2History 1776 the colonies declare independence 1803 the Louisiana Purchase;opens up the frontier.“War of 1812” against Britain; opens more land for resettlement.1820 Westward expansion in full swing.1840s California gold-rush
3Romantic philosophy Emphasis on the individual Writing examines inner feelings and emotions of the individualRecognize personal intuition and imagination over reasonTired of reason and logicFocus on common people, their lives & experiencesWriting about frontier and experiences with nature
4Romantic LiteratureCity/civilization represents moral ambiguity, corruption, death.Countryside represents independence, moral certainty, and health.Romantic hero: young, innocent, lover of nature, distrusts town-life, uneasy with women
5TranscendentalismOriginated with German romantic philosopher Immanuel Kant.Definition: spirituality achieved through meditation and a close relationship with nature.Disgust for conformity and praised individualitySearch for the inner self through supernatural forces—transcend “normal” human experiences—optimistic about human natureCriticized materialism and “get ahead” work ethic
6Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Optimist view of God: “God is good, and God works through nature.”Defined himself as a poet.Essays are a collection of memorable sentences rather than organized thoughts.“Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.”Primary works: Nature, Self-Reliance
7Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Lived at Walden Pond for 3 years( ) “I went to the woods to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”Major works: Walden and “Civil Disobedience”
8GothicsDefinition: Emphasis on the dark side of an individual and his reactions to the world..Pessimistic about human nature: searched human emotions, human actions, human motives, and human capacity for evil.
9Gothic AuthorsWriting examines the deterioration of the heart under conditions of fear, greed, vanity, mistrust, and betrayal.Nathaniel Hawthorne ( )The Scarlet Letter, “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,”“The Minister’s Black Veil,” etc.William Faulkner ( )“Spotted Horses,” “Absalom! Absalom!” “The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying,” “A Rose for Emily”Flannery O’Connor ( )“The Life You Save May Be Your Own,”
10Gothic Authors Edgar Allen Poe: Writing deals with the terror of the soul and the deterioration of the mind.He invented the horror story.He developed a “unified idea” for the short story concept.“The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Raven,” etc.