American Romanticism 1800-1860
American Romanticism1800-1860American RenaissanceA Literary Coming of Age1840-18601Breakdown of American RomanticismKeep in mind that during this period there are several different subgroups that fall into the American Romantics. All categories fall under the umbrella of American Romance. Renaissance (Romantics)Dark RomanticsTranscendentalism2RenaissanceWhat does this word mean?Renaissance means rebirthWhat do you think the American Renaissance means when talking about literature?
3American Literature RenaissanceIt is a time when America would finally find their place in literature. Romanticism symbolized America's break away from traditional European literature. Romanticism DOES NOT have to do with our ideology of being romantic. i.e., love, flowers chocolate, poems, etc.Why do you think they copied European literature for so long? Why do you think they started doing their own thing?
4American Literature RenaissanceFor the first time writers journeyed to nature. They let their imaginations run free. Romanticism dared to explore the supernatural.Americans were able to explore beyond rational thought.
5American Literature Renaissance (cont.)Romanticism was spontaneous. Writers and readers could explore individual feelings, wild nature and AVOID rational thought, logic, planning, and cultivation. Through their poetry, short stories, novels, and other works, writers during this period established a clear American voice. In the mid-nineteenth century, writers, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville produced some of the early masterpieces of American Literature.
James Fenimore Cooper created America's first literary hero Natty Bumpo.
6Characteristics of American RomanticismValues feeling and intuition over reasonPlaces faith in inner experience and the power of the imaginationShuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled naturePrefers youthful innocence to educated sophisticationChampions individual freedom and the worth of the individual
Contemplates natures beauty as a path to spiritual and moral developmentLooks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progressFinds beauty and truth in exotic locals, the supernatural realm, and the inner world of the imaginationSees poetry as the highest expression of the imaginationFinds inspiration in myth, legend, and folk culture
7Characteristics of the American Romantic HeroIs young or possesses youthful qualitiesIs innocent and pure of purposeHas a sense of honor based not on societys rules but on some higher principalHas knowledge of people and of life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learningLoves nature and avoids town lifeQuests for some higher truth in the natural world8What was going on during this time?Where did they get their crazy ideas?1. Frontier: vast expanse, freedom, no geographic limitations. 2. Optimism: greater than in Europe because of the presence of frontier. 3. Experimentation: in science, in institutions. 4. Mingling of races: immigrants in large numbers arrive to the US. 5. Growth of industrialization: polarization of north and south; north becomes industrialized, south remains agricultural.9Art in the American Renaissance:Hudson River SchoolFirst group of landscape painters to emerge in the United States after independence from Great Britain. Flourished between 1820 and 1880.Many of the artists in the group lived and painted in the Catskill Mountains region of New York State, particularly along the Hudson River.Their work is characterized by meticulous and realistic attention to detail and a poetic feeling for nature characteristic of romanticism.
10Hudson River School Artwork
11More HRS Artwork
12ReflectionRationalist or Romantic?If you had to classify yourself as either a rationalist or a romantic, which would you be? Would you be a practical, ambitious, worldly rationalist or an intuitive, feeling driven, close-to-nature romantic? Explain why.Which traits of either era do you truly value and think you would like to encourage in your own life?Explain you answer in at least 4-6 sentences.13