Presentation on theme: "American Romanticism 1800 - 1860 We will walk with our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own minds -Ralph Waldo Emerson Adapted."— Presentation transcript:
American Romanticism 1800 - 1860 We will walk with our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own minds -Ralph Waldo Emerson Adapted from www.newauburn.k12.wi.us and filebox.vt.edu/users/kheiser
Political and Social Milestones The Louisiana Purchase - 1803 The Gold Rush - 1849 Education and Reform
Rationalism vs Romanticism The rationalists believed the city to be a place to find success and self- realization The romantics associated the countryside with independence, moral clarity, and healthful living.
Characteristics of American Romanticism Values feeling and intuition over reason Places faith in inner experience and the power of the imagination Shuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual Contemplates nature ’ s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development
Characteristics (continued) Looks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progress Finds beauty and truth in exotic locals, the supernatural realm, and the inner world of the imagination Sees poetry as the highest expression of the imagination Finds inspiration in myth, legend, and fold culture
Rising to higher truths through the exploration of the past and of exotic, even supernatural, realms--the Gothic novel--old legends and folklore through the contemplation of the natural world--lyric poetry-- its underlying beauty and truth
Romantic Techniques Remoteness of setting in time and place. Improbable plots. Unlikely characterization. Informal writing style. Experiments in new forms. Individualized form of writing.
The New American Novel James Fenimore Cooper Natty Bumpo - new kind of hero Triumph of American innocence Popular twenty and twenty-first century Romantic heroes
New American Novelists Herman Melville - (ex-sailor) wrote Moby Dick Nathaniel Hawthorne - wrote The Scarlet Letter More a “ coming of age ” not a renaissance
The Romantic Hero The romantic hero was one of the most important products of the early American novel. The rational hero, like Ben Franklin, was worldly, educated, sophisticated, and bent on making a place for himself in civilization. The typical hero in American Romantic fiction was youthful, innocent, intuitive, and close to nature.
Characteristics of the American Romantic Hero Young or possesses youthful qualities. Innocent and pure of purpose. Has a sense of honor based not on society’s rules but on some higher principle. Has a knowledge of people and life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learning. Loves nature and avoids town life. Quests for some higher truth in the natural world.
The Fireside Poets Opposite of novelists - worked within European literary traditions Used English themes, meter, imagery with American settings and subjects Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendel Holmes, James Russell Lowell
Transcendentalism The idea that in determining the ultimate reality of God, the universe, the self, and other important matters, one must transcend, or go beyond, everyday human experience in the physical world. Ralph Waldo Emerson influenced by ancient Greek - Plato Also based on Puritan belief and Romantics Based on intuition; optimistic Henry David Thoreau Emerson ’ s close friend
The Realm of Darkness Edgar Allen Poe with Hawthorne and Melville known and anti- Transcendentalists Had much in common with Trascendentalists Explored conflicts between good and evil, psychological effects of guilt and sin, and madness
Whitman and Dickinson 19th century ’ s greatest poets Spoke to the masses Universal brotherhood, democracy Aimed for overall impression, free verse based on cadence Obscure homebody In nature, found metaphors for the spirit Meticulous word choice, precise language, evoking feelings