What is sentimentalism?

The term sentimentalism is used in literature, psychology and even architecture and design. The word sentiment was borrowed from the Russian language. Even knowing him or having any idea not many who can explain what is sentimentalism. This direction was popular for a long time, as concerned the main feelings and emotions of people. What it is and what features they have? Let’s try to understand more.

What is sentimentalism?

The emergence of sentimentalism

The prerequisites for the emergence of direction is a philosophical current called sensationalism. Its representatives talked about the fact that the outside world reflects the feelings of a man. Only using emotions to understand life, to feel it.

Sentimentalists took as the basis of human feelings, put him first. They believe that from the moment of birth, each of them has virtues and set of emotions, which allows him to sense the world. Affecting basic instincts, the direction gained popularity and subsequently drove classicism, which put the mind in the first place, and considered a secondary emotion. Thin lyrics reflected the entire unreality of earthly existence.

features of sentimentalism

Russian sentimentalism penetrated much later, when the works of Rousseau were translated into Russian language. The product «Poor Liza» Radishchev literally turned the public’s attitude to «sensitive» prose and marked the beginning of change in public consciousness.

Sentimentalism in literature

It is the understanding sentimentalism literally matters of sensitive, touching, tender. It is formed from the adjective, which is used in the designation of sympathy in the English language. In the literature it has been used around the end of the 18th century (if we talk about Russia, and for England it was the early years of this century). This is one of the most important areas began to be popular when people from poor social classes began to extol their political and social role. Strong stratification of society led to the fact that the middle class has disappeared, and between the upper class (aristocracy, clergy) and the poor formed a mutual dislike.

Since they were on the same level, thus the lower strata of society expressed their position regarding the changes in society. In sentimentalism, everything is upside down on his head and thinking, logic, and common sense is replaced by pity, kindness, feelings, sublime democracy and equality. Social responsibilities include the below personal instincts.

sentimentalism in literature

In the literature, sentimentalism has little ideological value, it is characterized by sincerity and compassion to people who are lower in status: to the poor, the needy, the common people. In the works of writers-sentimentalists is sharp criticism against social injustice, ill relation to the lowest state. The hallmarks of sentimentalism from other directions is:

  • The genre is completely subordinated to the emotions (in contrast to classicism, in which power is given of mind).
  • Freedom of choice of feelings and expressions of their ideas.
  • The rule of democratic thought.
  • The idea of the equality of all peoples.
  • The manifestation of tenderness and compassion.

The works of writers — sentimentalists differ in that the protagonists in almost all cases belong to the lower class, and there are commoners. The whole plot was filled with their feelings, emotions, sensations. Sentimentalism has shown the importance of democracy, equality of all classes, which was important for Russia of those times.

Characteristics of sentimentalism in literature

Sentimentalism can easily be distinguished amongst a number of characteristics that are inherent only to him.

Characteristics of sentimentalism in literature

For example, in any work of this direction are the following:

  • There is a cult of emotion and feeling.
  • A simple man with no wealth and regalia triumphs.
  • Personal life a priority over the social.
  • Vividly described emotions and feelings.
  • Protested against the rule and aristocracy.
  • A sharp the negative attitude of higher classes.

It often happens that the works were written in the genre of the novel, personal journal, letter, or novel. Pronounced daydreaming, excited, watery eyes. Outstanding representatives of this direction are: Richardson, who wrote «Clarissa» and «Pamela», stern, L. «the Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy», V. V. Goethe «the sorrows of young Werther», in Russia it was the A. Radishchev «Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow,» N. Karamzin «Poor Liza».

The concept of sentimentalism in psychology

The concept of sentimentalism is used in psychology. Professionals with it characterize a mental state when a person is overly susceptible to the feelings. Not defining it as a pathology or deviation, but only as characteristics of the relationship to the different events. It is often said that watery eyes can occur for any reason. Features a sentimental person are as follows:

  • Strong dreamy and watery eyes.
  • The illusory world of the senses prevails over common sense.
  • Emotionalism, sensuality.
  • Focus on touching, excitable feelings.
  • Choice lyrical epithets about daily events.

The concept of sentimentalism in psychology

Positive or is sentimentality or negative, with an accuracy no one can say.

The concept of sentimentalism in architecture

Not passed in the direction of sentimentalism without a trace in the architecture are reflected in Park buildings. Began trend in the UK of the 18th century. The main focus is on favor of the commoner people of the lower class. This trend was progressive for its time and reflected the economic and social processes.

Tired of the noise and dust of the big cities, people want to live closer to nature, create a mysterious composition of pavilions with wild plants. Sentimentalism encourages a return to a natural state, to take refuge in the «cave of solitude».

Russian manor of the late 18th century is considered a classic symbiosis of classicism and sentimentalism. The house with the obligatory parkland or garden, as the possibility of a comfortable existence.

The concept of sentimentalism in architecture

Sentimentalism is a broad concept, so it is used in various spheres of life. Give full description of him, and every direction, it is multifaceted. Many poets tried to describe it in their works, the artists reflect in their paintings the architects in their buildings.

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