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The Age of Romanticism


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Title: The Age of Romanticism

Part ?
  • The Age of Romanticism
  • 17701875
  • --By Lynn

Chapter ? American Literature of Pre-Romanticism
  • Teaching aims
  • To know the background of the emergence of
    American Romanticism
  • To master the important characteristics of
    American Romanticism
  • To get familiar with the representative writers
    of the different periods of American Romanticism

Logic Thread
Representative figures of the time
  • Pre-romanticism
  • Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Post-romanticism
  • Novelists Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman
  • Melville
  • Poets Henry Wadesworth Longfellow,
  • John, Greenleaf Whittier,
  • Allan Poe, Walt Whitman
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Essayists Ralph Waldo Emerson,
  • Henry David Thoreau

What is Romanticism ?
  • As an approach in literary creation,
    romanticism is ever present in literature of all
    times. But as a literary trend or movement, it
    occurred and developed in Europe and America at
    the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries under the
    historical background of the Industrial
    Revolution around 1760 and the French Revolution
    (1789-1799). The term Romantic as a designation
    for a school of literature opposed to the Classic
    was first used by the German critic Friedrich
    Schlegel at the beginning of the 19th century.
    From Germany, this meaning was carried to England
    and France.

  • Romanticism was a rebellion against the
    objectivity of rationalism. For romantics, the
    feelings, intuitions and emotions were more
    important than reason and common sense. They
    stressed the close relationship between man and
    nature, emphasized individualism and affirmed the
    inner life of the self. They cherished strong
    interest in the past, especially the medieval and
    were attracted by the wild, the irregular, the
    indefinite, the remote, the mysterious, and the

Romanticism in England
  • Social background
  • The French Revolution
  • The influence of the Industrial
  • Revolution
  • U.S. (declare Independence)
  • (1775-1865)
  • The War of Independence.
  • Features Subjectivity, back to medieval back to

American Romanticism
  • The romantic period stretches from the end
    of the eighteenth century through the outbreak of
    the Civil War (1790-1865).1. Background (1)
    Political background and economic development
  • Territorial Expansion
  • Industrial Growth
  • The Civil War
  • (2) Romantic movement in European countries
    Derivative foreign influence

Commonplaces of American Romanticism
  • New emphasis upon the imaginative and emotional
    qua1ities of literature.
  • An increasing emphasis on the free expression of
    emotions and displayed an increasing attention to
    the psychic states of their character.
  • The strong tendency to exalt the individual and
    the common man was almost a national religion in

Specific Features of American Romanticism
  • (1) American romanticism was in essence the
    expression of a real new experience and
    contained an alien quality for the simple
    reason that the spirit of the place was
    radically new and alien. (2) There is American
    Puritanism as a cultural heritage to consider.
    American romantic authors tended more to
    moralize. Many American romantic writings
    intended to edify more than they entertained.
    (3) The newness of Americans as a nation is in
    connection with American Romanticism. (4) As a
    logical result of the foreign and native factors
    at work, American romanticism was both imitative
    and independent.

Pre-romanticism 1770-1830s
  • During this period some American writers did
    begin to attract notice abroad. Although English
    literary models were still admired and followed,
    the American writers turned to the American scene
    and civilization, and found their materials in
    the culture and history, the lore and landscape
    of their native land. Irving, Cooper, and Bryant
    made for themselves the first great names in
    American literature. All were praised not only in
    their own country but abroad as well. All have
    left work that is enjoyable reading today.

Figures of the time
  • Washington Irving (1783-1859)
  • ????? ?????????

  • From 1836 to 1842 Irving lived at Sunnyside
    manor house, Tarrytown, New York, where he died.
    In the 1990s the village of North Tarrytown was
    renamed Sleepy Hollow.

  • Several names attached to Irving a. He is
    Father of American Literature. He is the first
    American writer of imaginative literature to gain
    international fame. He is equal to English
    writers. Before him, American literature was
    influenced by British Literature. Through
    Irving, American literature attained its
    independent status. The short story, as a
    literary genre, begins with Washingtons The
    Sketch Book.
  • b. He is the first short stories writer of
    English literature as well as American
  • The Sketch Book marks the beginning of
    Romanticism in U.S. A.
  • C. He is considered as the prince of
    story-tellers, skillful in telling a story.

  • Life and literary career
  • 1) 18091832 a. Subjects are either English or
    European b. Conservative love for the antique
    2) 18321859 back to US

  • Works
  • A History of New York?????-----??????????????
  • The Sketch Book????
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?????-----???????????
  • Bracebridge Hall????????
  • Talks of Travellers???
  • The Alhambra?????

Rip Van Winkle
  • The content of Rip Van Winkle ( 20 minutes )
  • --Students report on the story
  • --Teachers summarizing
  • Group discussion the theme of the story (30
  • --Students report in groups
  • --Teacher wins up
  • Artistic features of Irving ( 10 minutes )

  • By all means marry. If you get a good
    wife, you will become very happy if you get a
    bad one, you will become a philosopherand that
    is good for every man.

???????????????? ----Socrates????
  • Rip Van Winkle is an idle, ambitionless, and
    inaggressive mortal. He is a comic burlesque of
    traditional American values created by Irving.
    Being a victim of his wifes nagging at home, he
    seeks refuge in the mountains where he meets
    several mountain spirits ant tastes the liquor
    left by them out of curiosity. Overwhelmed by the
    magic power of the drink, Rip falls into a
    twenty-year sleep. When he wakes up, every thing
    has undergone a tremendous change. Every thing is
    strange to him. The village is larger and more
    populous and young people in the village dont
    recognize him. His own house which Dame Van
    Winkle has always kept in neat order, is now
    empty, forlorn, and apparently abandoned. The
    portrait of King George on the pole before the
    village inn has been replaced by the flag of
    stars and stripes. In places where he used to
    enjoy peace and ease there is now quarrel and
    disputes over parties and he is even suspected as
    a spy. Finally he is recognized by his daughter
    and taken home. He spends his late years telling
    his stories to whoever might care to listen to

  • Franklin and Irving ideas show something in
    common, also quite different.
  • Similarity individualism the whole social
    system is built upon individualism (quite
    different from Chinese collectivism)
  • Difference Franklins individualism
    pragmatic----material interests----How to attain
    a better, richer life through individual
    effort----the whole society will become
    prosperous----influenced by Puritanism----through
    industrial work----live better
  • Irvings individualism romantic----What kind of
    life to live is chosen by individual self.
    Nobody can interfere with others living----close
    to nature, live a natural life, more spiritual
    (your own spirit)
  • Great clash between these ideas. Pragmatic wins
    the upper hand at that time. The trend of the
    society is the pragmatic individualism. Irvings
    idea is against the mainstream of society. How
    to solve the problem? ----by sleeping

Theme of the story
  • 1)Superficially, the conflict between husband and
    wife was presented in the story. In fact, the
    writer tries to express his idea the conflict
    between different ideas of value.
  • wife follower of Franklin
  • husband romantic point of view

  • 2) retain his identity
  • search for ones identity????
  • remain faithful to yourself (universal meaning)
    The old generation usually are conservative
    during a great change, cannot adapt themselves to
    the changes, nostalgic
  • The old system seems to be an ideal one. He knew
    where he was even though he led a poor life.
    After Independence (King of George---George
    Washington) a State of democracy is a state of
    disorder in Rips eye (passive romantic school)

  • 3). Nostalgic
  • The character Rip Rip is an idler with an
    insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable
    labor. His family sinks into poverty while he
    wastes his time rambling over the countryside and
    telling stories to the village gossips. His wife
    is very angry about his irresponsibility or the
    family and keeps continually blaming him for his
    idleness, his carelessness and his worthlessness.
    Her ceaseless tongue forces him to leave the
    house and escape into the woods. Rip wants to
    escape from his shrewish wife---steps outside the
    mainstream of life. In fact what he really means
    is to be divorced from the utilitarian society
    and the duties responsibilities one must fulfill
    as its member. Escapism is the dominant feature
    of Rips character. The image of Rip is the
    product of Irvings philosophical contemplation
    over the past history of America He describes the
    impact and pressure an individual has borne in
    the difficult pioneering years as well as the
    psychological setback and response an individual
    has experienced in a drastically developing
    world. On one hand, Rip doesnt want to undertake
    the responsibility pressed by the cruel reality.
    On the other hand, e is contented with the
    existing state of affairs, nd even somewhat
    disgusted with the newly emerging things.Rips
    perplexity reflects the painedheart of the early
    pioneers in their fight against the hard
    suuroundings and their self.

The theme of the short story
  • (be against the traditional values and the war,
    for the sleeping period was the time when the war
    broke out)
  • the story of man who has difficulties facing his
    advancing age
  • the contradictory impulses in America toward
    workthe puritan attitude as oppsed to the
    American desire for leisure
  • the theme of escape from ones responsibilities
    and even ones history
  • the loss of identity. Each of these themes is
    woven together throughout the tale.

Rip Van Wrinkle
  • Symbol
  • Rip Van Winkle symbolic, representative of all
    romantic persons.
  • A. live an idle life, peaceful life
  • B. Rest in Peace after death (retain his
  • Rip Van Winkle has been seen as a symbol of
    several aspects of America. Rip, like America, is
    immature, self-centered, careless,
    anti-intellectual, imaginative, and jolly as the
    overgrown child. The Dame is another symbolof
    puritanical discipline and the work ethic of
    Franklin. The town itself is emproblematic of
    Americaforever and rapidly changing. Washington
    Irving has Rip sleep through his own countrys
    history, through what we might call the birth
    pangs of America, and return to the busy,
    bustling, disputations selfconsciously adult
    United States of America. His conflicts and
    dreams are those of the nationthe conflict of
    innocence and experience, work and leisure, the
    old and the new, the head and the heart.

After-class thinking
  • shall we pity Rip?

  • James Fenimore Cooper 1789-1851?????????
    ?????????James Fenimore Cooper was remembered
    today as the author of the "LeatherStocking
    Tales",a series of five novels, that is he
    Pioneers (I823), the Last of the Mohicans(1826),
    The Prairie(1827), The Pathfinder(1840) and The
    Deerslayer(1841). The figures in his novels
    helped create that part of American mythology
    most popular todaythe story of the cowboy and
    the winning of the American West.

Coopers signature
  • Precaution (1820, his first novel, imitating
    Austens Pride and Prejudice)
  • The Spy (his second novel and great success) ??
    The Pilot???
  • (3) Leatherstocking Tales (his masterpiece, a
    series of five novels) ??????The Pioneer???The
    Last of Mohicans???????The Prairie???The
    Pathfinder???The Deerslayer???

From the Deerslayer
Lunch Break During the Filming of The Deerslayer
in 1911
Watching Deerslayer Paddle Away from Council Rock
Deerslayer Kills His First Indian
Muskrat Castle, the Hutters' Home on "Sunken
At Council Rock
  • William Cullen Bryant????????1794-1878 ????????
    The Fireside Poet

  • To a Waterfowl???-----?????????
  • Thanatopsis????---??????
  • The Whitefooted Deer???
  • A Forest Hymn???
  • The Flood of Years????

  • Bryant gained public recognition first and
    is best remembered for Thanatopsis, published
    in 1821 but written when he was a teenager. Still
    widely anthologized, this poem offers a
    democratic reconciliation with death as the great
    equalizer and a recognition that the still
    voice of God is embodied in all processes of
    nature. During a busy life as a lawyer and editor
    of the New York Evening Post, Bryant wrote
    accomplished, elegant, and romantic descriptions
    of a nature suffused with spirit.
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