Boredom breeds blood and poison. In today’s society, it fails to surprise us that children continue to cling to the messages within music, television, and magazines. Such media portrayals tend to then set a model for how we develop our behavioral patterns. However, once a trend grows old or out of style, a strong sense of apathy results, if only for even a split second. In the long run, when such children feel out of place and their emotions run them rather than their minds, chaos results. We have seen several examples of this natural desire to rebel against authority in today’s world; take a look at Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris of Littleton, Colorado. The media definitely exists as our voice of reason when taking into account incidents such as this — for our entire lives, it is all we have known. The mindset of the nineteenth century Romanticists seems unbelievably similar to that of the youths in America. Both time periods ultimately ended up indirectly encouraging one’s naturally hidden desire to revolt against the rules and conventions of society.
Romanticism placed a major emphasis on reason through the arts. Literature, for instance, created the classic hero — a mysterious, melancholy figure who felt out of step with the world, thus yearning for freedom. Such writing — the media — determined and verified this approach and definition of life. In the nineteenth century, Lord Byron, Victor Huge, and Sir Walter Scott, among others, proved to be responsible for the promotion of such instincts toward rebellion. The arts during this time period certainly conveyed incredibly violent energy and emotion as well, thus calling for the defense of the rights of man. Since hypocrisy seemed to engulf humanity, a strong emphasis was placed on one’s imagination. Was the test then the same as now? Certainly! Both time periods utilized the power of the hero to survive death and despair; the creative spirit always seemed to prevail.
Overall, everything then and now revolves around emotion and our natural ability to distinguish right from wrong. It only seems sane to allow one to make his or her own judgements based on his or her mistakes. Through talent, energy, and ambition, both the Romanticists and today’s American teenagers have risen from a lowly station to carve out their own destiny.
The French Realist, Gustave Courbet, said, “I cannot paint an angel because I have never seen one.” Quite the pessimist, this man opposed the Romantic Movement, ultimately showing no sentiment, and in turn, no levels of dignity or tolerance for humanity. One must possess the opportunity to flourish, though! Gustave Courbet may have not desired such freedom, but today, just let us have our angels.