Seminar paper from the year 2018 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Heidelberg (Anglistisches Seminar), course: Hauptseminar First Generation Romantic Poets, language: English, abstract: William Wordsworth provides material for an extensive study of children and childhood in Romanticism with his oeuvre. The notion of "The child is father of the man" appears to be ingrained in earlier works such as the volume "Lyrical Ballads" (1798) as well. The poems discussed in this paper are 'We are Seven' and 'Anecdote for Fathers'. Is the child a teacher or the origin of the adult? Or is it something inferior? How does the portrayal of the children in the two poems differ and in what ways are they similar? The interpretation and comparison of these poems will provide an insight into Wordsworth's Romantic child. In these two ballads adult narrators describe their encounters and conversations with a child. The focus here is clearly on the descriptive aspect (e.g. the child's appearance and behaviour). To get an historical background of the prevalent ideas of childhood and children of Wordsworth's contemporaries, a short summary of the two dominant philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, who both coined the Romantic views on childhood, is provided (Chapter 2). The analysis of the poems themselves is divided into several subcategories: the portrayal of the child (3.1.), the child in relation to the adult (3.2.), the child's use of language (3.3.) and the child's worldview (3.4.). The categories have been chosen in consideration of the research questions whether Wordsworth's children are portrayed positively.
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