NeoClassicism vs. Romanticism
To Neo Classicists in the 18th century, using reason was the key to discovering universal truth. Conflicting the Classic ideal was the 19th century Romantic. The Romantics felt that feeling was truth. American society today is a tough world and “street-smarts” would have to come into play to make it through this hectic life. Society today rarely allows any opportunity to subject to feeling and emotion to understand what goes on and conclude to actions forced by what an individual feels. Hence in this 21st century, Americans would benefit far greater from qualities derived from the tenets of the Neo Classical though of rationalism rather than the Romantic’s ideal of feeling as the best guide to Truth.
The Neo Classic period ranged from the Pre-Enlightenment through the Age of Reason. During this time, literature strived with a variety of tenets that were held true by many civilizations. Specific literature in which these tenets may be found include, but not limited to: “Hoichi the Earless“, “The Rape of the Lock”, “Essay on Man” and various pieces of art. Such works evidently prove that reason is the best guide to Truth in 21st century American society.
One may ask themselves if these ideas that are believed in today, might in any way affect what is to come because we are basing our acts on what occurred in the times of yore. Alexander Pope"tms "Essay on Man" shows that balance between emotion and reason is vital. The use of feeling to find truth, found in John Keats"tm "Ode on a Grecian Urn", is mentioned as "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," implying that as we "feel" someone"tms beauty, it is truth. If there is too much of reason, there will be no zeal and nothing to keep us going. The Neo Classical idea of reason and the Golden Mean would be far more favorable to 21st American society. For that reason, that balance should exist to keep us neutral within society. It most definitely applies to American society today because many American teenagers, if not lead through the right path, will be introduced to the drug addiction and violent ambitions that others suffer and possibly become accustomed to these traits. Because their lives are so repulsive, they do not see any other way out but to end it all. In this frantic society we live in, this idea must be greatly focused on. Adoration of the past is clearly seen in the Neo Classical short story "Hoichi the Earless" as ". There exists that balance between these two that pinpoints where it keeps you sane and "normal", so to speak. The poem mentions "Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain," which means that we ought to use reason in order for us to contain ourselves; to use reason as our core of thought and action. In Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffman"tms "The Cremona Violin," Councillor Krespel felt much of this when hearing his daughter chant because once she sings, she will die. Adoration of the past is one of the very few ideas shared by the Neo Classicists and Romanticists that would be ideal in American society.