Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 The Romantic Period Introduction ★ The Romantic Period stretches from the end of the 18th century to the outbreak of the Civil War. ★ It is."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction ★ The Romantic Period stretches from the end of the 18th century to the outbreak of the Civil War. ★ It is also called “The American Renaissance” or “New England Renaissance”.
Historical, social and cultural background 1.Historically: the time of westward expansion. 2.Economically: The whole nation was experiencing an industrial transformation. 3. Politically: Democracy and equality 4. The impact of European Romanticism on American Romanticism
Literary trends (1) American Puritanism Puritan &Puritanism (2) New England Transcendentalism
Artistic features of American Romanticism (1)The common features with the English Romanticists ◆ emphasis upon the imaginative and emotional qualities of literature, ◆ emphasis on the free expression of emotions and displayed an increasing attention to the psychic states of their characters.
Artistic features of American Romanticism (1) The common features with the English Romanticists ◆ to exalt the individual and the common man ◆ The use of the more colorful aspects of the past In short, American Romanticism is, in a certain way, derivative.
2) The unique characteristics of American Romanticism ◆ The American national experience of “pioneering into the west” proved to be a rich source of material for American writers ◆ The desire for an escape from society and a return to nature became a permanent convention of American literature. ◆ local dialects appeared in poetry and fiction with increasing frequency
2) The unique characteristics of American Romanticism ◆ Puritanism exerted great influences over American moral values and American Romanticism. ◆ the Calvinistic view of original sin and the mystery of evil
Major figures of this period poets : Philip Freneau, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wordsworth Long Fellow, James Russel Lowell, John Greenleaf Whitter, Edgar Ellen Poe, and, especially, Walt Whitman, Novelists: Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Rebecca Harding Davis.
Representative of this period Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Biography 1803 Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. 1825 He began to study at the Harvard Divinity School 1826 He was licensed to preach by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. 1830 Emerson became sole pastor at the Second Unitarian Church of Boston
1833 He had a crisis of faith, finding that he “was not interested” in the rite of Communion. Emerson’s controversial views caused his resignation. 1836 Emerson’s first book, Nature, a collection of essays, appeared and Transcendental Club established 1840 Emerson helped Margaret Fuller to launch The Dial (1840-44) 1849 Emerson published a collection of lectures annexed to a reprint of Nature 1882 Emerson died.
His works: Nature (1836), “The American Scholar” (1837), “Address at Divinity College” (1838); Essays(1841), Essays: Second Series (1844), Representative Men (1850); English Traits (1856); Conduct Of Life (1860); Society And Solitude (1870); Parnassus, a selection of poems(1874); Letters And Social Aims (1876); Miscellanies, a collection of political speeches and Lectures And Biographical Sketches (1884).
Emersonian Transcendentalism a)His philosophy of the over-soul b) Emerson’s philosophy of the importance of the Individual c) Emerson’s view on nature
Analysis of Nature I. Brief introduction of Nature Nature is divided into an introduction and eight chapters. Introduction Chapter I Nature Chapter II Commodity Chapter III Beauty Chapter IV Language Chapter V Discipline Chapter VI Idealism Chapter VII Spirit Chapter VIII Prospects
II. Theme ★ The passage suggests the primacy of spirit and of human understanding over nature. ★ Emerson’s nature is emblematic of the spiritual world ★ The essay Nature discusses the love of nature, the uses of nature, the idealist philosophy in relation to nature, evidences of spirit in the material universe, and the potential expansion of human souls and works that will result from a general return to direct, immediate contact with the natural environment.
III. Artistic features casual style; characterized by a series of short, declarative sentences, which are not quite logically connected but will flower out into illustrative statements of truth and thoughts. IV. Latest criticism