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American Romanticism 1800 - 1860. Introduction The theme of journey as a declaration of The theme of journey as a declaration of independence independence.

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Presentation on theme: "American Romanticism 1800 - 1860. Introduction The theme of journey as a declaration of The theme of journey as a declaration of independence independence."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Romanticism 1800 - 1860

2 Introduction The theme of journey as a declaration of The theme of journey as a declaration of independence independence Bryant, Homes, Whittier, Longfellow, and Bryant, Homes, Whittier, Longfellow, and Lowell are Romantic poets Lowell are Romantic poets Irving is the Father of American Literature Irving is the Father of American Literature Cooper is the Father of the American Cooper is the Father of the American novel novel Poe is the inventor of the American Short Poe is the inventor of the American Short Story Story

3 Introduction Emerson is the Father of American Emerson is the Father of American Transcendentalism Transcendentalism Thoreau is a famous practical Thoreau is a famous practical transcendentalist transcendentalist Melville and Hawthorne are Anti-Romantics Melville and Hawthorne are Anti-Romantics Dickinson and Whitman are bridge poets Dickinson and Whitman are bridge poets between American Romanticism and the between American Romanticism and the 20 th century 20 th century

4 Introduction The rationalistic view of urban life was replaced by the Romantic view The rationalistic view of urban life was replaced by the Romantic view Rationalists saw cities as a place to find success and self-realization Rationalists saw cities as a place to find success and self-realization Romantics saw the city as a place of moral corruption, poverty, and death Romantics saw the city as a place of moral corruption, poverty, and death

5 Introduction The Romantic journey is to the The Romantic journey is to the countryside. countryside. The Romantics associated the country The Romantics associated the country with independence, moral clarity, and with independence, moral clarity, and purity. purity. The Gothic Romantic, E.A. Poe, saw the The Gothic Romantic, E.A. Poe, saw the country as a place of phantasm. country as a place of phantasm. Irving saw the country as idyllic and as an Irving saw the country as idyllic and as an escape. escape.

6 The Romantic Sensibility Romanticism: valuing feeling and intuition Romanticism: valuing feeling and intuition over reason over reason Romanticism: viewing life as we would Romanticism: viewing life as we would like it to be, rather than how it really is like it to be, rather than how it really is Romanticism began in Germany and Romanticism began in Germany and influenced literature, music, and art influenced literature, music, and art Romanticism is a reaction against Romanticism is a reaction against Rationalism Rationalism

7 The Romantic Sensibility The development of slums and poverty due to the Industrial Revolution turned people from Rationalism The development of slums and poverty due to the Industrial Revolution turned people from Rationalism Romantics believed that imagination, emotion, spontaneity, feelings, and nature were more important than rational thought Romantics believed that imagination, emotion, spontaneity, feelings, and nature were more important than rational thought

8 Characteristics of Romanticism values feelings over intuition values feelings over intuition values the power of the imagination values the power of the imagination seeks the beauty of unspoiled nature seeks the beauty of unspoiled nature values youthful innocence values youthful innocence values individual freedom values individual freedom values the lessons of the past values the lessons of the past finds beauty in exotic locales, the supernatural, finds beauty in exotic locales, the supernatural, and in the imagination and in the imagination values poetry as the highest expression of the values poetry as the highest expression of the imagination imagination values myth, legend, and folk culture values myth, legend, and folk culture

9 Romantic Escapism Romantic writing looked for comforting or Romantic writing looked for comforting or exotic settings from the past exotic settings from the past This was found in the supernatural, in This was found in the supernatural, in nature, and/or in folk legends nature, and/or in folk legends Romantics believed in contemplating, or Romantics believed in contemplating, or becoming one with the natural world becoming one with the natural world The Gothic novel emerged from The Gothic novel emerged from Romanticism Romanticism

10 Romantic Escapism The Gothic novel had wild, haunted The Gothic novel had wild, haunted landscapes landscapes It had supernatural events in the plot It had supernatural events in the plot It was often mysterious It was often mysterious The Gothic concept had roots in France, The Gothic concept had roots in France, Germany, and England Germany, and England Edgar Allan Poe was Romanticisms great Edgar Allan Poe was Romanticisms great American writer American writer

11 Romantic Escapism Romanticism also used lyrical poetry as a Romanticism also used lyrical poetry as a means to contemplate the beauty of means to contemplate the beauty of nature nature It focused on simple natural beauties It focused on simple natural beauties Its intent was to seek truth through a calm Its intent was to seek truth through a calm contemplation of a simple natural beauty contemplation of a simple natural beauty Romantics saw God in this contemplation Romantics saw God in this contemplation

12 The American Novel Most American Romantic writers imitated Most American Romantic writers imitated the European writing style the European writing style American Romantic novelists broke away American Romantic novelists broke away from the European tradition and from the European tradition and discovered uniquely American topics and discovered uniquely American topics and settings settings American novelists explored the vast unknown American novelists explored the vast unknown lands – something the Europeans could not do lands – something the Europeans could not do

13 The American Novel James Fenimore Cooper was the first James Fenimore Cooper was the first American novelist to break from European American novelist to break from European tradition tradition His novels were set in the American His novels were set in the American frontier frontier His central character, Natty Bumppo, was His central character, Natty Bumppo, was the first American literary hero the first American literary hero

14 The American Novel Bumppo appeared in a series of Cooper Bumppo appeared in a series of Cooper novels as other characters: Hawkeye, novels as other characters: Hawkeye, Deerslayer, Leatherstocking, etc. Deerslayer, Leatherstocking, etc. He was virtuous, moral, distrustful of city He was virtuous, moral, distrustful of city life, one with nature, etc. life, one with nature, etc. His skills were almost superhuman His skills were almost superhuman Coopers series of novels were called The Coopers series of novels were called The Leatherstocking Tales Leatherstocking Tales

15 The New American Hero American Romantic literature created this American Romantic literature created this unique person unique person he was youthful he was youthful he was innocent he was innocent he was intuitive he was intuitive he was one with nature he was one with nature he was a loner – uneasy around women he was a loner – uneasy around women he was handsome he was handsome he was brave he was brave he was moral and honorable he was moral and honorable

16 American Romantic Poetry Most Romantic poets worked within Most Romantic poets worked within conventional European literary structures conventional European literary structures They proved that American poetry could They proved that American poetry could reflect American subject matter, yet still reflect American subject matter, yet still hold to conventional poetic style hold to conventional poetic style Most American Romantic poets wrote Most American Romantic poets wrote about the past about the past

17 American Romantic Poetry The Fireside Poets, a Boston group of The Fireside Poets, a Boston group of Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Lowell, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Lowell, were widely read and loved in America were widely read and loved in America They were the TV of the American They were the TV of the American Romantic period and families gathered Romantic period and families gathered around the fireside to be entertained by their around the fireside to be entertained by their poetry poetry Their subject matter was comfortable and Their subject matter was comfortable andinstructional


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