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American Romanticism & Transcendentalism (1800-1890)

American Literary Movement Project presenting American Romanticism and Transcendentalism.

Jaylene Cerda

on 30 October 2015

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Transcript of American Romanticism & Transcendentalism (1800-1890)

Romantic Painting
Introduction to the Times
Artwork (Romantic)
Frederic Edwin Church's Aurora Borealis
Religion & Philosophy
By: K.I. and J.C. B1
American Romanticism & Transcendentalism (1800-late 1890)
Transcendental Painting
An Average Life
Prominent Authors of the Time

Artwork (themes in paintings are very similar to the literature we will eventually analyze)
An Average Life
The life of an average working class person was harsh regardless of where one lived. There was constant poverty. Within the city the Industrial Revolution made a major impact. Factory workers--men, women, and children--had about 14 hour shifts. There was also an onslaught of pollution that began to fill the air, leaving soot in the skies. Cities became filthy. Rats and other vermin were attracted and illness spread. There was generally poor living conditions for the workers of mills and factories and they lived in multi-family housing units.
There were also a movement of people out west in which people tried to create a living from farming. At one point nearly seventy five percent of people earned their living from farming but abandoned it for the cities when farming was proving to be less of a substantial source of income for normal people.
Asher Brown Duran's
The Indian's Vespers
John Trumball's The Death of Montgomery in the Attic of Quebec
Romanticism: Emphasis on displaying the beauty of nature, and using emotion over intellect. There's a rejection of ideals that are calm, harmonious, and balanced. The point to move away from ordered classicism.
*classicism: the following of Greek and Roman principles that are associated with restraint
*vespers: a service of evening prayer
Important Events of the Time that Held Influuence
During this time movements allowed individuals to become more open minded, the revival of belief in religion or at least respect for it, became relevant.
There was an intertwining of both philosophy and religion.
thedifferencebetween.net says, "Romanticism doesn't heavily emphasize the power of God as the center of the universe; however, transcendentalism strongly believes in God, divination, and the truth of miracles."
"Transcendentalism draws inspiration from the beyond or external to the human perspective even beyond reasoning and normal traditions."
Transcendentalism elucidates the importance of intellectual growth rather than emotions or feelings.
Catholicism, Protestantism, and Anglicanism were strengthened during both of these time periods.
If there were doubts about religions, they were reasonable ones. As in, you were able to politely debate.
Religion in this era was influenced by the French Revolution as well.

These are inventions that were developed during the Romanticism Era and are also the result of the Industrial Revolution
Steam Engine
Cotton Gin
Spinning Jenny
Beethoven was the musician that really kicked it off for other famous composers during the Romanticism Era and continued on into Transcendentalism.

But, musician Hector Berlioz was the first composer to take the Romantic attitude to extremes
...Now here's a Fur Elise by Beethoven!
Origins & Themes of Romanticism & Transcendentalism:
Romanticism started in Europe during the 18th century. This shaped the Industrial Revolution. It emphasized new emotions such as anxiety, awe, terror, and horror.
Transcendentalism also started during this period. The term is coined from “transcendental” philosophy by Immanuel Kant. The transcendentalists have a strong faith in the power of divinity, nature, and individualism. However, these beliefs are also relate to romanticists. Transcendentalists believe that God is the center of the universe and respect should be given to Him.
Although both of these composers are European (Berlioz born in France, Beethoven born in Germany), they had a very strong influence on classical music in America.
Romantics believed in this concept as well; however, they likely stressed the power of good in preventing evil. They're all about emotions, using significant events in their pieces, loyalty, patriotism, and allegiance.

*Our time period is moving away from the intellectual Enlightenment.
Transcendentalism: Emphasis on individuality, spirituality, imagination, and Greek mythology. There was also an exploration of the natural world.
Artwork (Transcendentalism)
Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits
Some artists are considered both Romantics and Transcendentalists or share characteristics of both. This is similar with writers.
Thomas Cole's The Destruction.
*This is a painting from a series by Thomas Cole that shows the rise and fall of empires. The series is called The Course of Empire. This painting is showing the inevitable crumbling of an empire.
Example of a Romantic Poem
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
What makes this Romantic?
-the emotional, heartbroken perspective of the speaker
-has common themes of Romantic poems like nature and love

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
Example of Poem from Transcendentalism
Whate’er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

But if with bended neck I grope,
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it;

Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse for ever wear—
Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ.

Always the general show of things
Floats in review before my mind,
And such true love and reverence brings,
That sometimes I forget that I am blind.

But now there comes unsought, unseen,
Some clear divine electuary,
And I, who had but sensual been,
Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary.

I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning’s lore.

I hear beyond the range of sound,
I see beyond the range of sight,
New earths and skies and seas around,
And in my day the sun doth pale his light.

Inspiration by Henry David Thoreau
What makes this apart of Transcendentalism?
-the ideology of an understand of one's self that surpasses the senses
Now we will begin delving into the literary aspects.
Origins and Themes
Examples of Poetry Analyzed by J.C. and K.I. to explore the themes of poems that are Romantic and follow Transcendentalism as well as see similarities and differences.
Analyzing poems as a class.
You'll have 10-15 minutes to write a quick 10 line (minimum) poem that is either Romantic or Transcendentalist.
A few people may share afterward.
Analyzing Poetry
Analyzing Poetry (continued)
Give to barrows, trays, and pans
Grace and glimmer of romance;
Bring the moonlight into noon
Hid in gleaming piles of stone;
On the city's paved street
Plant gardens lined with lilacs sweet;
Let spouting fountains cool the air,
Singing in the sun-baked square;
Let statue, picture, park, and hall,
Ballad, flag, and festival,
The past restore, the day adorn,
And make to-morrow a new morn.
So shall the drudge in dusty frock
Spy behind the city clock
Retinues of airy kings,
Skirts of angels, starry wings,
His fathers shining in bright fables,
His children fed at heavenly tables.
'T is the privilege of Art
Thus to play its cheerful part,
Man on earth to acclimate,
And bend the exile to his fate,
And, moulded of one element
With the days and firmament,

Teach him on these as stairs to climb,
And live on even terms with Time;
Whilst upper life the slender rill
Of human sense doth overfill.

Art by
Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Emerson is seen in a Romantic light as well as a Transcendentalist
The time has come for you to write your own poem.
10-15 minutes to write it.
Minimum of 10 lines.
Is either Romantic or demonstrate Transcendentalist ideals.
A few people may share there poem if they'd like or have someone else present it for them.
And remember, this is a quick write, you don't have to be the next Edgar Allan Poe.
Everyone please put you handouts and notes up there will be a quick 5 question quiz.
*Please no groaning, we don't want you to say we didn't prepare you enough for the test.

1.) Give a brief definition of Romanticism. List two characteristics/themes.

2.) Give a brief definition of Transcendentalism. List two characteristics/themes.

3.) What separates Romanticism from Transcendentalism?

4.) Tell us something you learned.

5.) Did our lesson give you a good understanding of the concept?

Answer Key. (If you got #1 and 2 you have 3. Answers don't need to be exactly like this, just make sure you understand and can identify aspects in literature (especially poetry).
1.) Romanticism is a movement that emphasized inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual and veers away from ordered classicism.
Characteristics/themes you could've chosen from: emotion, individuality, revolution, love, exotic, "noble savage", nature
2.) People have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that goes beyond what their senses. People also have their own authority over themselves to decide what is right.
Characteristics/themes you could've chosen from: individuality, spirituality, imagination, Greek mythology, nature
3.) What separates Romanticism are the general foundations of their ideals. The emphasis of divinity is different as well. Romanticism focused on the emotional aspect of the world while transcendentalism is centered around surpassing the senses, and the authority to decide what is right.
4 & 5 We'd like to hear what you have to say.
Missouri becomes as state.
Erie Canal is completed.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad construction began.
Andrew Jackson is elected president.
Second Great Awakening (religious rival movement).
Oregon Trail.
Indian Removal Act.
Black Hawk War.
Slavery Debates at Lane Theological Seminary.
Texas War for Independence.
Arkansas becomes a state.
Michigan becomes a state.
Trail of Tears.
Irish Potato Famine
Mexican-American War
California Gold Rush (into the 1850's)
American Civil War
Lincoln is assassinated

Yellow Stone National Park is establised
Start of the 2nd Industrial Revolution

Prominent Authors of the Time
Charles Dickens
Edgar Allan Poe
Walt Whitman
Herman Melville
Frederick Douglass
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Emily Dickinson
(no youtube)
locomotives provided faster transportation and connected the country
the cotton gin was created to reduce the need of slaves but because more cotton could be produced faster it actually increased slavery due to people's greed
produced a booming in the textile industry
To your handout please add next to the characteristics/themes of Romanticism and Transcendentalism
the natural world
Full transcript