The Dangers of Innocence: An Examination of Austen, Blake, and Coleridge
The history of literature is arguably a cycle of repetition. It is the nature of the mind to return to subjects of perpetual interest, and to exorcise the eternal concerns of the human condition via artistic labor. The subjects upon which creative invention is founded have remained constant through evolution of temporal change. As a result, the compositions of the giants of the profession mimic each other in topic and tone. The inclination of modern society to neatly categorize has produced epochs by which literary heritages are mapped. These movements include affiliations of authors noted for their similarity. But, as the works of the Romantics scribes Jane Austen, William Blake, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge show, a wealth of variety exists even among these families. All three writers explored innocence during their careers, and each of the consequent works show both a surprising association with their contemporaries and a distinctive individuality.
With charming wit, the novels of Jane Austen scrutinize the rigid culture of England in the early nineteenth century. The books sparkle in their realism, the humanly flawed protagonists crafted from elegant prose. Northanger Abbey is the oldest testament to Austen's genius, an...
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