Williams on Youth

The most obvious aspect of youth portrayed by Williams in her letter is the passions of the crowd.  She exclaims “The people, sure, the people were the sight!”  She describes the crowd as best she can using wild emotions and very demonstrative behavior.  The people in the crowd, no matter their age, are filled with such fervor that even the old are feeling and acting young: working, marching in the parade, and feeling the freedom and rebellion most commonly associated with youth.  The crowd’s behavior was able to change from the giddiness and excitement of their new-found freedom to solemness and respect for their beloved Prince who was assassinated.  This solemness was then followed by a resurgence of the people’s jubilation, showing how tempestuous and fickle the mind of the crowd could be.  The crowd is a symbol of youth to Williams; it is both violent and peaceful, unfathomable, and a perfect description of the sublime.  The festivities are an outlet for the crowd to express itself, similar to how Williams used these letters to express herself to her readers in England.


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