On Wednesday’s seminar class, we spoke about the nineteenth century and all the wonderful pieces that made up that era. First, we discussed the characteristics of this time period. Some include a sense of nationalism, and a new desire to belong to more then a god and a king. This was brought about after the rise of the middle class. Since the new guilds began taking care of people, they were able to get more than enough food.With a better sense of well being, and ample time to do other things like read and write, more people desired to discover their purpose in life and ask “Who am I?” This was the beginning of individualism. Its amazes me how, with fewer things to worry about, a persons mind can truly expand. When I was a young child and had nearly nothing to worry about, it seemed so much easier to discover who I was, and to explore all aspects of my personality. As you grow older, there are more things to think about, less room in your mind, and less time to extensively work on who you are in opposition to nature. Nevertheless, as you get older and have more to think about, how you deal with these thoughts seem to state who you truly are.
We also discussed how the dark side of human nature was personified by its literature in the nineteenth century, probably due to the revolutions occurring at the time. One of the novels written during that period, that stuck out in my mind was Madame Bovary. In my opinion this novel epitomized romanticism and the dark side of human nature. As Madame Bovary planned her party, she was reminded of the the multiple love affairs she had after marrying her husband. Adultery, in my opinion is a form of the dark side of human nature. Furthermore, after reading this novel two years ago, I remember noticing how Madame Bovary might have used these affairs to become her own person. She desired to be an individual, and to live beyond the realms as “Madame Bovary.” With this new knowledge of the nineteenth century ideals and their influence on writing, I now see how this could have influenced the author of Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert.