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A Growing Nation (1800-1870) Literature of the Period.

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Presentation on theme: "A Growing Nation (1800-1870) Literature of the Period."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Growing Nation (1800-1870) Literature of the Period

2 Romanticism Artistic movement that dominated Europe & America during 19 th century Not necessarily about love Imagination over reason/intuition over fact Great love of nature Accented the fantastic aspects of the human experience

3 New England Renaissance (1840-1855) Sparked by Ralph Waldo Emerson – Called for American intellectual independence from Europe – Believed American writers should interpret their own culture in new ways – Led to a burst of literary activity in and around Boston

4 Transcendentalism Refers to understanding gained intuitively because it lies beyond direct experience Blend of the romantic, the intuitive, the mystical Most truths lie outside of the senses Strong belief in the importance of the individual

5 Walden Henry David Thoreau, protégé of Emerson Withdrew from society to live by Walden Pond 18 essays using nature to explore philosophies of individualism, simplicity, and civil disobedience

6 The Possibility of Evil Nathaniel Hawthorne – Always conscious of his Puritan roots Herman Melville – Like his mentor, saw life in grim terms

7 Fireside Poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – First poet to create national interest in American poetry – Adapted traditional European forms to American subjects William Cullen Bryant – Lawyer, journalist – Defender of human rights – First to win world-wide acclaim and establish the Romantic Movement here

8 Fireside Poets, cont. Oliver Wendell Holmes – Descendent of Anne Bradstreet – Leading medical researcher of his time John Greenleaf Whittier – No formal education – Raised a Quaker – Deeply involved in social issues – Captured the simple rural life as it was disappearing

9 Great Poets of American Literature Emily Dickinson – Born in Amherst, Massachusetts – As an adult, became increasingly isolated – Devoted most of her time to writing poetry – Wanted her poems destroyed after her death – Saved by her sister

10 Great Poets of Am. Lit. continued Walt Whitman – Self educated – Broke every poetic tradition…rhyme, meter, subject matter – Strong beliefs in democracy, equality, unity, and the potential of the human spirit – Life’s work: Leaves of Grass

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