American Romanticism Intro

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  • 1. Do you ever get overwhelmed and wish that life was more simple?Where do you go to findpeace? Describe.

2. How does this make you feel? (look atthe people) 3. Are there moments whenyou feel small orinsignificant in theworld? When? Comparedto what?Think about nature. Describeit and your feelings toward it.Are there calming aspects ofnature?Are there violent andthreatening ones? 4. Is the price ofprogress ever toohigh? Namenegative instancesof progress? expansion madepeople feel soulless 5. Is it patriotic to protest onesgovernment? What role doyou think activism plays indemocracy? When is itok/not ok to protest? Problems: slavery, womens rights, mistreatment of workers Protests bring awareness and change 6. Does everyone have a dark side? Describe asituation in which a person might struggle tokeep his or her dark side under control(personal or film). 7. Where/why dopeople look fortruth? escape frommaterialism andindustrialism tonature and the ideaof the self =simplicity, truth,beauty 8. Page 296: List contradictory pairs of words inthe text. patriotic/individualistic, urban/untamed,wealthy/enslaved Society is complex and inconsistent - causespeople to search for the truth inside and toescape civilization. 9. Romanticism: individualspirit, beauty of nature,possibilities of theimagination response to the countrysgrowth and to theIndustrial Revolution 10. Historical Context 11. I. The Spirit of Exploration -"manifest destiny" Louisiana Purchase doubled the countrys size Moved west for money and land land taken from Native Americans brutality Mexican American war- immoral, expanded slavery 12. II. Growth of Industry War of 1812 forces USA to produce many goodsthey previously imported Industrial Revolution: from farm to industry factory system: long hours, low wages, harshconditions people left their farms for the cities hectic pace, lack of conscience - writers turn tonature, self, truth and beauty 13. III. The Tragedy of Slavery Cotton gin - numbers ofenslaved rise Life was brutal for slaves Romantics createdawareness of theinjustice of slavery withtheir poems and writing- supported humanrights 14. IV. Call for Social Reform Rise in opposition to social ills Abolition movement - emancipation of slaves Workers rights - unions, conditions improved Womens rights 15. V. Nationalism vs. Sectionalism Nationalism - interests of the country areplaced above the interests of the individualstates American literature - no longer imitatingEuropeans Sectionalism - placing of the interests of onesown region ahead of the nation 16. VI. Romantic Literature Themes of nature and individualism (imitatednature, valued imagination and emotion) Opposed to those that imitated Europe Opposed to the rationality of the Age ofReason and the strict doctrines of Puritanism(fear of supernatural favored over the fear ofGod) Man is small compared to the natural world 17. VII. The FiresidePoets reading poetry aloud beside a fire Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - individualism,appreciation of nature, Americas past Poetry to bring about social reform concern with the common man (farmers,lumbermen, migrants, poor) 18. VIII. Transcendentalists meaning beyond reason and experience living a simple life, found truth innature/emotion/imagination Ideas of optimism, freedom, self-reliance Emerson - every individual has the intuition todiscover their own truth people are inherently good; should follow theirown beliefs, no matter how strange 19. Criticized the closed minded Puritans Distaste for the materialistic side of American life spiritual being instead - close relationship tonature Valued intelligence over money Movement faded when confronted with thereality of slavery 20. IX. American Gothic: The "Brooding"Romantics Did not believe people were naturally good,explored the human capacity for evil focus on inner life of characters and charactermotivations elements of fantasy and supernatural emphasized feelings, the individual and nature 21. Gothic elements grotesque characters - exaggerated bizarre situations violent events creepy - vampires, monsters, insanity, demons,shadows psychology of the human soul - effect that sin andguilt have on the mind mysterious and hidden aspects of humanity -haunted by threat of disaster