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Romantic literature is such that an author writes in an attempt to convey his feelings on what the world should be like. It is unrealistic, unreasoning, and imaginative writing. William Cullen Bryant and Edgar Allen Poe are two examples of romantic writers. Though Poe fits the mold of a romantic writer it is obvious that his writings do not mirror those of Bryant or many other known romantic authors. His works share a uniqueness that is not found amongst the other writers, it is this uniqueness that separates Poe’s works from the rest. Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis” is a good example of romantic literature. This work compared to Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” will show that characteristics of Poe’s work that, both, make him a romantic writer and separate him from other romantic writers.
“Thanatopsis”, by William Cullen Bryant, is a very romantic poem about the relationship between man and nature. Bryant’s purpose for this poem is to spread his belief that at the last hours of life man is joined with the Earth and when that last hour is over man will join all those who have passed before him. From the first two lines of the poem it is obvious that this poem is romantic in nature. “To him who in the love of Nature holds – Communion with her visible forms,” (470). Bryant personifies nature in this poem by referring to it as a “she”. He does this to establish a common thread between the reader and Earth. It is easier for someone, reading Bryant’s work, to begin believing his ideas about nature if “Nature” is referred to as a human being. Along with Bryant’s approach to the reader his description of the connection between man and nature is also very romantic. “Go forth under the open sky, and list – To Nature’s teachings, while from all around – Earth and her waters, and the depths of air, - Comes a still voice-”(470). In this quote Bryant begins to speak about how Nature offers co...
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