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Romanticism/Transcendentalism Test Review Main Ideas
ANSWERS TO THIS REVIEW CAN BE SUBMITTED ON A SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER. A REVIEW THAT IS
COMPLETED IN FULL AND TURNED IN ON TEST DAY (FRIDAY) WILL EARN YOU 5 POINTS EXTRA CREDIT ON
YOUR TEST.
ROMANTICISM/DARK ROMANTICS
 Who were the Dark Romantics?
 What were the goals of the Dark Romantics?
 What are the similarities between the Dark Romantics and Transcendentalists?
 What are the differences between the Dark Romantics and Transcendentalists?
Nathaniel Hawthorne “The Ministers Black Veil”
 Be able to recall details from the story and interpret symbols (What does the ministers black veil represent?)
Washington Irving “The Devil and Tom Walker”
 Be able to recall details from the text, recognize symbolism and identify the theme.
Edgar Allen Poe:
 Be familiar with background information on Poe
 “The Raven”
o Recall details from the text
 “Masque of the Red Death”
o Define allegory
o Recognize symbolism in the story
o What is the theme?
Poe Writing Style
 What were the four techniques Poe used in his writing?
TRANSCENDENTALISM
 Know the seven characteristics of the Transcendentalists
 What genre did the Transcendentalists primarily utilize?
o What are the two categories of essays and the difference between each?
o What are the four elements of an essay?
Emerson:
 “Nature” – Know about:
o How does nature affect us (know all the ways and comparisons he makes)?
o Why should we go into nature to experience God? What makes nature so good at bringing us closer to
Him?
o What does he mean when he calls himself a “transparent eyeball?”
o What does he learn when he sees the vegetables “nodding” at him? How does this make him feel?
o What does Emerson say is responsible for the way we view nature?
 “Self-Reliance” – Know about:
o What does he encourage against more than anything else in your life to avoid?
o What are several of Emerson’s ideals portrayed in this essay?
o How should you feel about being different? How will the world treat you for being different?
o Why was this essay influential to Thoreau? What ideas did he take from it for use in “Civil Disobedience?”
o Remember key aphorisms and their meanings
Thoreau
 Walden – Know about:

o Where did he go and why did he go there?
o What idea does his imagery of a “beaten path” illustrate?
o Why does he leave the woods?
o Study and understand the many aphorisms present in Walden.
o How does he see both Winter and Spring while at the pond?
o What is his opinion on the news?
o Why do critics say his writing is of particular relevance to teens?
“Civil-Disobedience” – Know about:
o Which ideas of Thoreau’s were influential to contemporary writers, philosophers, and leaders?
o What was Thoreau’s problem with the government the way it was? What was his problem with the armed
forces?
o How should we serve our country?
o What should we do if we feel a law is unjust? Does he believe there should be any consequences to this?
o How should we get the government to change (or how should we let them know we want change)?
o How does he feel the night he spends in jail?
Fuller/Gandhi
 Have read and be familiar with both “On Civil Disobedience” and “Women in the 19 th Century”
 What are the goals of these individuals? How were these individuals influences by Transcendental ideas?
COLD READ:
Skills you’ll be tested on (ie, will have to actually use them in a cold text setting):
• Recognize Transcendentalist ideas in new texts [this is CRUCIAL!]
• Recognize characteristics of nonconformity
• Recognize and analyze a paradox
• Interpret aphorisms
POSSIBLE ESSAYS
1. Discuss the characteristics of Romanticism and show how this literary approach is illustrated in the stories of Poe
and/or Hawthorne.
2. Discuss the characteristics of Transcendentalism and show how this belief system is illustrated in the essays of
Emerson and/or Thoreau.
3. Discuss how Hawthorne’s stories, “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “The Scarlet Letter” are similar in terms of theme
and structure. How would you compare Dimmesdale and Hooper? How are they alike? How do they differ? How
does each deal with his sin?
4. Choose one aphorism from this unit which you feel strongly about. State the aphorism, who wrote it, and where it
comes from. Explain the meaning of the aphorism as it relates to your own life and how you can use this aphorism
as an influence or motivation in the years to come. This is a chance to incorporate your own beliefs into this unit,
but you must explain the connection of your beliefs to this aphorism.
WHAT TO EXPECT
 multiple choice, bring pencil
 questions involving recalling details of our discussions about the assigned texts
 a “cold text” section where you read excerpted material similar to the unit text and use the skills you’ve learned this
unit to analyze them
 be prepared for two short essays
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