Adventure of the German Student


Approximately 700 words. Washington Irving is an American Romantic writer whose short stories often reflect the movement away from Enlightenment thinking with its insistence on the authority of Reason and its ability to verify objective reality to Romantic views that assert the power of the imagination and the emotion to create its own (subjective) reality. In the short story “Adventure of the German Student”, Irving evokes the theme of the power of the imagination over reason in creating its own reality. In a well thought out and composed essay, illustrate how this theme is evoked through Irvings use of setting (day/night, historical period-French Rev/Reign of Terror, Germany/France), character (Wolfgang, Woman, Police Officer), imagery (catacombs, decay, storm), and symbols (guillotine, overturn statue Henry IV-“head of State). For example, in regard to characters, they may be seen as representing this theme with the Woman as representing Imagination and a subjective reality and the Police officer as representing Reason with his certainty of the woman’s history and the way he tests reality through the physical senses in the end. Wolfgang, the student, may represent the movement from Reason to Imagination in the action of the story. link to reading: 

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