Essays on sentimentality

How obliquely does feeling need to be rendered so it can be saved from itself? How do we distinguish between pathos and melodrama? Too often, I think, there is a sense that we just know.

Essays on sentimentality

Sentimentality Share this essay on: They may park a half-block away to exchange predictable comments with others, but they would like to become more involved, perhaps even to move onto center-stage. This is easily accomplished: A few of the people leaving these tributes are given the ultimate reward of a television interview, and we are treated to their vacuous platitudes.

The announcers solemnly tell us that these remembrances show us how much the community is united. What we are seeing is little better than voyeurism. It is on par with the supermarket tabloids—which also love these occasions: What we are seeing is not actually admirable, but indecent—people indulging in little orgies of sentimentality with Essays on sentimentality notion that the bystanders are admiring them for it, which they probably are.

Sentimentality may be the only vice with a high public-approval rating, but students of literature have long agreed that it is without merit.

Sentimentality in Art | Free Essays -

To begin with, it is dishonest. Instead of being a direct response to a believable situation, it is a contrived emotion. Are we really supposed to believe that the people who put their signs on the memorials were consumed by such feelings of love for relative strangers some years ago, before the practice had begun?

The reason for it is obvious. Putting up the signs and leaving the dolls is the exhibitionistic counterpart of the National Inquirer, People Magazine, and Soap Opera Digest—a kind of release. Sentimentality has been with us almost forever.

It is there in The Odyssey more than twenty-five hundred years ago. When Odysseus returns home in disguise after twenty years, his aged dog recognizes him and wags its tail before expiring. Sure, it could happen that way. But this dog has lived for 10, minutes, and is it likely that Odysseus appears in this one last minute of its life?

Essays on sentimentality

That is like winning the lottery or being struck by lightning. Is this moment of pathos not contrived? Are the readers listeners not being manipulated so as to produce a tear? There is no sentimentality in The Iliad, which is a much greater poem—in part because of that.

It is an early film in the evolving tradition which characterizes the government by black-clad people in black vans. The adults are concerned only with their activities in the adult world, one that is crass and unsympathetic. Kids stand apart from them in openness and empathy—despite the fact that children are far more likely to commit acts of wanton cruelty to frogs, and to other animals as well.

Such fraudulent or exaggerated emotion was enormously popular in the Victorian period, and we can find it in the old songs. At the very least, it shows that we have learned nothing from experience!May 18,  · How do we prevent our essays from being overwhelmed by sentimentality?

The answer, Beard shows us, is balance. The workplace shooting takes place in . Free Essays on A Tale of Two Cities: Sentimentality - A Tale of Two Cities: Sentimentality In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens’ choice of sentimental expression had an excellent effect on the readers’ responses to the characters.

On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry by Friedrich Schiller. Part I. From Friedrich Schiller Poet of Freedom Related Pages Go to Part II.


This sentimentality in respect to nature is especially strongly and most universally expressed at the instigation of such objects. In the writing of these essays, which all include aspects of the deeply personal, how conscious were you of the taboos of confession and sentimentality in literature, and how did you or .

Apr 17,  · The Spice of Life and Other Essays/Sentimental Literature. Sentimentality, which it is fashionable to call morbid, is of all things most natural and healthy; it is the very extravagance of youthful health.

Whatever may be said against the novelettes and serials which foster the profound sentimentalism of the man in the . Sentiment is a good thing. We want our readers to experience emotions as they read our work. Sentimentality, on the other hand, refers to excessive or inappropriate emotion, and it should be avoided in fiction at all costs.

In her essay on the sentimental, Leslie Jamison asks whether the problem with saccharine literature is that “it strokes the ego of our sentimental selves” by . Sep 28,  · Should Writers Avoid Sentimentality? By Zoe Heller and Leslie Jamison. and her essays and stories have been published in numerous publications, including Harper’s, The . May 18,  · How do we prevent our essays from being overwhelmed by sentimentality? The answer, Beard shows us, is balance. The workplace shooting takes place in .
The Trap of Anti-Sentimentality in Poetry