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Puritans, Romantics and Transcendentalists. Puritanism “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” H.L. Mencken Major Ideas:

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Presentation on theme: "Puritans, Romantics and Transcendentalists. Puritanism “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” H.L. Mencken Major Ideas:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Puritans, Romantics and Transcendentalists

2 Puritanism “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” H.L. Mencken Major Ideas: Persecuted in England for going against the Protestant church/government Sought to “purify” the church. Religion was an individual, personal, and internal experience. The individual’s relationship with God was not determined by a member of the clergy or the government. Believed that all humans were damned, but that some were meant to be saved. Fate was pre-determined-- one couldn’t “save” oneself, but if one led a good life, one would be able to see the “signs” that meant one were saved Only God’s grace was an individual’s salvation. Contract-based government—beginnings of democracy (Salem Witch Trials) Business was an important part of community, as was education

3 Puritan Writing Bible=model as people searched for connections between their lives and biblical events Each individual’s life was a spiritual journey, so recorded in diaries and historical documents describing the workings of God. Known for plain style of writing emphasizing clarity and avoiding complicated figures of speech

4 Puritan Writers Anne Bradstreet William Bradford Mary Rowlandson Reverend Jonathan Edwards

5 Salem Witch Trials

6 The First Thanksgiving

7 The Romantics

8 Transcendentalism: Developed in the 1830s both in connection with, and in opposition to Romanticism Transcendentalism refers to the idea that in finding God, the universe, and the self/soul, one must transcend typical human experience in the physical world Marked by a “return” to nature, and trust in intuition rather than deliberate rationality and intellectualism

9 Transcendentalism Believed that self-reliance and individualism must outweigh external authority, and self- improvement leads to social improvement Worked to find the “permanent reality that underlies physical appearance” Optimism about the potential of individual lives and the universe

10 Transcendentalist Humor

11 Famous Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson AKA Lead Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau AKA neighbor and friend to L.T. Margret Fuller AKA one of the first major feminist writers in the US Amos Bronson Alcott AKA father to Louisa May Alcott

12 Henry David Thoreau , born in Concord, MA. Went to Harvard, very well-read, but many felt he squandered his talents and connections (including Emerson) Influenced by Emerson Went “into the woods” to journey inwards in a T. fashion. Built a small cabin on Emerson’s land two miles from town. Lived there for three years, writing, thinking, and studying life

13 Thoreau Wrote “Resistance to Civil Government” while on Walden Pond after being arrested for not paying poll tax (supported Mexican- American War) because he felt it extended slavery. Died in Apparently asked on his deathbed if he’s made peace with God (by his aunt). His reply: “I didn’t know that we had ever quarreled.”

14 Walden Pond

15 Thoreau

16 “Resistance to Civil Government” Response to being jailed for one night for not paying poll tax Discusses the role of the individual in society and to his/her government Employs rhetoric devices of: ethos, logos, pathos Inspired authors and thinkers like MLK and Gandhi around passive/non-violent resistance

17 Ethos, Logos, Pathos Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker or moral or widely accepted values and/or standards Logos is appeal based on logic or reason; it uses facts, examples, and well-reasoned arguments. Pathos: is an appeal based on emotion and language and anecdotes that arouse strong feelings.


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