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Introduction to American Romanticism

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by

Dan Clare

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to American Romanticism

Introduction to American Romanticism
What is Romanticism?
The departure from neoclassical ("old school") imitation to "romantic" values...
Conclusion - Romantic Subject Matter...
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.
By focusing on the
of each person's experience, each author can emphasize personal
FEELINGS
instead of cold hard
FACTS
By focusing on the
each author is free to depict the world
USING THEIR OWN IMAGINATION.
Romantic writers found their
in art, nature, dreams, and the emotional side of human relationships.
INSPIRATION
SUBJECTIVITY
IMPORTANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
1803... Louisiana Purchase....
Manifest Destiny...
Indian Removal Act of 1830
The Trail of Tears
What romanticism is NOT:
Despite the name of the literary period, Romanticism does
NOT
deal with sappy love stories.

We will walk with our own feet.
We will work with our own hands.
We will speak our own minds.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Romanticism was like walking into TECHNICOLOR!

The Scarecrow as a representation of American farmers and their troubles in the late 19th century.
The Tin Man representing the American steel industry's failures to combat increased international competition at the time.
The Cowardly Lion as a metaphor for the American military's performance in the Spanish-American War.

L. Frank Baum's - The Wizard of Oz
NATURE and the INDIVIDUAL
each
individual
person
is inherently GOOD
These forces are corrupting
and are inherently BAD. Romantic
artists, writers, and thinkers
promoted fierce individualism and
questing BEYOND the existing
established rules...
INDUSTRY and SOCIETY
Organized rules and social expectations
The Quest for Beauty
Romanticism does NOT tell people how to live their lives...
Escapism!
Mental escape from American problems. The use of the far-away and non-normal...

Life is tough... you need your imagination!
Interest in external NATURE
For itself, for beauty:
Nature as source for the knowledge of the primitive.

Nature as refuge.

Nature as revelation of God to the individual.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Full transcript