me… do you?

Thankfully, this unit has allowed me to enrich my soul by becoming more in-tune with nature. This is seen through my first blog ‘A Sea of Understanding’, which allowed me to reflect on how nature is a teacher to all those around her.  It is only when you open your mind and soul to her and be present in all her glory that you will understand her teachings and hear what she is saying.

Moreover, I continued this reflective and attuned relationship to the spirit of nature through my third blog. This entry explores how Wordsworth’s ‘The World Is Too Much With Us’ applies to the 21st Century. It allowed me to explore the parallels between the Nineteenth and the 21st Century, and I was amazed at how human and social issues that were explored in the Nineteenth century are still echoed in today’s society. As Wordsworth said, we are so involved with “getting and spending” that nature does not move us anymore. This idea is even more prevalent today, as the ability to get and spend is greater than ever thanks to the ever-increasing rate of technology.

This unit has included a myriad of entertaining literature which has not only allowed me to gain new and insightful knowledge but has also improved my skills as a writer/blogger. I have really enjoyed reading the remarkable work of my peers and receiving their helpful and genuine feedback.

This unit on Nineteenth Century literature has given me real insights into human and social issues that are still current in the 21st century. Despite the fact we still live in a world where many individuals act out of their own self-interest, where social injustice riddles societies and money is seen to be the universal language of the world, authors like Wordsworth and Blake provide alternative ways of seeing and living. As Blake himself said “I feel that a man may be happy in this world, and I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. I see everything I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike.” Authors like Blake provided multifarious ways of living a life of fulfilment and happiness amidst the disorder and dissension.

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