Defining American Romanticism:
* Literature written between 1830s and 1865 (Civil War).
* Considered the first illustration of American literary genius.
* Birth of the American novel
* Gothic Lit Frankenstein, Supernatural, Grotesque
* Romanticism: Nature over the city , Individual over society ,Emotion over Reality
* Jacksonian democracy
* Andrew Jackson
* ‘democracy’ as defined today comes from Jackson.
* Triumph of the ‘common man’ was seen as a challenge to the ...view middle of the document...
* Possesses unique/remarkable skills
* Quests for some higher truth in the natural world
* Has knowledge of people and life based on deep, intuitive understanding – not on formal learning.
* Rejects conformity
* Loves nature and avoids the masses
Elements of Romanticism:
* Nature inspiring wisdom
* Exotic setting
* Emotion and feeling over reason
* Distrust of civilization and progress
* Intuition, individualism, imagination, innocence, independence
* Nostalgia for the past
The Dark Romantics:
* Focused on the grotesque, the gloomy, the morbid, the fantastic
* Valued intuition and emotion over logic and reason
* Saw symbols, spiritual truths, signs in nature and everyday events
* Acknowledged the evil of man & the horror of evil.
Decline of Romanticism:
* Civil war in 1861 caused abrupt end to Romanticism.
* A.R. gave way to tempering of idealism and desire to portray society more realistically.
* Emphasis on thought and emotion seemed ineffectual in a world that was experiencing dramatic social change.