Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Use of Isolation in Two Fairy Tales Essay -- Literature Writing Li

The Use of Isolation in Two Fairy Tales The social evolution from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Age altered the usage of reason in literature by instituting elements of imagination and mysticism. Likewise, the usages of certain concepts in literature can reflect social attitudes of the author’s environment. One such concept that is common to both Ludwig Tieck’s â€Å"Fair-Haired Eckbert† and Wilhelm Wackenroder’s â€Å"A Wondrous Oriental Fairy Tale of a Naked Saint† is the isolation of characters. Isolation, as the cause, or simply as an indicator, of suffering in these two literary fairy tales is a notion that is successfully used to dictate the spiritual fates of the characters in each story. There are several manifestations of isolation as the cause of suffering in â€Å"Fair-Haired Eckbert†. The first manifestation is literally separation anxiety. Despite the fact that character interactions in this story only lead to trouble, the characters yearn for solidarity with one another. Subsequently, their isolation inevitably leads to misery. After running away from home, Bertha’s lonely voyage is filled with tears and is self-described as â€Å"utterly comfortless,† and she longs â€Å"but to see one [other] human creature† (33). Upon discovering the green valleys that imply potential cohabitants, Bertha claims, â€Å"my loneliness and helplessness no longer frightened me† and she is â€Å"joyfully surprised† (34) to see the old woman. Bertha overcomes the pains of isolation by living with the old woman; however, this relationship soon falls apart and Bertha once again runs away. Bertha voyages â€Å"amid tears and sobs† (39) and stumbles back upon her home town. After finding out her parents had passed away, Bertha â€Å"drew back quickly and left the village ... ... strong religious overtones present in both texts. Isolation is utilized as a cause of suffering for the characters in Tieck’s â€Å"Fair-Haired Eckbert.† It serves as punishment for these characters as a result of bearing the burden of original sin, and thus conveys the pessimistic view of human spirituality as a downward spiral from the Garden of Eden. Conversely, in Wackenroder’s â€Å"A Wondrous Oriental Fairy Tale of a Naked Saint,† the concept of redemption from isolation (the indicator of suffering) represents the optimistic stance of human spirituality as ascension to Heaven. It follows that the dichotomy between isolation as an indicator or the cause of suffering in these two stories reflects the larger dichotomy between optimistic and pessimistic tones taken in Romantic literature, specifically those taken by Tieck and Wackenroder in these two literary fairy tales.

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