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Symbolism

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Symbolism
The period of romanticism is the period after the Enlightenment era and it deals with many concepts and such as symbolism, individualism, myths and emotion. The literature of this period was not just concentrated on the theory of romantics with the thought of love being the center of romanticism even though some of the works may be about love and affection, plenty of works like those assigned deal with different types of romanticism. Williams Wordsworth shows romanticism with his different uses of symbols in his writings and the same can be seen with works done by Leo Tolstoy. The lines that are taken out of the Tintern Abbey, he speaks about the light and darkness and describes them in certain ways. The “joyless daylight” (Wordsworth, 436) represents the truth and the light helps an individual see the truth. Sometimes the truth may not be what the individual wants to see and the darkness that he mentions represents hiding the truth from people and whoever the individual may be making them feel better. The symbolism he uses shows a grim type of romanticism that the period brings into sight. The next piece of literature would be the works from Leo Tolstoy. Like William Wordsworth, it shows a grim type of symbolism in the piece of The Death of Ivan Ilyich. The story gives symbolism that can be analyzed with the five stages of death developed by Elisabeth Kubler Ross. The different stages can be seen throughout the story showing symbols of him going through the stages denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. One of the key points that can be seen is the ending where he accepts his death with the line saying “In place of death there was light… What joy!”(Leo Tolstoy, 649). With the light symbolizing acceptance and the after life that the enlightenment period tried to steer away from to move towards and logical way of thinking rather than religiously. This short story also shows the emotions that he swings thru while going threw his illness which is another theme in Romanticism. The last reading by Leslie Silko is The Yellow Woman gives the methods of Romanticism, which are imagination and symbolism. The story talks about being caught between two worlds due to her being a Native American. It conflicts with her everyday life and her mythical life of her heritage. She mentions modern items like automobiles and other things, but yet she is caught in between because she is also with this Native American that takes her on journeys to represent her roots. The symbolism of the Navajo American taking her on journeys shows the symbol of being in another world and imagination because in her life she speaks and hints at the fact that there is two worlds she lives in. All these stories represent one main part of the Romanticism time period in which symbolism and the ability to hide it in their stories. The stories show that people are moving logic and rationality to emotional and natural ways of thinking.

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