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American Romanticism

This powerpoint will introduce you to the five "I"s of American Romanticism

Denise Abbe

on 28 October 2018

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Transcript of American Romanticism

American Romanticism
Reaction to Deism/Rationalism
Focuses on emotional side
of human nature
Who cares about reason and logic?
I just want to be OUTSIDE.
I don't
want to think!
I just want
to FEEL!
Be in the moment
Be spontaneous
Be messy and organic
"Trust yourself--every heart vibrates to that iron string."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let your heart be your guide.
And the world
will be a better place
for you
and me
just wait
and see
American Romantic writers lived by the five "I"s
produced optimism and self-reliance
that lasted until the Civil War
-revered personal feelings as the previous
period had revered reason
-returning to literature were such things as
individual joy,rapture, love, longing,
regret, fear, hope, faith, enthusiasm, despair
Intuition = something one knows
without reason--something that
satisfies the instincts of the heart
-Decided to explore the unique, the different
-Let their imaginations wander into the
remote, the indefinite, the strange
•grotesque, gloomy settings(often old castles)
•use of mysterious, violent, supernatural
occurrences to create mystery and awe
•Uniqueness = runs through
the Romantic movement,
anticipating our modern
study of "scientific
•optimistic overemphasis on
the goodness of humanity
American Past
-painted pictures of American domestic scenes--scenes
of family life, the Native American, patriotic themes
-Nationalism - pride in the newness and uniqueness of
our new country
-return to folklore and legends (with an American twist)
-some glossed over realities in American history (the war)
and gave them a romantic treatment
-placed emphasis on the natural beauty of America as
opposed to the more developed European cities, marred
by the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution
-viewed nature as a spiritual resource that took the
place of religion or took over where religion ran out
-saw nature as a living being which related to the
soul of man
-preferred nature to be wild and untamed, sublimely grand
Not this
The Common Man
•natural, earthy man is important
•rustic man is innocent and uninhibited
•Primitivism: primitive man, because he
is closer to nature, is nobler and more
nearly perfect than civilized man
The Noble Savage
Romantic Literature
-romantic escape into foreign lands, legends
of the past, the supernatural, and the deepest
recesses of the soul
-enthusiasm for the beauty and grandness of nature
-a humorous approach (sometimes) to much that
was natively American, except in respect to the
Native Americans (inherently 'noble' or inherently
-development of the short story, the essay, short
poems--all of which were suitable for magazine
-The Romantic Hero: larger than life, indestructible,
handsome, honest, brave--the wish fulfillment of
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