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ID number:316496
Published: 12.08.2011.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason was a period in the late 17th century and the 18th century that questioned traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a had strong belief in rationality and science that would ensure the progress of humanity and the entire society. This was also the time when literature flourished because books were available to many people due to the printing press, people had more leisure time on their hands, and as a result literacy grew. The eighteenth century in English literature is also referred to as the Augustan age because writers imitated the original Augustan authors in terms themes, style and form. It was also the time when the first British novel – Robinson Crusoe – was born. It was written by Daniel Defoe in 1719, and it tells about a young man who, in spite of his father’s unwillingness and even prohibition, goes to sea to explore the world, experiences many misfortunes and is eventually stranded on a deserted island for 28 years where he builds his own world from scratch. The novel, together with Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s travels was reduced to a children’s book in the course of time, while in fact it is a fine example of Augustan literature and propagates many Enlightenment ideas reflecting the ways people perceived the world in the 18th century. …

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