Presentation on theme: "Did not agree with the optimism of the Transcendentalists. Thought that Emerson took only the bright side of Puritanism and ignored the belief in the wickedness."— Presentation transcript:
Did not agree with the optimism of the Transcendentalists. Thought that Emerson took only the bright side of Puritanism and ignored the belief in the wickedness of humanity. To create a greater balance, the Dark Romantics explored both good and evil. Looked at the effects of guilt and sin on the mind, body and soul, including madness. Behind the pasteboard masks of polite society, they saw the horror of evil. From this vision, the Dark Romantics shaped a new, truly American literature.
The Dark Romantics – Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville – did not see the world with the same optimism as the Romantics and Transcendentalists. The Dark Romantics explored both good and evil; they looked at the effects of guilt and sin on the mind, body and soul, including madness. Behind the pasteboard masks of polite society, they saw the horror of evil. From this vision, the Dark Romantics shaped a new, truly American literature.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Alienation and frustration Initiation: the attempts of an alienated character to get rid of his isolated condition. Guilt Pride as Evil Individual vs. Society Hypocrisy vs. Integrity Love vs. Hate Fate vs. Free Will Edgar Allan Poe Love: usually of a mourning man for his deceased beloved. Pride – both physical and intellectual. Beauty of a young woman either dying or dead. Death as a source of horror. Herman Melville Isolation Betrayal Abandonment especially fathers who abandon sons Conscience Duplicity of Society: Appearances vs. Reality Fate vs. Free Will
Shares basic characteristics of Romanticism valuing intuition over reason seeing symbolic meaning in all events antiquarianism – using antique or mythological elements to make works seem older than they are a belief that spirituality is located primarily in nature. However, the Dark Romantics believe that nature was NOT necessarily good or harmless; it could sometimes be evil or sinister. They are fascinated by the psychological effects of sin, guilt, and even madness. Their work shows a moral duality – the good and evil sides of a person are thought to coexist in each of us.
Although considered a Dark Romantic, Poe can be viewed more as a Gothic writer. Poe’s work strongly represents Gothic elements more so than valuing intuition over reason or than examining the natural world for God and spiritual truths.
Settings: a castle, ruined or not, haunted or not ruined buildings which are sinister or which arouse a pleasing melancholy dungeons, underground passages, crypts, and catacombs, spooky basements or attics labyrinths, dark corridors, winding stairs Images or Motifs: shadows, a beam of moonlight in the blackness, a flickering candle, or light failing such as candles blown out or electric failure extreme landscapes, like rugged mountains, thick forests, or icy wastes, and extreme weather omens and ancestral curses, magic, or suggestions of the supernatural terror, a feeling of insanity, anger, agitation, and obsessive love. Characters a curious heroine with a tendency to faint and a need to be rescued–frequently a hero whose true identity is revealed by the end of the novel a passion-driven, willful villain-hero or villain
Poe's main concern focused upon matters of design, proportion and composition His unity of effect meant that the writer should deliberately diminish everything in the poem or story – character, plot, style – to bring out of a single, preconceived effect. "If [the writer’s] very initial sentence tend not to be the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step. In the whole composition there should be no word written, of which the tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre- established design. And by such means, with such care and skill, a picture is at length painted which leaves in the mind of him who contemplates it with a kindred art, a sense of the fullest satisfaction."