Summative Entry

The Nineteenth Century gives me real insights into human and social issues that are still current in the 21st century.

Studying the works of literary greats from the Nineteenth Century has given me real insights into the condition of human nature and the social issues that were relevant then and continue to be prevalent in the 21st century. 

In Blog 1, I reveal how the Nineteenth Century has given me insights into human and social issues because the concerns expressed in the film Pandaemonium are definitely still relevant in the 21st century as there is still the preoccupation with knowledge and wisdom being derived from physical sources of knowledge such as books. These concerns expressed in the film Pandaemonium about how philosophical language is more in touch with the deeper truth are still relevant in the 21st century because we can learn passively through human experiences in nature rather than through books and the knowledge of those before us. This gave me an insight into the human and social issues that are still relevant in the 21st Century because of the knowledge surrounding academia inculcated by universities and schools. Coleridge reveals how there are ways of being in touch with knowledge by allowing the world to speak to us and this gave me insights about the human and social issues in the 21st century because if we detach from expectations of what reality should be and how we should gain knowledge, we can learn how wisdom and the deeper truth about ourselves, relationships and the world, arises from these experiences in nature which simultaneously pose resolutions to the human and social issues in the 21st century that are giving us stress, anxiety and doubts about the condition of civilisation. 

In Blog 2, I reveal how the Nineteenth Century has given me insights into human and social issues that are still relevant in the 21st century because I learnt how we are so consumed by technology and our doubts and stresses about civilisation that it prevents us from living an authentic and fulfilled life. In my blog I state how I was in a state of “wise passiveness” (Wordsworth, 297) when I was at a Hawaiian Luau because the thump of the Hawaiian bass drums and the rustling of the palm trees above, swam through my body like a wakeful dream. Studying Nineteenth Century literature gave me insights about how being immersed in nature was refreshing and allowed me to be in touch with the profoundness of humanity. I have learnt that human and social issues of the Nineteenth Century are still relevant today because there is still a preoccupation with the acquisition of knowledge. However, Nineteenth Century literature has allowed me to understand that knowledge and wisdom are different because we can be knowledgeable, but we do not have wisdom about our lives unless we discover the “beauteous forms of things” (Wordsworth, 298).

In Blog 3, I reveal how the Nineteenth Century has given me insights into human and social issues that are still relevant in the 21st century because I wrote a letter to William Wordsworth about how his poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” resonated with me because it highlighted how we must remove any restrictions that are barriers to human growth and dignity and anything that prevents “tranquil restoration” (Wordsworth, 300). Nineteenth Century literature has provided a nuanced understanding about the human experience and has emphasised how nature is a safe-haven and catalyst for restoring our spirit. This has given me insights how the human and social issues of the Nineteenth Century are still prevalent because when we are feeling weary, we must remember that these emotions are inherent to the human experience. The experiences that we have in nature underpins the acts of kindness and love that we extend to others. Nineteenth Century literature has given me profound insights about human nature and the social issues that are still prevalent in the 21st century because as humans we desire to understand the inner textual experience of our reality yet often when we are navigating the world, we are in a rush and in fear and apprehension and consequently, miss all of its beauty. 

In Blog 4, I reveal how the Nineteenth Century has given me insights into human and social issues that are still relevant in the 21st century because I wrote a letter to Charles Dickens commending him for exposing the real deficiencies in human behaviour pertaining to the lack of imagination and humanity that results from being consumed by mechanisation. These are human and social issues that are still relevant today because technology is taking people away from their personal human experiences because every aspect of life is manufactured and lacks any intrinsic life. Dickens brings into focus the deficiencies of human behaviour through the nature of Coketown, the Circus and the Gradgrind children and gave me insights about the human and social issues that are still current in the 21st century because Dickens exposes the deficiencies of human behaviour in regards to the didactic nature of education where children are seen as blank canvases to absorb information. It is to a significant extent that this is still a relevant social issue because the curriculum that children are being taught is mostly underpinned by the philosophy of factuality and reductiveness with only minimal areas in the curriculum allowing for imagination and self-expression. This is still a relevant human and social issue because even though there is drama and art in the curriculum, these subjects are still not given the same amount of time in the classroom as other subjects such as English, History, Maths and Science. 

The Nineteenth Century gives me real insights about human and social issues that continue to be relevant in the 21st century because I have been awakened to how those who are immersed in nature and have a lack of conformity to normal social aspirations, have acquired the fulfilled lives and human connections that the rest of humanity desires. 

Pandaemonium. Directed by Julien Temple, performances by Linus Roache, John Hannah, Samantha Morton, Emily Woof, USA Films, 2002, Accessed 2 March 2020.

Wordsworth, William. “Expostulation and Reply”. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Vol D by Steven Greenblatt et. al. New York: Norton. 2012. 296-297.

Wordsworth, William. “The Tables Turned”. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Vol D by Steven Greenblatt et. al. New York: Norton. 2012. 297-298.

Wordsworth, William. “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Vol D by Steven Greenblatt et. al. New York: Norton. 2012. 299-302.

Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. New York: Norton, 2001.


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