Jean Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 to Isaac Rousseau, a clock maker, and Suzanne Bernard, who died only a few days after his birth in Geneva. His father went into exile when he was charged with stealing and tried to cut his accuser. Rousseau was sent to a religious school by his uncle, when he attended this school he suffered from extreme discipline which cause him to have problems with authority. When Jean Jacques left the school, he was alone with no one to take care of him. In an attempt to find his way and take care himself he took on a few apprenticeships as an engraver but he was not successful in that area.
These unfortunate mishaps in his life caused him to spend time alone and explore what he loved and that was nature. He would often wander about; he traveled from Geneva to Sardinia and then to France. In France he met someone by the name of Madame de Warens, this person gave him the motherly love and support that he needed as well as education. De Warens was a compelling force in his life; she was associated with a group of educated members of the Catholic clergy and introduced him to a new world of letters and ideas.
He was so grateful for everything that Madame de Warens had done for him, when he received an allotment of his mother’s inheritance he used it to repay Warens for all that she had done for him. In his early 20’s Rousseau studied philosophy, mathematics, and music which would ultimately contribute to his writing. http://www. thefamouspeople. com/profiles/jean-jacques-rousseau-233. php Jean-Jacques Rousseau was considered to be one of the most prominent writers of the French Enlightenment. His view had a great impact on the European Romantic development and beyond being that he had different views on the change of human nature.
Rousseau believed that people are naturally good but it is life that changes us. His thoughts were that society causes people to become egotistical and work towards unrealistic goals. Through his philosophy he displayed a fascinating yet abstract combination of profound and sensible information that looked to be able to open the hopes of a better world. Jean-Jacques Rousseau positive attitude flowed through to his writing which gave him a purposeful and impressive style. According to http://www. historyguide. org/europe/rousseau. html, Rousseau displayed lots of emotional and musical suggestion, giving the impression of devoted acceptance.
His ultimate goal was to prove to people that they should never feel ashamed to call themselves human beings. Rousseau’s felt deeply that the change in the arts and sciences that was created by enlightenment writers and thinkers caused people to move away from living a life filled with principles; his thoughts were that due to the advancement of culture and society there was a decline in the morals in mankind. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s novel Emile was also known as a practice of education that tells the story of character by the name of Emile.
Rousseau writes about the process of his development and the education that he receives that will help to instill all the things that are needed so that the natural man, the good man will not be affected by the corrupt society. Emile is broken down into the developmental stages of this young man. Rousseau breaks down the development into five stages and the book is dedicated to each. In Book IV of Emile, Jean-Jacques Rousseau describes his philosophy of the human standard and what it takes to develop the child into an upright citizen.
The focus is on the Emile age of 15 to age 20; it describes how to attend to moral development. Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins this stage of life by paying attention to how much conflict and sorrow there is in the world. Rousseau states that the first 25 years of life moves rapidly, and that by the time a man has been developed to the point that he knows better how to use his time, that stage of life has gone by and he can no longer be that same way, as stated in http://www. online-literature. com/rousseau/emile/4/, “How swiftly life passes here below!
The first quarter of it is gone before we know how to use it; the last quarter finds us incapable of enjoying life”. The book of Emile demonstrates that in order to bring up a child, the parent must be a continuing guide eliminating schools, relatives or anyone else. It starts with the parent. For the most part, Rousseau kept me interested by his language which he uses thoughtfully and clearly. As I read I the words I felt as though Rousseau demonstrated his creativity. He has the ability to by break everything down to essential details which can give a reader enough lessons to learn from what he has shared.
One thing in particular that enjoyed is that he said, “But, speaking generally, man is not meant to remain a child. He leaves childhood behind him at the time ordained by nature; and this critical moment, short enough in itself, has far-reaching consequences. ” (http://www. online-literature. com/rousseau/emile/4/ ). What I gathered from this is that we need someone to guide us in the right direction as a child to prepare us for adulthood; in that short time what we learn or do not learn can have an effect on us.
This is a book that could possibly be used as an instruction manual for raising our children today. I understand that this book was written in a different day and age but I still see some relevancy. Rousseau’s idea of teaching children in a more hands-on way and not using shortcuts would be beneficial to the children today. We as parent have become so busy with life that it has been forgotten that our children are in need to be taught things that are applicable to their lives and will help them to understand how these things are relevant so they will want to learn.
I enjoyed reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau work; it is evident that Jean Jacques Rousseau had a passion for education. As I was reading I felt that there was a ton of practical advice about how to live in this life. He provides a detailed range of thoughts and ideas about how children and young adults develop. Rousseau was the father of Romantic emotion, even though this movement existed before him; he was the first to give it full delivery. When reading Rousseau’s work, his style comes off to be personal, straight to the point, and informative.
I think that he put so much into this novel because he did not have any parents to show the right way to go and he wanted to share what he always wanted and that was direction to the right path. What I found very interesting about Rousseau is that he felt that the best way for a child to begin to develop in a healthy manner is to live in a state of nature far from the corrupting influences of society. A very important and true quote that stuck in my head from Emile is “Nature wants children to be children before being men.
If we want to pervert this order, we shall produce pernicious fruits which will be immature and insipid and will not be long in rotting…. Childhood has its ways of seeing, thinking, and feeling which are proper to it” http://www. philosophybasics. com/philosophers_rousseau. html. This statement from Emile is interesting, as this shows how he views children themselves as something completely natural and uncorrupted. He had a heart for people and he wanted everyone to enjoy life, therefore in his writing he provided tools that are needed to maximize their life.