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Transcript
AMERICAN ROMANTICISM
XIX CENTURY
Romanticism

It is a term applied to the movement in European literature and the other
arts that began toward the end of the 18th century.

The movement was a reaction against Neoclassicism. (imagination and
emotions over reason and intellect and also an interest in medieval, Oriental
cultures)

In the US, romanticism developed at a later date than in Europe, and was
less well defined.
Historical context

While America was expanding west, it also was dividing between
north and south.

In the northern United States, where the economy was largely
industrial, many Americans opposed slavery and tried to restrict its
spread or even outlaw it entirely.

The southern states, on the other hand, had a primarily agricultural
economy and depended heavily on slave labor.

Despite attempts at compromise, such as the Missouri Compromise
of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850, 11 southern states eventually
seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of
America. In the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865,
the Confederate Army of the south--seeking its independence-fought against the north Union Army, which sought to preserve the
Union.

The war ended when Confederate General Robert E. Lee
surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox
Courthouse in Virginia.
Historical context

The Civil War, which ended in 1865, had largely resolved the division
between the northern and southern states, and the completion of the
Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 marked the fulfillment of the new country.

Now that the period of division and expansion was largely over, America
began to take shape as its modern self: a pluralistic, industrialized, and
commercial society.

During Reconstruction, the period of rebuilding after the Civil War, the
United States ratified constitutional amendments designed to end
slavery and to secure citizenship and voting rights for black Americans.
Historical context

Meanwhile, women widened their role in the culture, and immigrants
started to flood into the United States.

Between 1870 and 1910, around 16 million people immigrated to
America from Ireland, Germany, Italy, and other countries, many of
them coming through Ellis Island in New York.

Many Native Americans, on the other hand, remained on the
margins, having been forced from their homes onto reservations..

Many of these "new" Americans helped to shape the new America by
going to work in factories and stores. Despite Thomas Jefferson's early
hope that America would be an agrarian paradise, the United States
now was clearly an industrial and commercial country but
industrialization brought both adversity and growth. As a
consequence, a strong labor movement developed to cope with poor
working conditions, child labor, and other problems.
FAMOUS WRITERS
from the ROMANTIC PERIOD
Herman Melville
Washington Irving
RIP VAN WINKLE
SLEEPY HOLLOW
Washington Irving
BILLY BUD
MOBBY DICK
Herman Melville
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
THE SCARLET LETTER
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM
THE RAVEN
Edgar Allan Poe
THE TELL-TALE HEART
LEAVES OF GRASS
Walt Whitman
SAFE IN THE ALABASTER CHAMBER
"Because I could not stop for death"
"I heard a fly buzz when I died"
"Hope is the thing with feathers"
"My life closed twice before its close"
"I felt a Funeral, in my brain"
"The Soul selects her own society"
"There is no frigate like a book"
"There's a certain slant of light"
"I'm Nobody! Who are you?"
"Safe in their Alabaster chambers"
Emily Dickinson
AMERICAN ROMANTICISM
XIX CENTURY

The scarlet letter
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

Moby Dick

The Last of the Mohicans
J FERNIMORE COOPER

The pit and the pendulum
EDGAR ALLAN POE

The tell-tale heart

Sleepy Hollow

Leaves of grass
WALT WHITMAN

“Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”
EMILY DICKINSON
HERMAN MELVILLE
EDGAR ALLAN POE
WASHINGTON IRVING
American Romanticism
 Characteristics
of American Romanticism

Values feeling and intuition over reason
o
Values the imagination over reality
o
Civilization is bad / Nature is good
o
Educated sophistication is bad / Youthful innocence is good
o
Individual freedom is important
o
Nature is the way to find God
o
Progress is bad
o
Most settings are in exotic locations or the supernatural
o
Poetry is the highest expression of the imagination
o
Lots of inspiration from myths and legends
American romanticism

Characteristics of the American Romantic Hero
o
Young (or at least acts young)
o
Innocent and pure
o
Sense of honor higher than society’s honor
o
Has knowledge of people and life based on a deep understanding, not based on
education
o
Loves nature
o
Quests for a higher truth
LESSON SUMMARY
Identify American Romantic literature

Imagination and Escapism: Characters taking a journey from the dirty city into
the supernatural countryside.

Individuality: Individuals embracing freedom by following intuition and going
exploring.

Finding spirituality in nature: Reflections on nature and how it can bring people
closer to God.

Looking to the past for wisdom: Settings that reflect past times and plots that
show how legends fit in today.

Finding a hero in the common man: Characters who are flawed but whose
innocence and strong morals give them good hearts.
FAMOUS WRITERS
from the ROMANTIC PERIOD
Herman Melville
Washington Irving
Washington Irving
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Some notes on the author

With the political revolution against England, however, came a cultural revolution, and Americans
slowly began to build an independent cultural identity, which included a strong literary component.
For the first time, America had a significant number of men and women of letters--that is, writers
who created works appreciated for their aesthetic value and who made a career or at least a serious
avocation of literature. The first of these writers was Washington Irving, whose Sketch Book of
Geoffrey Crayon, first published in 1819, was a sensation in England (it was written during a tour
there) and helped build the United States.

A transitional figure, Irving somewhat ironically contributed to America's literary independence
while producing work that was distinctively European in content and style. Like his contemporary
James Fernimore Cooper, Irving proved that Americans could write European literature as well as
Europeans could.

Irving is a major figure in the history of the short story in America. Indeed, "Rip Van Winkle" and
the "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,“ are considered as the starting point for this literary form in the
United States.(both appeared in Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” thought to have a source in some German
folktales concerning “The Wild Huntman”, tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a
greedy and naïve schoolmaster from Connecticut who tries to win the hand of
the flirtatious and very wealthy Katrina Van Tassel. Brom Bones, a
neighborhood hero, is also in love with Katrina, and he has a tendency to play
pranks on others

Ichabod is especially fascinated by ghost stories and witches, and Sleepy
Hollow is known for its supernatural activity--especially its infamous ghost,
the Headless Horseman.
The Dark Romantics: E. Allan Poe
1800
Romantic
Period
1860
1840
American
Renaissance
AMERICAN RENAISSANCE (1840-1860)
AMERICAN RENAISSANCE
The Dark Romantics
Trascendentalists
THE DARK ROMANTICS
Moby Dick
The Scarlet Letter
The Tell Tale Heart
The Dark Romantics





They explore the inner workings of the mind.
They present individuals as prone to sin and self
destruction.
The natural world is dark, decaying, and mysterious.
They show individuals failing in their attempts to
make changes for the better.
They have a shadowy approach to the fantastical.
Dark romantic elements
1. Lots of creepy symbols
(objects,characters..)
2. Horrific themes
1. struggles of human nature (evil-good)
2. deterioration of the mind and psychological processes of madness
3. Psychological effects of guilt and sins
CONTRAST
Romantic elements
Dark romantic elements
1. Optimistic approach
1. Shadowy and dark approach.
2. Sins are properly punished
2. Horrific themes and creepy
symbols.
3. Psychological effects of guilt
and sin
3. Truly good are rewarded
POE and THE TELL-TALE HEART

Edgar Allen Poe is one of the best-known and most influential writers in all of
literature, and “The Tell-Tale Heart” is one of his most famous stories. In the
story, an unnamed narrator, desperate to prove his sanity, proves just the
opposite in recounting what drove him to commit murder. As an author, Poe
was a Gothic moralist whose themes and styles were distinctly his own: many
of his stories deal with macabre subjects like insanity, murder, torture and
death. He explored other genres, too, but “The Tell-Tale Heart” exemplifies
the tone and subject matter for which Poe is best remembered.