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American Romanticism 1800-1860

American Romanticism

J Schwartz

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of American Romanticism 1800-1860

Background Information
American Romanticism

Remember, The Romantic Period coincides with the Transcendentalist movement (1840-1860)
Literary Period in the U.S. spanning from 1800-1860
Romantics Value
Romantic values are often a rejection of Enlightenment principles
Rejection of the belief that all knowledge can be gained based on reason, tradition, or established authority
Emphasizes the experience of living, not the rational understanding or control of life
Romanticism is based on the recognition that humans are not machines and are not governed by rationally understood laws- humans are an extension of nature
Romantic writers place an emphasis on the INDIVIDUAL and his/her unique reactions and interpretations of life.
This makes literature valuable as an expression of that person's unique feeling and particular attitudes.
Some Romantic writers focus especially on the mysteries of the inner-human and human psychology.
Romantics Value
Romantics value the use of imagination, seeing literature as the expressions of intuitive knowledge or personal vision, which tends to speak a "nobler truth" than that of fact, logic, or the here-and-now.
Romantics emphasize an interrelationship with nature. They view it as a source of beauty and truth.
"The living garment of God."
Romantics find nature to be pure. Furthermore, they believe in the restorative power of nature.
Frequently, Romantic writers create their stories in settings that are wild, incredible, and even grotesque.
The American Romantic hero is youthful, innocent, intuitive, close to nature, and uneasy around women.
Romantics focus on life as it might or should be, not life as is "in the streets."
Life as it Should Be
Romantics are more interested in the interpretation of life than its description.
Historical or Mythical Past
Characters in Romantic literature are original, sometimes supernatural; but they may also represent a type of person or an idea.
Romantic writing is characterized by optimism for America
Romantic writing is characterized by idealism about America's national values
Romantic writing reflects nationalism in the promotion of the ideal America.
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