Features of Romantic..

American Romanticism
• 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
• 1803: The Louisiana Purchase is made in a threat
made by the United States on Napoleon and his
• 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
• 1830: The underground railroad is established as
a secret system for helping fugitive slaves reach
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
• A set of loosely connected attitudes toward
nature and human kind, not to romantic love.
• 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.
1. Nature:
2. Individualism:
3. Emotions:
over reason
4. Mystery:
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
-A focus on where we came from
-An appreciation of folklore
-The characters were entering unknown territory or
-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
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
Members of the Transcendentalist movement have greatly
influenced literature, even today. We will be studying
some of the most important authors of this movement,
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
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.****
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!!!