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Transcript of Romanticism
Romanticism in the U.S.A
Romanticism came somewhat later in the United States than in Europe. But it was a vigorous movement there with distinctive themes. The love of nature took a philosophical form in the group of New England writers known as transcendentalists.
Feelings Towards America
The Romantic Movement influenced many American writers, such as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving.
Romanticism influenced American politics, philosophy and the arts in a very positive way.
Cultural issues during this time period included slavery and economic problems. These problems led to inflation and left no money for expansion.
Slavery became a major problem in the North and the South; which affected the political, social, and economic lives of many people.
Crops failed and caused an unbalance between imports and exports. This affected the industrial sector heavily because of lack of money to spend for growth.
1809- Abraham Lincoln was born
1818- Mary Shelly publishes 'The Revolt of Islam'
1819- Walt Whitman was born
1825- John Quincy Adams was elected as the 6th U.S. president.
1831- Mary Shelly publishes revised edition of Frankenstein
The romantic period placed the individual at the center of all life, therfore all art, literature and music focused on the individual.
Women Authors On The Rise!
As romanticism gained popularity, a major rise in women authors occured. Among the most famous include Harriot Jacobs, Lydia Child, and Emily Dickinson.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Born: June 14, 1811
Died: June 1, 1896
Harriet Beecher Stowe was the eighth child of eleven. Her mother died when she was only five years old, and Harriet's oldest sister become a maternal figure for the young girl, until her father remarried a woman by the name of Harriet Porter Beecher. Harriet lived a happy childhood and started writing at a very early age. When she was seven, she won a prize at her school for a short excerpt she wrote, and was praised for her excellence by her father. As she grew older, she continued to write, accumulating about thirty novels during her life. The most famous of her works is
Uncle Tom's Cabin
and was published in
The National Era
as installments. It was originally only going to be 3-4 installments, but Harriet ended up writing over forty for the newspaper. The story was to educate the people of America about the conditions that the black slaves lived in. Her novel inspired many Americans to act on slavery.
Edgar Allan Poe
Born: December 10, 1830
Died: May 15, 1886
Relevance: American poet, who lived a very introverted and reclusive life. Fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. Today, her works have been a source of inspiration to many but mainly to feminists.
•Because I Could Not Stop for Death
•I’m Nobody! Who Are You?
•I Dreaded that First Robin
•I Had No Time to Hate Because
Writing Style: Dickinson mainly used a “lyrical” writing style; having a single speaker who expresses their thoughts or feelings towards a certain subject or item. She often punctuated with dashes rather than periods or commas. She would also capitalized interior words of a sentence, though why she did this still remains unclear.
Major Life Events: Emily and her sister, Lavinia, started attending Amherst Academy in September 1840. Emily is frequently absent due to illness. While attending Amherst, Emily meets Leonard Humphrey. He becomes a close friend and mentor to her. In 1847 she enrolled at Mount Holyoke Seminary and leaves one year later- her reasons for leaving still remain unclear. In 1858 Emily makes in first copies of her poems and they appear in the Springfield Republican and in 1864 her poems are published in Drum Beat to raise money for soliders. Emily then withdraws from everyday activities, hiding away in her home. Between the years 1874-1884 many of her close friends and family die. May 15th, 1886 Emily died of Brights Disease. In 1890, Emily’s sister finds hundreds of Emily’s unpublished works and publishes them.
A New Wealthy Class Arises
Born: January 19, 1809
Died: October 7, 1849
Relevance: American author of many short horror stories and poems. Also served as an editor and critic. Initiated the “Modern Detective” style of writing.
•Fall of the House of Usher
•The Tell-Tale Heart
Writing Style: Gothic- Ideas often centered on death, premature burial, effects of decompostion and mourning.
Major Life Events: Orphaned at age three along with his brother and sister (each was sent to live with a different family), Attended University of Virginia, later dropped out due to lack of funds; Enlisted to serve five years in the military (Highest Ranking: Sergeant Major), 1836- Married Virginia Clemm (13), she dies 11 years later. Published the Raven in 1844.
Born: August 1, 1819
Died: September 28, 1891
Relevance: American novelist, short story writer & poet. Well-known for his novel Moby Dick. Melville’s writing reflects on his past experiences at sea, exploring literature and philosophy, and engagement in contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change.
• Bartleby, the Scrivener
Writing Style: Melville’s style was unique and expressed enormous changes throughout his years as a writer. Melville brought fact, fiction, adventure and symbolism together to create interesting and exciting tales of his experiences.
Major Life Events: August 1, 1819- Melville is born third out of eight children. In 1832 Melville’s father dies; shortly after his father’s death Melville drops out of school and begins working to help support his family.In the years 1839-1844 Melville goes to sea and explores the Marquesas Islands and lives among the natives there for three weeks. He then leaves the island on a ship headed to Hawaii and spends most of the next two years at sea. In 1846, Melville published his first novel Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, an account of his interactions with the people of Marquesas Islands. August 4, 1847 Melville married Elizabeth Shaw; they have their first child two years later in 1849, that same year Melville published two more novels. In 1851, Moby Dick is published. In the years 1851-55 Melville has three more children. May of 1860, Melville decides to set sail again with his brother but changed his mind shortly after and returned home. Deeply in debt and behind on mortgage payments, Melville has to sell his home in 1863. He and his family return to New York. Melville then dies at age 72.
Born: May 31, 1819
Died: March 26, 1892
Relevance: American poet, essayist, and journalist. Whitman was part of the “humanism” movement- a transition between transcendentalism and realism both views were expressed in his works. Known to many as “The Father of the Free Verse”. His work was viewed as “controversial” to some at the time it was published.
•Leaves of Grass
•Song of Myself
Writing Style: Whitman’s free verse poetry style openly disregarded traditional meter and rhyme. The voice of his works shadowed the new “American Spirit” of open lands, enterprising and hard working people.
Major Life Events: Whitman is born May 31, 1819 and is the second of eight surviving children. In 1830, eleven year old Whitman drops out of school to work and earn money to support his family. In 1831, Whitman learns printing trade and soon freelances his own printer for local publications. At age 14, Whitman’s family leaves him for Long Island, NY while Whitman stays in Brooklyn, NY.In 1836 he rejoins his family in Long Island, taking up the job of a teacher. In 1841, Whitman returns to New York City to become a freelance writer, one year later in 1842, Whitman’s first novel Franklin Evans is published. May 12, 1855, Whitman published the first edition of Leaves of Grass, a collection of twelve free verse poems. In April of 1861 the Civil War breaks out; Whitman moves to Washington D.C. to work as a nurse. Between the years 1856-1892 Whitman publishes five more editions of Leaves of Grass.
Born:July 4, 1804
Died: May 19, 1864
Relevance: Hawthorne contributed to the Romantic movement more specifically, Dark Romanticism; with themes that centered on inherent evil or the sins of humanity. Many of his works often have moral messages and are psychologically deep & thought provoking.
•The Scarlet Letter
•The House of the Seven Gables
•Young Goodman Brown
•The Blithedale Romance
Writing Style: As Hawthorne worked in Dark Romanticism, his tales often spoke of guilt, sin, and evil. His works were inspired by Puritan New England, loaded with symbolism and deep psychological themes.
Major Life Events: Hawthorne is born July 4, 1804. At age four his father dies of yellow fever. Left with his mentally fragile mother, Hawthorne’s uncle, Robert Manning, sees to educating Hawthorne. From 1821-1825 Hawthorne attends Bowdoin College. He graduates and moves back to Salem, where he withdraws from life and spends most of his time writing. In 1828 Hawthorne’s first novel, Fanshawe, is published. It gains no public attention. July 9, 1842, Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody, they have three children together. In 1846, Hawthorne published Mosses from an Old Manse. In 1849, Hawthorne’s mother dies, leaving him in a deep depression. He writes The Scarlet Letter. Between the years 1851- 1863 Hawthorne published four more novels.
Born: Febuary 12, 1809
Died: April 15, 1865
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most well known presidents in United States history. He was known as being a very influential man. He was the president during a large part of the Romanticism era, when America was struggling to catch up with the literary accomplishments in Europe. As a country, we were still struggling with the civil war and its effects. Lincoln is most famous for the emancipation proclamation, which stated that slaves were equals. This idea was not fully accepted at the time, but slowly helped our changing country evolve into the modern view. Lincoln was always striving to learn, even without formal schooling. He taught himself to read and write with some assistance from his mother, this made him a great lover of the arts during the Romantic period. He especially admired the works of Shakespeare.
The wealthier the common man was, the more literate the community is, and it turn, more literature is read, published and enjoyed.
Susan B. Anthony
Born: Febuary 15, 1820
Died: March 13, 1906
Susan B. Anthony was born into a family of Quakers, who were all very politically involved. They were all activists on many issues, including women's rights and the abolitionist movement. Susan is most well known for her part in the women's rights movement. She went all around the country giving speeches about giving women the right to vote. She became a well known lecturer and author, and later joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton in leading the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She was an important figure in the American Romanticism era because of her forward thinking views on slavery and especially women's rights. She wrote several novels that helped influence both movements, and earned her a place in the 18th century history of America.
Born: April 3, 1783
Died: November 28, 1859
Washington Irving is best known for being the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. He wrote many other novels and short stories, and also served as the United States ambassador to Spain. He later became a lawyer, and wrote many political novels. Irving lived in many countries during his life, and was known throughout England as well as the United States. He lived through the greater part of the Romantic era, and greatly contributed to the literary society. He is still very well known today because of this role. Though he was a lawyer and ambassador, he was primarily a writer, preferring the written word to the work he did while in office.
Margaret Fuller was a very strong willed and often arrogant women. She lived during a time when women were expected to be very docile, and uneducated. In contrast, Fuller was a highly educated and free thinking member of American society, she associated with many important authors and transcendentalists of her time, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott. Margaret was intrigued by the male transcendentalist society, believing them to be more excepting of her gender then the american society in general.
Born: May 23, 1810
Died: July 19, 1850
She had a more formal education then many women of her time, taught mainly by her father. Later, Fuller even got accepted into an all male halls of the Harvard Libraries. She is seen as one of the first American feminists of the time.
Born: March, 1822
Died: March 10, 1913
Harriet Tubman was born a black slave, who later escaped and became one of the many "conductors" of the underground railroad. She is one of the most prominent figures of this time, escorting over 300 slaves to freedom in the North. Tubman made 19 journeys from the Southern slave states to the free Northern states. She had epilepsy, caused by a two pound weight that was thrown at her head by her master. This caused her to occasionally fall into sleeping spells, have narcoleptic episodes, seizures, and severe headaches. She was also active during the Civil War, "Working for the Union Army as a cook and nurse, Tubman quickly became an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina." (source 2)