A Contradiction in Nature: The Attitude Toward Nature and Its Implications in James Thomson’s “The Seasons”

Literary Imagination, Oxford UP 16 (1):56-67 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The attitude toward nature in James Thomson’s "The Seasons" has not been duly noted by literary commentators. Instead, the reception of "The Seasons" in modern literary criticism has focused on all sorts of aspects, ranging from visual imagery, to “dislocation, deformity and renewal.” However, when nature as a theme in the poem has been tackled, critics have favored its religious implications—specifically, those pertaining to the historical period in English literature, as well as a number of hypotheses about Thomson’s own relation toward god—over Thomson’s conception of nature on its own terms. Furthermore, none has, in my view, concentrated enough on the most emblematic characteristic of "The Seasons": its unresolved stance toward the natural and its strongly polarized attitude toward it. The aim of this essay is to examine these inconsistencies in order to reveal what they tell us about the period’s changing perspectives, to place "The Seasons"’ reception of the natural in the history of eighteenth-century literature, and to uncover the implications and fertile consequences of Thomson’s view of nature—which spill into para-literary domains.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
FRAACI-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-12-27
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-03-01

Total views
151 ( #20,924 of 43,016 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #17,144 of 43,016 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.