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Copy of Romanticism & Transcendentalism

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Alissa Boyle

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Romanticism & Transcendentalism

Romanticism and Transcendentalism
Both literary, artistic, philosophical movements that reject previous ideas and norms of society...
Chalk Cliffs on Rügen (1818),
Caspar David Friedrich
Attack on a Coach (1787) Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
John Constable - The Salisbury Cathedral (from the Meadows) - 1829
Turner, Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps, 1812.
Focus on 5 I's...
turbulent time-- change from primarily agricultural society to industrial society
Wealth / power shift from aristocracy...
to large scale employers...
who are themselves pitted against the factory workers
is more important than society
God resides in each person
every person is therefore
each person can receive
through his/her unique
cannot sacrifice one person for the good of the community
value on
over reason
not logic
British Romantic William Wordsworth described poetry as “
the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings
we can make the world a
emphasizes the
over matter – thought has a crucial role in making the world the way it is.
Romantic artists and poets are seen as "
inspired creators
," not so much "
technical masters
applaud being
and going with the flow rather than getting everything
again, emphasized over reason
backlash against previous Enlightenment/ Age of Reason period that stressed reason and logic
British writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it “
intellectual intuition
Major Romantic Authors
Major themes...
criticism of the past
heroic isolation of the narrator
respect for wild, untamed nature
British poet
I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare:
my business is to create
--William Blake
Infant Joy

“I have no name:
I am but two days old.”
What shall I call thee?
“I happy am,
Joy is my name.”
Sweet joy befall thee!
Victor Hugo
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Edgar Allan Poe
“Invisible things are the only realities.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Loss of Breath
Mary Shelley
“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Romanticism RECAP
view nature as
man as flawed
place nature above the self
1830s- 1840s
situated in New England
protest of the general state of culture and society
believe in inherent goodness of man and nature
society- particularly organized religion and political parties-- corrupt the individual
man is at his best when he is
self-reliant and independent
All people have access to inspiration and seek freedom, truth, and knowledge.
People should reform/ change any institutions that create inequality in a person's ability to be educated and self directed
women's rights
of Transcendentalism
("honor in you")
by going into
Unlimited potential of everyone
Nature as symbolic
Human soul is immortal, vast, beautiful
our consciousness is limited compared to our souls
at some level, the souls of all people are connected
we are all part of one larger unity
Natural facts represent spiritual facts
Each piece of nature is a microcosm of all of nature.
You can trust yourself and your intuition...
...therefore, you can create your own connections to God and nature
Believe they
find the answers they're seeking.
There's meaning in everything...
... the meaning is
Evil isn't a "thing," it's the
absence of good
Each of us has the power to do
-- if we just learn to trust ourselves and others and seek the Oversoul through nature and our sense of self.
Society will try to make you
-- but the individual is
more valuable
than society.
Follow instinct--
not society's
Live life to fullest
when you seek to
fulfill your
Major authors
Ralph Waldo Emerson
leader of Transcendentalists
wrote "Self-Reliance," "Nature," lectured on his ideas around country
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us
“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.
To be great is to be misunderstood.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance
Henry David Thoreau
wrote "Walden:" about living simply and ascetically
also wrote "Civil Disobedience"-- said that it's your moral obligation to overthrow an unjust government
essays influenced later leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.
life-long abolitionist
John Muir
naturalist; advocates for preservation of wilderness
wrote about his own adventures in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California
his activism helped preserve Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
Louisa May Alcott
wrote Little Women
parents were transcendentalists and friends of Thoreau & Emerson
addresses women's issues
In a nutshell...
Believe the individual trumps everything else...
Look to the self for truth...
Relationship between Romanticism & Transcendentalism
View of God
R: God not as important; "out there"
T: God within, everyone has inner spark
Goodness / Evil
R: there's dark in everyone, as well as good
T: people good
Style of writing
use of intuition over reason
large contrasts between good and evil / light and dark
dream world
narrators can be insane / have flights of fancy
concerned with physical world
no one style- each writer approaches craft differently
concerned with journey of the spirit
Full transcript