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Synges Romantic Vision of the Aran Islands When John Millington Synge made his way to the western most islands of Ireland he was in search of inspiration for his writing. The fruit of his journey was the fame-winning book entitled The Aran Islands. Synge had many purposes for this book, but one of the most compelling was his desire to write an anthropologically geared account of the people and lifestyle of what many believed to be the last bastion of true Irishness. However, Synges anthropological work could not avoid the strong Romantic tendencies that influenced his writing. In my opinion it is Synges Romanticism that makes his account more believable. The tenants of Romanticism call for the writer to be at once awed with nature and somewhat set apart from the noble savages that he is writing about. Synges awe of nature is necessary for the anthropological nature of the book because the environment of the Aran Islands is instrumental in the understanding the psyches of the people, and his Romanticism produces the vivid imagery needed for the reader to understand the landscape. The fact that Synge sees the people of the Aran Islands as a different race from himself, in my opinion, provides him with more perspective and thus allows him to relate the events and personalities of the people with a more accurate and essentially unbiased voice.One of the most important aspects of anthropology is the understanding of how a culture relates to their environment. Thus, Synges imagery of the islands is instrumental in the readers grasp of the people and the culture which Synge is trying to describe. Synge develops the landscape in two different ways. He reproduces the landscape alone and also the peoples connection with their environment. When Synge discusses the landscape of the Aran Islands he paints the picture of a wild and hard environment. In Part One of the book he begins by relating the image of the Aranmor countryside as he wa...

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