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American ROMANTICISM (1800-1860). Romantic What is “Romantic”? Valentine’s day? Roses? Cupids? Candle-light dinner? Love letters? Sunsets? Long walks.

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Presentation on theme: "American ROMANTICISM (1800-1860). Romantic What is “Romantic”? Valentine’s day? Roses? Cupids? Candle-light dinner? Love letters? Sunsets? Long walks."— Presentation transcript:

1 American ROMANTICISM ( )

2 Romantic What is “Romantic”? Valentine’s day? Roses? Cupids? Candle-light dinner? Love letters? Sunsets? Long walks on the beach?

3 Romantic That is NOT “Romantic”!

4 RomanticLove Romantic Love is NOT the same as Romanticism in Literature ROMANTICWhen it comes to literature and the arts, the word ROMANTIC has a broader definition than how we commonly use the word today.

5 RomanticLove Romantic Love is NOT the same as Romanticism in Literature This is a movement about the idealization of emotion, desire, and freedom from constraint. "She's a real Romantic." = dreamer, idealist, nonconformist, on a quest for undefined or unfamiliar goals

6 American Romanticism was… …a journey away from the CORRUPTION OF CIVILIZATION and the LIMITS OF RATIONAL THOUGHT to the integrity of NATURE and the freedom of the IMAGINATION.

7 Romantics of the initial movement in Europe The Original Romantics of the initial movement in Europe Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Byron Early Romantics were BRITISH: Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Byron - poets who emphasized emotion and drew inspiration from the lives of ordinary people.

8 Romantics The American Romantics Irving, Bryant, Longfellow, Holmes, Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Whitman – lived in NEW ENGLAND

9 Causes/Historical Context for the Movement The Louisiana Purchase doubled the country’s size

10 Causes/Historical Context for the Movement The War of 1812 interfered with trade, so Americans had to start producing items they were used to importing, thus, leading to the Industrial Revolution.

11 Changes in American cities Poverty In New York, people lived in tenements or slums—small, run- down, overcrowded housing

12 In New York City… streets filled with squalor and crime 20,000 children were homeless and many worked in sweatshops

13 In New York City… Cholera killed 100 people a day

14 So…American writers began to react to the negative effects of industrialization by turning to…

15 1. The beauty and spiritual power of unspoiled nature These paintings are from the Hudson River School ( )-- a group of American painters known for depicting landscapes.

16 2. The power of the imagination rather than reason and logic.

17 Joseph Mallord William Turner Rain, Steam, and Speed – William Turner Notice how this painting of a train emphasizes a feeling rather than a realistic depiction of a moving train

18 3. A celebration of the INDIVIDUAL rather than society

19 American Romantic Fiction For the first time, American writers stopped imitating Europeans, and an American style of writing emerged. Washington Irving becomes the first American famous short story writer. His stories rely on the features of folk tales and myths.

20 Caspar David Friedrich Chalk Cliffs on Rugen Washington Irving His stories--like the art of this period-- often feature exotic locales and supernatural events. “Rip Van Winkle” (1819)

21 American Romantic Fiction James Fenimore Cooper creates the first American series of novels that feature a common man leading adventures in the western frontier.

22 American Romantic Fiction Writers created stories that allowed readers to experience grand adventures! The Indiana Jones character is a modern- day example of a Romantic hero Natty Bumppo, hero of The Last of the Mohicans (1757)

23 For the first time American writers are creating opportunities for readers to experience PLEASURE and ESCAPE instead of merely LEARNING and POLITICAL ARGUMENT. Remember what we have read thus far: Patrick Henry’s Speech, Ben Franklin’s Autobiography....

24 However, above all, the most celebrated art form of American Romanticism was…

25 The Fireside Poets Got their name because people--instead of watching TV, playing videogames, or texting, would read poems out loud by their fireplaces for entertainment! I’m so glad I’m listening to Longfellow instead of playing Assassin’s Creed

26 The Fireside Poets They often emphasized moral themes and were committed to social reforms, such as abolishing slavery From “Stanzas on Freedom” by James Russell Lowell Men! Whose boast it is that ye Come of fathers brave and free, If there breathe on earth a slave, Are ye truly free and brave? If ye do not feel the chain, When it works a brother’s pain, Are ye not base slaves indeed, Slaves unworthy to be freed?

27 American Romantic Poets often wrote about the spiritual truths found in nature. James Fenimore Cooper called poet William Cullen Bryant, “the author of America”. Turn to p.338 and let’s read the first stanza of his poem “Thanatopsis”--a poem he wrote at age 18! This poem was so famous that people memorized it.

28 Kindred Spirits (1849) by Asher B. Durand A depiction of poet, William Cullen Bryant and American Romantic painter, Thomas Cole

29 Reason is the most reliable means to discover truths Emotion and imagination is relied upon to discover truthsEmotion and imagination is relied upon to discover truths Stressed the spirit of society as a whole Valued the unique spirit of the individualValued the unique spirit of the individual Romanticism Rationalism vs. Romanticism Led by writers with sophisticated, privileged backgrounds Fiction focused on unsophisticated, common people as heroesFiction focused on unsophisticated, common people as heroes


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