Romanticism and Transcendentalism in American Literature 1800-1870 http://www.honors. uiuc.edu/eng255/le ctures/12-13.html

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Romanticism and Transcendentalism in American Literature 1800-1870 http://www.honors. uiuc.edu/eng255/le ctures/12-13.html </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Historical and Cultural Background 0 Write down the essential questions: 0 What is the relationship between place and literature? 0 How does literature shape or reflect society? 0 What makes American literature American? Read the information on pages 210 221, keeping in mind the essential questions. When you finish reading, answer the essential questions on your paper. We will be adding some notes about Romanticism and Transcendentalism throughout the unit. </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Romanticism as defined by the Oxford Companion to American Literature: "Romanticism is a term that is associated with imagination and boundlessness, as contrasted with Classicism, which is commonly associated with reason and restriction. A romantic attitude may be detected in literature of any period, but as an historical movement it arose in the 18th and 19th centuries, in reaction to more rational literary, philosophic, artistic, religious, and economic standards. The most clearly defined romantic literary movement in the U. S. was Transcendentalism. </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> sentimentalism primitivism the cult of the noble savage political liberalism celebration of natural beauty and the simple life introspection, psychology, and supernatural concepts idealization of the common man interest in the picturesque past interest in remote places individualism morbid melancholy historical romance Characteristics of the Romantic movement in American literature are: </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> How and why? American Romanticism was influenced by European Romanticism. Influential European artists and writers (Rousseau, Blake, Goethe, Beethoven, Mary Shelley, and many others) broke away from formalities and rationalities of the Enlightenment/Age of Reason. Philosophers, artists, and writers were concerned with: continuing decay of urban life possibilities for workable democracy a middle class frustrated with a government which brought them little in the way of additional power </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Characteristics of American Romanticism in the first twenty-five years of the 19th century: 1. Reaction against logic and reason: There was a generalized suspicion of science and dispassionate logic, though the fervor of this anti-science sentiment varied with the author and artist. Thoreau was a good and enthusiastic naturalist; Poe, at least in his poems and horror stories, was perhaps the most phobic about science. </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> 2. Faith in something inherently good and transcendent in the human spirit, an inward divinity in need of awakening. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> 3. Faith in the spirituality and the symbolic importance of nature. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> 4. Anglo-French celebration of common and rural life provided a model for American writers, who sought a way to satisfy a cultural need for lore. </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> 5. As the "Fireside Poets" (especially Bryant, Whittier, Longfellow) became enormously popular in American households, they publicized a celebration of simple living, intuitive wisdom, innocent love, and community folklore. By 1870, Longfellow in fact was out-selling every other 19th century author writing in English, including Wordsworth, Browning, Tennyson, and even Charles Dickens. </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> 6. In the arts, Romanticism promoted a popular taste for wild landscapes, ominous skies, ancient ruins, picturesque rusticity, and other settings for intuitive inspiration. </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Answer: How would you describe the Romantic movement to someone who is not familiar with its characteristics? Read: The Devil and Tom Walker 228 Answer: How does the short story exemplify the characteristics of Romantic literature? Use your notes as a guide and provide specific examples from the text. What do you know? </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> What can we learn about each of the following from Irvings story? New England attitude toward Native Americans Irvings feelings about slavery Irvings attitude toward avarice Give specific evidence (quotes or paraphrases) from the text to support your opinion. </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> Retelling the Story Write in paragraph form, please, legibly and with correct English grammar and usage. The story involves someone literally making a deal with the Devil for temporary gain. Think of a modern day situation in which people sell their souls for temporary, immediate reward. Explain. What is the situation you thought of? What are the rewards for the people who dare to make a deal? How do those people ultimately lose? </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Transcendentalism </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> What does Transcendentalism mean? 0 There is an ideal spiritual state which transcends the physical and empirical. 0 A loose collection of eclectic ideas about literature, philosophy, religion, social reform, and the general state of American culture. 0 Transcendentalism had different meanings for each person involved in the movement. </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Where did it come from? 0 Ralph Waldo Emerson gave German philosopher Immanuel Kant credit for popularizing the term transcendentalism. 0 It began as a reform movement in the Unitarian church. 0 It is not a religionmore accurately, it is a philosophy or form of spirituality. 0 It centered around Boston and Concord, MA. in the mid-1800s. 0 Emerson first expressed his philosophy of Transcendentalism in his essay Nature. </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> What did Transcendentalists believe? The intuitive faculty, instead of the rational or logical, became the means for a conscious union of the individual psyche with the world psyche, also known as the Oversoul. </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Basic Premise #1 An individual is the spiritual center of the universe, and in an individual can be found the clue to nature, history and, ultimately, the cosmos itself. It is not a rejection of the existence of God, but the idea that God exists differently in each individual. </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Basic Premise #2 The structure of the universe literally duplicates the structure of the individual self all knowledge, therefore, begins with self-knowledge. This is similar to Aristotle's dictum "know thyself." </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Basic Premise #3 Transcendentalists accepted the concept of nature as a living mystery, full of signs; nature is symbolic. </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Basic Premise #4 The belief that individual virtue and happiness depend upon self- realizationthis depends upon the reconciliation of two universal psychological tendencies: 1. The desire to embrace the whole world to know and become one with the world. 2. The desire to withdraw, remain unique and separatean egotistical existence. </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Who were some of the most influential Transcendentalists? Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Margaret Fuller </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> Ralph Waldo Emerson 0 1803-1882 0 Unitarian minister 0 Poet and essayist 0 Founded the Transcendental Club 0 Popular lecturer 0 Banned from Harvard for 40 years following his Divinity School address 0 Supporter of abolitionism </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> Henry David Thoreau 0 1817-1862 0 Schoolteacher, essayist, poet 0 Most famous for Walden and Civil Disobedience 0 Influenced environmental movement 0 Supporter of abolitionism </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Margaret Fuller 0 1810-1850 0 Journalist, critic, womens rights activist 0 First editor of The Dial, a Transcendental journal 0 First female journalist to work on a major newspaperThe New York Tribune </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> Anti-Transcendentalists - Dark Romantics 0 Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville 0 Unlike Emerson and Transcendentalism, their view of the world lacked optimism. They saw a dark side to human existence and recorded this aspect of human nature in their works. 0 Similarities to transcendentalism: valued intuition over reason, saw signs and symbols in events, spiritual facts lie behind physical appearances. 0 Differences: spiritual facts are not necessarily good or harmless. 0 Their view developed from the mystical and melancholy aspects of Puritan thought. 0 Their works explored the conflict between good and evil, psychological effects of guilt and sin, and madness and derangement in human psyche. 0 They saw the blankness and the horror of evil within humanity. Melville </li> <li> Slide 29 </li> <li> Where does Edgar Allen Poe fit in? 0 Although often considered a Dark Romantic, Poe can be viewed more as a Gothic writer. 0 Poes works strongly represent Gothic elements (supernatural, gloomy old houses, a mysterious recluse, damsels in distress) more so than valuing intuition over reason or examining the natural world for God and spiritual truths. </li> <li> Slide 30 </li> <li> Are you able to define Romanticism and Transcendentalism? Could you identify some notable authors of the time period? Could you explain how historical change affected the literature of the time period? What do you know? </li> </ul>

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