youthful attitudes on old ideas

Youth often have a sense that old ways are tired and corrupted. When the French Revolution was occurring, this was especially prevalent in the national consciousness. So when a clean slate was given to the French people, they chose to start fresh, changing everything because it had obviously caused the problems that led to the revolution. (read: sarcasm). What Williams describes as sublime sounds almost like a mass Bacchanalian trance, with “half a million people assembled at a spectacle.” What felt new and young and revolutionary in this circumstance was only a cog in the normal continuance of society, with its ever continuing building up and destruction. But as mentioned by the introduction, this new everything complete dismantling attitude did not work for very long at all, no matter how excited everyone was for it. Sometimes the idea that all that is old cannot work in new systems is problematic, but it is a hard idea to surmount without the experience of age and experience, obviously less a part of the life of someone young.


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