It is hard not to be a romantic, at least not a little. I can’t quite figure if I like romanticism or not. Actually this is not entirely true: I do like romantic poetry and literature. Its style, its prose, its metre, they are all very appealing and aesthetically pleasing. Hardly anyone could argue that Wordsworth and Coleridge express a beauty so simple it can only be matched by the actual thing they are writing about.
However, the impossibility of the ideals is what truly concerns me. As for romantics I think there is only one type: the hopeless romantics. Not all those who are hopeless are romantics but all romantics are hopeless. Everyone, who has had a passion in life or a goal they desire above all, has at one point been flooded by romantic impulses and idealisms. After actually pursuing this passion or goal, we often realize that it is not as beautiful and perfect as we imagined and can never be.
This is part of my problem with romanticism but it is also what I find appealing. Its impossibility is at the same time off putting and alluring because of the idealism that everyone has embedded somewhere in their soul. Everyone will eventually have their ideals blown up by reality but there is still in us a longing for that perfection we once thought to exist. The most realistic person might have abandoned any thought for perfection and ideals but, if they are still passionate about whatever inspired them, they will not lose hope for the ideal to come true in some magical way. In a way realized romantics are Knights of Resignation. The tricky thing is that there is no such thing as a realized romantic because once one realizes the true and ugly nature of things one ceases to be a romantic.
All romantics are hopeless but not in their own eyes. A true romantic will always have hope, a strong a realistic hope, of achieving idealism. We see romantics as we see children in their innocence: how cute they are, playing and avoiding the rules of the world, how ignorant and clean they. This being said, I doubt there is anyone in the world who, even for a moment, hasn’t wished to return to childhood. How many of us would like to have the resolve of a romantic because there is one thing romantics will never lack: purpose.
As I read Freud I started to wonder whether I ever felt an oceanic feeling. The answer didn’t come easily, I think it never truly came. Every time you start to wonder about the past and about your emotions you realize it is impossible to recreate the emotion itself. You can remember you felt happy, or sad or angry but you can’t remember the emotion itself. That is why it is very difficult for me to know whether I ever felt the oceanic feeling.
Furthermore, I realized that if I did ever feel it it would be useless and potentially problematic: for someone who feels the oceanic feeling it is very hard to face reality. The world is a cruel place and a dark place where good things happen as well but for that is not the norm. For somebody who felt that he belonged to something greater finding out that this thing has become so bad and so cruel could be devastating. How can you accept that you belong to something greater when there is so much chaos going on? The oceanic feeling is not compatible with reality.
For me, reading about Eros and Thanatos was a relief. Now I didn’t to fight to make goodness fit in the world because it is simply a chaotic place with good and evil, just like any other person. In the end I do believe that Eros can prevail. Although there will always be Thanatos en everything, people will learn to control it and empower their Eros and perhaps sublimate their Thanatos into other minor destructive acts.
In conclusion, I don’t think I ever felt the oceanic feeling. When I was young, and more susceptible to the idea of religion and God, I didn’t have the consciousness and the maturity to reflect on these issues. Now that I do have it, to some extent, I don’t really feel it. This leads me to think of another question: can anybody feel oceanic without thinking about it? Can the oceanic feeling exist without you being aware of it? It seems to me that as soon as you think about it disappears.
The first comments I received highlighted the good relationship maintained with the thesis and the rest of the essay. During my entire essay it was very clear what the argument was saying and how it related to the thesis. I was also told that my first essays showed strange transitions between paragraphs that sometimes broke the fluency of the essay. I worked on this by adding transitional phrases and improving the arguments in my essay so the tied better with one another.
In some of my essays I was told to improve the use of evidence, specially in my Plato and Hobbes essays. In these I didn’t use so much evidence because the work itself didn’t facilitate finding the necessary evidence. Honestly in the Hobbes essay I also had a deadline for another class so I couldn’t make as much effort. To remedy this I tried to organize my evidence better and earlier in the week. I choose my topic earlier and start marking of potential pieces of evidence. This also involves going back to the books and reading parts of them again to acquire more pieces of evidence. I think this has worked and in my Shakespeare and Carpentier essays I did it quite well.
In my writing I have made some careless mistakes like typos or silly sentences. This is not because of lack of knowledge or craft but because when I write I try to let my mind free and just pour out a lot of information. I always revise my essays several times but some mistakes always go unnoticed until its too late. I guess there is no safe cure for this but reading every essay very carefully, almost word for word, and try to make sure nothing escapes my view.
This term I will work on perfecting my essays and make them excellent essays. I will work on more details and try to make the logic and the rhetoric in my essays flawless. I think I started of well with this in my Carpentier essay. Christina mentioned that in this essay questions arose and I answered them promptly. I will also try to get rid of careless mistakes that bring down my writing.