Arcadia Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Arcadia.
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Enlightenment vs. Romanticism

The battle between Enlightenment and Romanticism, or intellect and emotion, can be seen in Arcadia through the discussions of the characters as well as the transformation of the Sidley Park gardens. The Age of Enlightenment occurred in the eighteenth century and created a culture of order, rational thought, and rules and processes. Philosophers of the Enlightenment period looked to examples of the Classical Greeks who emphasized simplicity and importance of the mind over the value of emotion. Romanticism occurred in the nineteenth century as a reaction to Enlightenment culture. Romantic philosophers encouraged individuality, freedom, and emotion. Art, especially literature, became more experimental. Emotion and intuition were viewed as more valuable than the mental processes. Noakes’s transformation of the Sidley Park gardens from the simple, classical forms of nature into the fanciful, supernatural ideals of the Romantic mindset symbolizes this historical transformation. The struggle between Romanticism...

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This section contains 746 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Arcadia Study Guide
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