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Complete 3 page APA formatted essay: Rousseau's Confessions.Download file to see previous pages... Additionally, the essay considers why Rousseau is the first author in the section titled ‘Romantici
Complete 3 page APA formatted essay: Rousseau's Confessions.Download file to see previous pages...
Additionally, the essay considers why Rousseau is the first author in the section titled ‘Romanticism’. From the very opening lines of the ‘Confessions’ Rousseau considers the nature of the self. He writes, “I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature. and this man shall be myself…I know my heart, and have studied mankind. I am not made like any one I have been acquainted with, perhaps like no one in existence. if not better, I at least claim originality” (Rousseau). In the above quote Rousseau is considering the interrelation between the self and its textual articulation in his autobiography form. This is a significant occurrence as it indicates that he has internalized the elements of the self that constitute an identity and then worked towards expressing them in the narrative form of the autobiography. specifically, his foregrounding of the autobiography as a form of written expression demonstrates a re-imagining of what it means to be a person. While the above quote considers the nature of the self directly, other aspects of Rousseau’s text consider elements of emotion and interiority. In the second book, Rousseau writes, “Flattery, or rather condescension, is not always a vice in young people. 'tis oftener a virtue. When treated with kindness, it is natural to feel an attachment for the person who confers the obligation. we do not acquiesce because we wish to deceive, but from dread of giving uneasiness, or because we wish to avoid the ingratitude of rendering evil for good” (Rousseau). In the above quote Rousseau is considering an encounter he had with a priest. While the encounter is specific in the text, relevant for this essay is the in-depth way that Rousseau considers internal emotions. In this way, he works to articulate the way that flattery and condescension affect the emotions. This is a significant way of looking into the self and attempting to map these emotions. Another prominent consideration of the self occurs when Rousseau describes his early childhood practice of reading. He indicates, “I soon acquired, by this dangerous custom, not only an extreme facility in reading and comprehending, but, for my age, a too intimate acquaintance with the passions. An infinity of sensations were familiar to me, without possessing any precise idea of the objects to which they related—I had conceived nothing—I had felt the whole. This confused succession of emotions did not retard the future efforts of my reason, though they added an extravagant, romantic notion of human life, which experience and reflection have never been able to eradicate” (Rousseau). In regards to Romanticism the above quote has a number of important elements. One of the primary elements is the way that Rousseau positions himself as a unique individual. as noted this is a characteristic of Romanticism. Specifically, Rousseau indicates that his youthful reading conditioned his later life aptitude for reading and comprehending. In this way he is specifically indicating how his environment shaped his self. Another notable element considered in this quote is the way that articulates Rousseau’s connection with the passions. in this way he even indicates that these passions contributed to his later life romantic notions about the world.