Presentation on theme: "Unit 2 Literary Focus Essays"— Presentation transcript:
1 Unit 2 Literary Focus Essays Collection 4: American RomanticismCollection 5: Gothic Fiction
2 Collection 4: American Romanticism Characteristics of American RomanticismAffirmation of feeling and intuition over reasonFaith in imagination, inner experience, and youthful innocence, rather than educated sophisticationBelief in the unspoiled natural world, as opposed to the artificiality of civilizationRegard for individual freedom and the worth of the individual
3 American Romanticism A Reaction Against Rationalism After winning independence from the British, Americans began to form their own cultural identity.The Granger Collection, New YorkWriters called Romantics helped build this identity.The works of the Romantic writers still influence the way Americans view themselves, their society, and the natural world.
4 American Romanticism A Reaction Against Rationalism Romanticism is a school of thought that values feeling and intuition over reason.The Romantic movement began in Germany in the second half of the eighteenth century.Romanticism strongly influenced literature, music, and painting in Europe and Britain.Romanticism developed in part as a reaction against rationalism, after the Industrial Revolution, with its squalid cities, led people to see the limits of reason.
5 American Romanticism A Reaction Against Rationalism To the Romantics,the imagination could discover truths that the rational mind could not reach.such truths were accompanied by powerful emotions and were associated with natural beauty.individual feelings and wild nature were more important than reason, logic, and sophistication.
6 American Romanticism Romantic Escapism To rise above what Edgar Allan Poe called “dull realities” and find a realm of higher truth, the Romantics used two principal approaches:They chose settings and situations that did not come from the real, modern world.1They tried to reflect on the natural world until dull reality fell away to reveal beauty and truth.2
7 American Romanticism Romantic Escapism Romantics chose settings and situations that did not come from the real, modern world.1Situations are from the more “natural” past.Settings show worlds that are very unlike the grimy and noisy industrial age.Tales include those of the supernatural.Stories sometimes draw from old legends and folklore.
8 American Romanticism Romantic Escapism Romantics tried to reflect on the natural world until dull reality fell away to reveal beauty and truth.2In lyric poems, natural scenes help speakers understand and express profound emotion.The Romantic approach is similar to the Puritans’ efforts to draw moral lessons from nature; however, Romantic reflections lead to a more generalized emotional and intellectual awakening.
9 American Romanticism The American Novel and the Wilderness Experience The American Romantic novelists used distinctly American subject matter to distinguish themselves from European writers.Americans had a sense of limitless frontiers that Europeans did not possess.Westward expansion, the growth of a nationalist spirit, and the idealization of frontier life all influenced the American novel.
10 American Romanticism The American Novel and the Wilderness Experience The novels of James Fenimore Cooper explored uniquely American settings and characters.His works featured backwoodsmen, American Indians, frontier communities, and the wilderness.Cooper’s Natty Bumppo—one of the first American Romantic heroes—is a virtuous, skilled frontiersman with a simple morality, a love of nature, and a distrust of town life.
11 American Romanticism American Romantic Poetry: Read at Every Fireside Romantic poetry also had some American settings and subject matter.However, the Romantic poets worked within European literary traditions.Seeking to show that Americans were a sophisticated people, they used typically English themes, meter, and imagery.
12 American Romanticism American Romantic Poetry: Read at Every Fireside The Fireside Poets were a group of very popular Romantic poets.Their poems were meant to be read aloud at the fireside—as family entertainment.Oliver Wendell HolmesJohn Greenleaf WhittierHenry Wadsworth LongfellowJames Russell Lowell
13 American Romanticism 1. How does Romanticism differ from rationalism? Ask Yourself1. How does Romanticism differ from rationalism?2. In what two principal ways did Romantics try to rise above “dull realities”?3. How were the goals of the American Romantic novelists different from the goals of the Fireside Poets?[End of Section]
14 Collection 5: Gothic Fiction Characteristics of Gothic FictionUse of haunting, eerie settings and strange, chilling eventsRomantic interest in intuition, imagination, and hidden truthsReaction against the optimism of the TranscendentalistsExploration of evil and the irrational depths of the human mind
15 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism The Dark Romantics shared some of the ideas of the Transcendentalists:They took an interest in the spiritual world.They valued intuition and imagination over rationalism.They wanted to explore the mysteries of human existence.
16 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism However, the Dark Romantics disagreed with the Transcendentalist notions that the divine is implicit in nature and that people are essentially good.They felt that literature should take into accountthe darker side of human naturethe presence of suffering in the worldthe ongoing conflict between good and evil
17 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism European BeginningsThe Gothic novel, a form of Dark Romanticism, emerged in England in the late eighteenth century.These tales of terror often used the setting of the medieval gothic castle to evoke fear.Two classic examples are Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
18 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism European BeginningsThe term Gothic was later used to describe any fiction thatcreated a haunting atmosphereincluded strange and chilling events
19 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism American DevelopmentsThe emerging trend in American fiction was the short story.Short stories were meant to be read in one sitting.The cast of characters was small, and the plot was generally uncomplicated.This structure allowed a writer to focus on the internal workings of the main character’s mind.
20 Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism American DevelopmentsThe Gothic short story was born when the form of the short story met the content of the Gothic novel.Dark Romantic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving incorporated Gothic elements into the developing short story genre.Gothic short stories often show the madness and violence under the seemingly tranquil surface of civilization.
21 Collection 5: Gothic Fiction Ask Yourself1. What did the Dark Romantics have in common with the other Romantics, particularly the Transcendentalists?2. What two trends in literature came together to form the Gothic short story? Explain.[End of Section]