Thursday, October 6, 2011
One of the things that is highlighted in this passage is the mob mentality that the city folk shared. But I really found it interesting to see the differences between the nature and civilization. In this story and in Whitman's "Song of Myself" nature is seen as something that is desirable. It gives an innocent, light and pure connotation to being in nature while being in a city or civilization equates to acting in an evil way. Robin even states once that "if I had one of those grinning rascals in the woods, I would teach him..." obviously wanting to teach these "civilized" people some manners! In the story it seems as if this is the first time that Robin has gone to the city and is obviously not having the greatest experience. This woman with the scarlet petticoat was also one of the people that tempted this young man to do immoral things but seeing as he was from the small town, this "shrewd" boy fled and resisted temptation (does the word Joseph come to mind...). This idea was contrary to the idea that many people had back in the day because they usually related nature to to being uncivilized like the Native Americans, a trait that was undesirable. But along comes Romanticism and makes civilized people look really bad off and making people realize how much worse life would actually be if you lived in a city surrounded by all of those temptations. It was definitely different from the other readings but is a common ideology used today, that people from small towns or the country are more innocent and closer to the unadulterated world.