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UTEL

Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown

Sentimentalism:

A term used to describe any emotional response that is excessive and disproportionate to its impetus or occasion. It also refers to the eighteenth century idea that human beings are essentially benevolent, devoid of Original Sin and basic depravity. The charge of sentimentalism is often leveled against the literature of sensibility, which was rife with fainting heroines and melancholic posturings.



© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997