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American Romanticism 1800 - 1840 Romanticism and Democracy n Growth of Democracy in politics corresponded with the rise in Romanticism. n Common person.

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Presentation on theme: "American Romanticism 1800 - 1840 Romanticism and Democracy n Growth of Democracy in politics corresponded with the rise in Romanticism. n Common person."— Presentation transcript:

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2 American Romanticism

3 Romanticism and Democracy n Growth of Democracy in politics corresponded with the rise in Romanticism. n Common person acquired new importance. n Nation expanding physically, economically, and politically. n Growing sense of nationalism. n Humanitarian reforms.

4 American Romanticism n Placed central importance upon the emotions and the individual. n Emphasized intuition. n Key to the inner world is imagination. n Less of a philosophy -- more of changing attitudes. n Dignity and worth of the common individual.

5 Characteristics of Romantic Attitudes 1. Nature 2. The Past 3. The Inner World of Human Nature

6 Nature n Emphasized beauty, strangeness, and mystery of nature. n Constant development and change reflecting our own inner changes. n Reflects the emotional state of the writer. n Definite connection between the human imagination and nature.

7 The Past n Dramatic incidents from our early history became standard literary material. n Legend and folklore became the unofficial record of American character and belief. n Developed a sense of national past and of an emerging national character.

8 The Inner World of Human Nature n Emphasis on emotions, intuition, and the individual encouraged exploration and expression of writer’s most private inner being. n Not ruled by reason but intense feeling. n Carried exploration of inner self to its greatest depths, sometimes to the point of madness.

9 Romantics with a Darker Vision n Not all writers shared the strong optimism. n Examined the darker facets of humanity, such as greed, vanity, guilt. n Narrators who were criminals or insane. n Psychological effects of evil, terror, and grief on the human soul.

10 The American Romantics Authors: Washington Irving Nathaniel Hawthorne Edgar Allan Poe

11 Washington Irving n Short story writer, essayist, poet, travel book writer, biographer, and columnist n Has been called the father of the American short story n The first American to make a living solely from writing n Best known stories include “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” & “The Headless Horseman.”

12 Nathaniel Hawthorne n Descendant of the “hanging judge” at Salem witch trials. n Unhappy childhood. n Worked in isolation for twelve years. n Major work: The Scarlet Letter 1850

13 Edgar Allan Poe n Tormented through- out his life with loss, bitterness, and depression. n Lived in poverty most of his life. n Married his 13-year- old cousin. n Dead in a gutter at 40, drunk or rabies?

14 Edgar Allan Poe n Brilliant talent for investigating the dark side of humanity. n Revenge, terror, lost love, insanity were common themes.

15 Edgar Allan Poe n Credited with defining the short story. n Father of modern detective fiction story and of the horror tale, as well.


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