Renaissance Period Distinct period of Romantic Period
Was a rebirth / coming of age
Illustrated By American writers
Finding their own identityMoving away from English literature and influences
Renaissance PeriodRepresented 1st time literature was truly American
Marked by culture and landscape
Main authors-Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau
Transcendentalism An attitude or belief contradicting industrialism, growth, and conformity.
TranscendentalismAt this point in history-
Agriculture to IndustryRural life to Urban lifeFactories replaced workersImmigrants performed labor
TranscendentalistsFought this form of thought
looked to create a better society
Believed truth was not in business, govt, or wealth, but in God, the universe, and the self
Wanted to go beyond/transcend the physical world in order to find truthNon-Conformists
A Transcendental ViewEverything in the world- including humans- is a reflection of god
Humankind, nature, and God are all connected
People are inherently good- they should always follow their beliefs
Personal intuition can reveal gods spirit in nature and the soul- thus, truth is attainable
A Transcendental ViewSelf-reliance / individualism outweigh Authority / blind conformity
Spontaneous feeling/intuition are superior to intellectualism / rationality
The natural world is the doorway to the spiritual/ideal world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Rare IntellectualAppealed to the young with his energy and vitality
Appealed to intellectuals with his philosophical ideas concerning humanity, nature, and God
Appealed to overall society with his optimism
The Quotable EmersonEmerson is quoted more times than any figure in history.
Only one source with more quotes- the Bible
Quotable- but why?Represents the person we all strive to become
The person who has found, accepts, and loves his place on earth
Loves who he is; what he is
Possesses peace of mind
Emersons historyBorn (1803) into a cultured family of ministers in Boston
Life was pre-arranged/established
Was to be a minister
Attended Harvard; age 25 accepted 1st ministry post
Emersons historySpontaneously left ministry at age 28 after his wife died
Intuition led him to Europe; influenced by Romantic writers
In 1833 returned to U.S.- possessed a new optimism and outlook on life
Emersons historyHelped pioneer the Transcendental Movement in the U.S.
Was, first and foremost, a writer and lecturer
Realized the limitation of transcendentalism in a civilized, conforming society.
Literary Focus-Aphorism (motto)-
A brief statement, usually one sentence long, that expresses a general principle or truth about life
An apple a day keeps
Honesty is the best policy
A motto captures an individuals attitude toward life in one pithy phrase. Think of a motto that you hear on a daily basis.
Aphorisms- RWE Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Aphorisms- RWE The high prize in life, the crowning fortune of man is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness.
Aphorisms- RWE Accept the place divine Providence has found for you.
Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Aphorisms- RWE Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Aphorisms- RWE Self-trust is the first secret to success.
What is your motto?