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American Romanticism 1800 - 1860 We will walk with our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own minds -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Presentation on theme: "American Romanticism 1800 - 1860 We will walk with our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own minds -Ralph Waldo Emerson."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Romanticism We will walk with our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own minds -Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 Political and Social Milestones §The Louisiana Purchase §The Gold Rush §Education and Reform

3 Rationalism vs Romanticism §The rationalists believed the city to be a place to find success and self-realization §The romantics associated the countryside with independence, moral clarity, and healthful living.

4 Characteristics of American Romanticism §Values feeling and intuition over reason §Places faith in inner experience and the power of the imagination §Shuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature §Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication §Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual §Contemplates natures beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development

5 Characteristics (continued) §Looks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progress §Finds beauty and truth in exotic locals, the supernatural realm, and the inner world of the imagination §Sees poetry as the highest expression of the imagination §Finds inspiration in myth, legend, and folk culture

6 Rising to higher truths §through the exploration of the past and of exotic, even supernatural, realms--the Gothic novel--old legends and folklore §through the contemplation of the natural world--lyric poetry--its underlying beauty and truth

7 New American Novelists §Herman Melville - (ex-sailor) wrote Moby Dick §Nathaniel Hawthorne - wrote The Scarlet Letter

8 The Fireside Poets §Opposite of novelists - worked within European literary traditions §Used English themes, meter, imagery with American settings and subjects §Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendel Holmes, James Russell Lowell

9 Transcendentalism §The idea that in determining the ultimate reality of God, the universe, the self, and other important matters, one must transcend, or go beyond, everyday human experience in the physical world. §Ralph Waldo Emerson influenced by ancient Greek - Plato §Also based on Puritan belief and Romantics §Based on intuition; optimistic §Henry David Thoreau Emersons close friend

10 The Realm of Darkness Dark Romanticism §Edgar Allen Poe with Hawthorne and Melville known and anti-Transcendentalists §Had much in common with Transcendentalists §Explored conflicts between good and evil, psychological effects of guilt and sin, and madness


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