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Romanticism and Lamb Essay

I. In places like England during the early 1800’s, the Romanticism era was a popular form of literature. Romanticism focused primarily on nature, but also the goodness of human nature. In this letter from Charles Lamb to English romantic poet, William Wordsworth, Lamb’s diction, syntax, and imagery contribute to the haughty way he declines Wordsworth’s invitation. II. The author’s diction reflects his view that he feels that city life is more fitting for him than rural life A. While talking about the city, Lamb comments that there is an “impossibility of being dull” (l. 8) 1. Lamb feels that he could never be bored living in the city. 2. The word “dull” refers to the lack of fulfillment of living in rural areas. B. Lamb proclaims to Wordsworth that he has just as many “local attachments, as any of [Wordsworth’s] Mountaineers” (l. 4-5). 1. By calling everyone “mountaineers”, he sarcastically asserts that all rural living people are nature bound. 2. Lamb calls them all “Wordsworth’s” because they all act the same.

III. The author’s syntax conveys his belief that city life is livelier than rural life. A. Lamb comments that “[t]he Lighted shops of the Strand and Fleet Street, the unnumerable trades, tradesmen and customers, [and] coaches […] feed [him] without a power of satiating [him]” (l. 6, 11-12). 1. The catalogue listing suggests that Lamb feels that city life has much more to offer than rural life. 2. Longer sentences to describe city life opposed to the shorter sentences to describe rural life suggest that Lamb is more interested in city life. B. Lamb explains that Wordsworth’s “sun & moon and skies and hills & lakes affect [him] no more” (l. 24).

1. In the beginning of his letter, Lamb explains that he could travel with Wordsworth anywhere, but here he explains that he will not go to the country. 2. Lamb’s sarcasm provides humor to the piece so that he won’t sound too harsh. C. Lamb explains to Wordsworth that “[a]ll these emotions must be strange to [Wordsworth]. So are [Wordsworth’s] rural emotions to [Lamb]” (l. 14).

1. Lamb compares the city to rural life to explain to Wordsworth why he loves the city so much hoping that he will understand. 2. The parallelism also helps Lamb explain to the reader why he no longer wants to deal with rural life. D. Lamb admits to Wordsworth that his “sun & moon and skies and hills & lakes affect [him] no more, or scarcely come to [him] in more venerable characters, than as a gilded room with tapestry and tapers” (1. 24-26). 1. Lamb compares rural life and city life to explain that he would rather sit in a room full of beautiful curtains that view nature. 2. The word “glided” suggest that city life suits Lamb just fine.


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