Discuss the ways romantic themes of individualism (especially consider the “individual hero” versus some kind of unjust or totalitarian government) and an authentic nature (versus an artificial realm) are advanced and complicated in Brave New World and Bend Sinister. The realm of the “authentic” may be a literal nature, or some other phenomenon (like love) treated as a “real” refuge within a “fake” or artificial culture. To what extent are the twentieth-century authors ironizing (having some fun at the expense of, or showing the limitations of) romantic ideas and to what extent are they seriously promoting romantic ideas? Take care to have a nuanced, gradual set of distinctions. You may want to make brief reference to Wordsworth, Byron, or Blake to help define romanticism.

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