French Revolution

Week 2

Researched setting

Read articles on the progression, politics and events of the French Revolution. These included the beginning of the revolution – the reasons for it occurring, the state of the people and their rising hatred and resent toward the royal family, nobility and religious community.

Researched the three estates – the first estate was the clergy and priests; the second estate was the nobility; and the third, making up the majority of the country’s population, was the farmers, peasants, doctors, shop owners, etc. (essentially, everyone else). The third estate’s opinion was not out to consideration, as even though they would put forward twice the amount of representatives, their vote was ousted by the status of the first two estates.

Watched: The French Revolution History Channel on Youtube – uploaded by ‘Fault of the Stars’. This was a documentary that described the politics before and during the revolution, the people’s reasoning and treatment, essentially narrating the entire event. Some ideas that spurred from watching this video was through the connection of Jean-Paul Marat (the writer of The Friend of the People, a newspaper that outlined the injustice done to the third estate, calling the people to action) being an idol of Romanticism. I also came to understand that the Revolution was not exactly inspired by the idea of Enlightenment, more the need for rights and the fury of the mistreatment of the people. However, the Enlightenment was the ongoing period of philosophy before and during the Revolution and the theory of Enlightenment identified that people need not be governed, therefore the existence of royalty and nobility was unnecessary and was hindering the people. The notion of equality among all men being the logical state of humanity was important for the mindset and reasoning of the revolution.

Read and Discussed Major Example

To Ray was a previous extension 2 major which was written with a puzzle structure in varying personas. The placement, setting and voice of each character was crucial to the story and the way in which the reader was to interpret it; being confused by the middle and resolved by the end. The story was distractingly about arrested development and dependency, following the storyline that goes in one direction, picking up questions and answers along the way, the story switches tact by the second half and the reader is able to interpret some of the real meaning. The reflection was composed well and thoroughly explained the concept of the story, however, it was somewhat necessary for the interpretation, otherwise the psychology of the characters and their relationships would not have been able to be understood.

Ideas for Major

After watching the video, reading the short story example, breaking down the elements of my previous short story and researching into the Romantic period and its difference to the Enlightenment period I have developed the idea-less cavity that is my brain into at least two concepts for a story. The first is to write a sequence of events from the French Revolution, each from the most relevant person of whom there is information about, following up to either the death of Marat (as a strong connection to Romanticism), the death of the Queen, or the recognition of the revolution by one of the well-known romantics (who already has some French connection). The second is a development on my short story, that follows the main events of the women of the revolution, this will include the fishwomen’s mob, the character development of the Queen Marie-Antoinette and Charlotte Corday (murderer of Marat) among other things.

Image: The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis Davis in 1793.


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