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E3: Romanticism (2014)

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john meehan

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of E3: Romanticism (2014)

A movement in the arts and literature that originated in the late 18th century, and became hugely popular in America from 1800-1860.

It emphasized inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual.
Romantic writers found their
in art, nature, dreams, and the emotional side of human relationships.
By focusing on the
of each person's experience, each author can emphasize personal
instead of cold hard
feelings > facts
By focusing on the
each author is free to depict the world
"We will walk on our own feet;

we will work with our own hands;

we will speak our own minds."
American Romanticism (162-164)
The Romantic Sensibility:
Celebrating Imagination (164-165)
Romantic Escapism:
From Dull Realities to Higher Truths (166-167)
The American Novel and the Wilderness Experience (167-169)
American Romantic Poetry:
Read at Every Fireside (170)
The Transcendentalists:
True Reality is Spiritual (170-172)
The Dark Romantics (172-173)
Finish reading and taking notes on p. 162-173.
There will be a notebook check in class.
American Romanticism 1800-1860
Unit Introduction
American Romanticism: 1800-1860
Romantic Hero
the literary archetype of a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence.
are "outsiders" to society
are "rough around the edges"
play by their own rules
strengths mirror society's weaknesses
are in touch with nature and have "street smarts"
Romantic Heroes
typical behaviors include:
romantic heroes reject:
formal education
A branch of Romanticism that believes in the inherent goodness of both people and nature.

Transcendentalists believe that society (organized politics and religion) corrupts each individual.

People are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.
each individual person
inherently good
"organized" rules and society
corruptingand inherently bad
Can you think of a time in your life where you felt truly "ALIVE?" Not just "living" -- but full of life and the kind of passion that makes you want to live each second to the fullest?
Describe your experience in 5 sentences. These will be discussed for a grade.
Henry David Thoreau
"Walden" (or "Life in the Woods")
p. 213-228
"We will walk on our own feet;
we will work with our own hands;
we will speak our own minds."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Nature" (p. 206)
"Self Reliance" (p. 209)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The American Scholar"
--The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The vernal woods--rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and pour'd round all,
Old ocean's grey and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man
To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And gentle sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware.
When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air,--
Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist
Thy image.
Earth, that hourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolv'd to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrend'ring up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to th' insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon.
The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thy eternal resting place
Shalt thou retire alone--nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent.
Thou shalt lie down,
With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.
The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages.
All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.
--Take the wings
Of morning--and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lost thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregan, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings--yet--the dead are there,
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.--
So shalt thou rest--and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living--and no friend
Take note of thy departure?
All that breathe
Will share thy destiny.
The gay will laugh,
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come,
And make their bed with thee.
As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid,
The bow'd with age, the infant in the smiles
And beauty of its innocent age cut off,--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain'd and sooth'd
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Thanotopsis - William Cullen Bryant
written (mostly) in 1811
when Bryant was just 17
Bring 60 BLANK INDEX CARDS to class.
p. 192
"Here's a great quote I found in the book."
Support Area
(And a quick line explaining it for my reference")
Direct Quote
James Fennimore Cooper invented a new type of Hero.
E of L 174
Primacy of the Individual
(The American Romantic Hero plays by his own rules)
Direct Quote
Paraphrased Quote
Key Fact
Elements of Literature
Primary Source:
Secondary Source:
"Here's a great quote I found in the book."
Support Area
(And a quick line explaining it for my reference")
Direct Quote
"William Cullen Bryant's 'Thanatopsis' embodies the three key principles of American Romanticism.

You'll need THREE blank pages (fronts and backs)
Dark Romanticism
HEAR the sledges with the bells,
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night! 5
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme, 10
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Hear the mellow wedding bells, 15
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes, 20
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells, 25
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels 30
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! 35
Hear the loud alarum bells,
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright! 40
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, 45
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now—now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon. 50
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!

Hear the tolling of the bells, 70
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone! 75
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people—ah, the people,
They that dwell up in the steeple, 80
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone— 85
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls, 90
A pæan from the bells;
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells,
And he dances, and he yells: 95
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells,
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time, 100
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells—
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time, 105
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells, 110
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour 55
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows; 60
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,—
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells, 65
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!
"The Bells"
by Edgar Allan Poe
presents individuals as prone to sin and self-destruction, not as inherently possessing divinity and wisdom.
Edgar Allan Poe
(approximately 20 cards)
(approximately 20 cards)
(approximately 20 cards)
The Devil and Tom Walker
William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis" revealed that many Romantic authors had a different way of looking at DEATH.

What does Washington Irving's "The Devil and Tom Walker" reveal about the way that many Romantic authors viewed LIFE?
By Washington Irving (p. 176)
"The Pit and the Pendulum"
By Edgar Allan Poe
(also known as "Gothic" literature)
Focuses on the "dark side" of human nature and the dangers that exist when individuals are free to behave as their nature dictates.
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
(p. 313)

"The Bells" (handout)
to elevate, raise up, or move to a higher plane of existence
"Resistence to Civil Government"
p. 235-240
Mohandas K. Gandhi
p. 244
Martin Luther King, Jr.
p. 245
"Letter from a Birmingham City Jail"
"On Nonviolent Resistence"
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: That if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
"Let everyone mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made. Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum mer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

"I went to the woods because I wished 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."

human nature
being one with nature
human nature
being one with nature
is corrupt, but keeps people in line
= prone to sin
reveals our true evil
corrupts, we need to retreat
= individualism is good!
is liberating
There are SIX reflection questions embedded in each of today's readings. You will complete THREE questions for each of the stories (=6 in total)
Full transcript