American Romanticism 1800-1860 Introduction • Fiction: – Washington Irving – Nathaniel Hawthorne • Non-Fiction: – Ralph Waldo Emerson – Henry David Thoreau • Politics: – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Mohandas Gandhi • Literary Elements: – Figures of speech – Symbolic meaning – Making Predictions/Foreshadowing Quick Write We will walk on our own fee; We will work with our own hands We will speak our own minds… Does this describe an American ideal that is alive and well today? Explain your answer! Major National Events of the Romantic Period • 1803: The Louisiana Purchase is made in a threat made by the United States on Napoleon and his army. • 1814: Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a poem. The song officially became the national anthem by an act of Congress in 1931 • 1830: The underground railroad is established as a secret system for helping fugitive slaves reach safety. Important Events Continued.. • 1845: Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems • 1849: California Gold Rush begins as thousands of gold miners travel to the Sacramento area. • 1854: Modern Republic party is organized to oppose the extension of slavery Romanticism: • A set of loosely connected attitudes toward nature and human kind, not to romantic love. Causes: • Sprang up as a reaction to everything that came before it: 1. The Age of Reason which stressed: a. reason b. logic c. scientific observation 2. Puritanism and its rigid religious beliefs: a. Humans are inherently evil and must struggle to overcome their sinful nature. b. Personal salvation depends solely on the grace of God, not on individual effort. c. The Bible is the supreme authority of earth. Features: 1. Nature: inspiration 2. Individualism: 3. Emotions: over reason 4. Mystery: explainable 5. Optimism: -Nature over fear of God as source of -Man’s possibilities over his limitations -Individual over society -Imagination, sentiment, and feelings -Intuition over facts -Supernatural and unexplained over -Life is good -Man controls his life, not fate Features cont… 6. Imagery: 7. Awareness of Past: 8. Adventure: 9. Rebellion: 10. Simplicity: -Focused on landscapes, natural backdrops, even details of a room setting to give as much sensory information as possible -A focus on where we came from -An appreciation of folklore -The characters were entering unknown territory or experiences. -They looked upon it as an opportunity and challenge, not something to fear. -Broke the rules of classic forms—both short story and unrhymed poetry were new -Simple pleasures/ways over impersonal technology 11. The celebration of the common man Transcendentalism: 1840-1870 Transcendentalism An intellectual movement that thought we used something more than our 5 physical senses to understand life and our place in it. -“Trans” – to go across -Not a religion or philosophy but has elements of both A view held by a group of people during the Romantic Period Members of the Transcendentalist movement have greatly influenced literature, even today. We will be studying some of the most important authors of this movement, including: Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Elements of Transcendentalism: 1. Nonconformity -Individualism 2. Self Reliance -Trust yourself/intuition 3. Optimism -All men have equal possibilities. -Man is inherently good. 4. Nature -Appreciation of the simple life and the natural surroundings 5. Oversoul -Connects all to: God, Nature, Man -We are all part of something larger than each part. This belief draws the line between celebrating the self and being selfish. 6. Carpe Diem -Seize the day ****Many elements of the transcendental theory were evident again in the 1960’s-70’s.**** • • • • • • • Nonconformity Civil Disobedience Goodness of man Respect for the simple way of life and nature Brotherhood of man Seizing the day Keep the above ideas in mind as we discuss this period!!!