The Declaration Of Independence And Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
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Brianna Cunneen Humn 221 Section 4 Paper 1
Emotion and intellect both play significant roles in in the development and growth of our society, and have been favored in varying proportions during different periods in history; during the Enlightenment, intellect was favored with reason being considered the main source of truth in the world, whereas in the Romantic period, emotion was valued more than intellect. While both are influential and factor into how society changes and how institutions develop in that society, it seems that emotion, particularly under the guise of beliefs, ideals, and morality, is more influential in affecting our views on ourselves, the institutions we build, and the society that grows around us. The Declaration of Independence, John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, the work of Romantic poets such as Keats and Beaudelaire, and Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein provide evidence to support this argument.
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence (US 1776) reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This idea, of all men being created equal and having natural rights, stems from John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government where he states that “it is simply obvious that creatures of the same species and status, all born to all the same advantages of nature