Study Guide

1          Romanticism, as much as it was a reaction, was a movement that bore complex intellectual, literary and artistic characteristics. It came into existence during the industrial revolution in the second part of the eighteenth century. It revolted against the practices of the Enlightenment age. It was mostly practiced in the principles of music, visual arts, literature and had a strong impact on the history of the time. Realism came about in the same period as romanticism and it developed to try differ with the romantic principles. Realist writers were focused on scientific observation, reaction, and logic. Romanticism laid emphasis on the exploration for and presentation of supernatural and unknowable truths. It emphasized the ideal. Realism on the other hand laid emphasis on unavoidable truths and stated they were the things that mattered. Realism laid emphasis on the real just as the name suggests.

Authors during the romanticism period included authors like Keats, Coleridge, Shelley, Blake, Byron and Wordsworth. Wordsworth and Coleridge were the two major authors and poets during the period. They were both English poets. Their work mostly sought to create a rejection to Augustan poetry that favored direct speech. They included utopia in their literary style. Blake was also a painter and was a passionate romantic. The characters in their works were either strictly heroic, strictly evil and were all extraordinary. The events featured in the works were mostly supernatural or unreal and the language used was poetic and formal. In the realist art work, the authors included Turgenev and Ibsen. The main characters in their works were average people with no super powers and were complex and imperfect like real people. The environments featured in their works were natural ordinary environments and the language used was real dialects from common speech.

2          The poem ‘She walks in beauty’ by Lord Byron has only three stanzas each with six lines. It has a definite rhyme scheme that alternates after every two lines. The rhyme is created by the last word of every line. The last words in the first, third and fifth lines create a rhyme scheme that ends with the letters ‘ght’. The last words in the second, fourth and sixth lines also create a rhyme scheme that ends with the letters ‘es’. In the second stanza, the format is the same and the letters are ‘ess’ in the first pattern and ‘ace’ in the second one. In the third stanza, the letters for the first pattern are ‘ow’ and ‘ent’ for the second. The imagery used in the poem is seen where Lord Byron mentions a night with light coming from bright stars and compares this night with the woman. Byron also describes the darkness and the light coming together that is depicted by her dark hair and her light complexion.

3          The novel ‘Fathers and Children’ as the name suggests is about the vast boundary that exists between fathers and sons. This impliedly means that the gap is between the two-generation gaps. Bazarov the protagonist brings home his friend Arkady who knows no authority and professes a belief that only he understands. Nikolai believes he and his brother are behind the times and he tells Pavel, his brother that he hopes to interact with Arkady but they do not understand one another.

4          Bazarov changes his blunt feeling towards life when the widow Anna becomes attracted to him and decides to seduce him. She lures him into her circle of love and wishes him to give up everything and fall fully in love with her without any regrets. Bazarov confesses his love for her and his nihilism breaks down due to his emotions. Anna finally rejects Bazarov and finally claims to have made a mistake falling in love with him and making him fall in love with her.

5          Bazarov’s nihilism has the principle of insignificance. This principle has the meaning that life is insignificant and death takes away everything. His view of nihilism is one that rejects anything people consider valid. His nihilism also does not trust anyone and does not allow him to have emotion or alliances with anyone. His nihilism does not also allow him to have any patriotism to any country and he only believes in what is scientifically proven. He believes that the purpose of nihilism is to destroy all values and institutions and he considers himself the main soldier in this battle. Nikolai on the other hand does not believe in nihilism and his son Arkady believes in it. He only tries to keep up with the times by associating himself with his son. He considers the rift between the two generations having been brought about by the nihilism.

6          Bazarov does not like the attention he receives from his parents and ends up leaving home just three days after he returns fro ma long stay at school his mother feels devastated and believes that her son no longer loves her. When he comes back home for another stay he becomes ill and dies of typhoid. Arkady on the other hand has his fathers romanticism embedded in his character and he works hard to break free of Bazarov’s nihilistic principles. He admires his father in certain aspects and he heeds his mother’s advice and falls in love. He embraces his parents tradition and he loves them and loves being around them and helping them in their home.

7          The main significance of William Blake’s engravings was the reflection of his work to his audience. The engravings of his time took a lot of time to finish and were performed wit great care. He realized that the artwork would greatly help in the explanation of his poetry to his audience.

8          I feel that the original ending was better than the ‘Barbaric Outrage’ since at the time the poem was written women used to be seen as exactly what Nora told Torvald, ‘Dolls’. This ending shows the afflictions of the female society then and how it has changed up to now. The original ending maintains the original thoughts of the author and it shows originality. The second ending shows Nora collapsing after seeing her children. This ending is vague and does not show a clear pattern of how events take place after Nora and Torvald argue.

9          The appearances in the play are mostly long especially for the two main characters Torvald and Nora. They are too involved in the play and their appearances are too many.

10        Torvald scolds Nora for her silliness because of her actions. She runs away from home to go see her mother and then returns and begs for forgiveness. He then praises her for this behavior since in a way he realizes that he really loves her due to it. Were it not for her anger and sudden tragic moves, so many things would not have gone as they did. The two have a true and passionate love but Torvald is engulfed with chauvinism.


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