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Hello, everyone! Welcome to this lecture !


Hello, everyone! Welcome to this lecture ! The Focus of Study : Romanticism The Rise of American Romanticism Early Romantics Its Distinct Features – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hello, everyone! Welcome to this lecture !

Hello, everyone! Welcome to this lecture !
  • The Focus of Study
  • Romanticism
  • The Rise of American Romanticism
  • Early Romantics
  • Its Distinct Features
  • Major Literary Achievements
  • Transcendentalism
  • High Romantics

Early Romantics the Rise of a National Literature
  • 1. Whats your comprehension of the term
  • 2. What are the characteristics of Romanticism?
  • 3. The background of the rise of American
    Romanticism and its features?

  • This literary trend occurred and developed in
    Europe and America at the turn of the 18th and
    19th centuries.
  • Romantics stressed individual creative function
    of imagination. It placed individual at the very
    center of all life and all experience and at the
    center of art.

The Characteristics of Romanticism
  • 1. Romanticism was a rebellion against the
    objectivity of rationalism.
  • 2. For romantics, the feelings, intuitions and
    emotions were more important than reason and
    common sense.
  • 3. Romantics did not think of the world as a
    ticking watch made by God. They stressed the
    close relationship between man and nature.
  • 4. They emphasized individualism, placing the
    individual against the group, against authority.
    They saw the individual at the very center of
    life and art. They emphasized personal freedom
    and freedom from formalism, tradition, and

  • 5. They affirmed the inner life of the self, and
    wanted each person to be free to develop and
    express his own inner thoughts.
  • 6. They cherished strong interest in the past,
    especially the medieval.
  • 7. They were attracted by the wild, the
    irregular, the indefinite, the remote, the
    mysterious, and the strange.
  • 8. They were interested in variety. They aspired
    the sublime and the wonderful, and tried to find
    the absolute, the ideal by transcending the

The Rise of American Romanticism
  • Background
  • American romanticism stretched from the end of
    the 18th century to the Civil War.
  • The buoyant mood of the nation called for a new
    literary expression, and romanticism answered the
  • European influences, of course, also played an
    important role in forming and promoting the
    romantic movement in America.
  • The ever-increasing numbers of magazines provided
    the playground for romantics.

Distinct features
  • American romantics tended to moralize, to edify
    rather than to entertain.
  • American romanticism presented an entirely new
    experience alien to European culture.
  • The exotic landscape, the frontier life, the
    westward expansion, the myth of a New Garden of
    Eden in America, and the Puritan heritage, etc.

Major Literary Achievements of Early Romantics
  • New England poets William Cullen
    Bryant(1794-1878) --America' s earliest
    naturalist poets called "the American
    Wordsworth." American people appreciate him
    because he made American subjects worthy of
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
  • Fireside poet

Major Novelists
  • James Fenimore Cooper(1789- 1851)
  • His literary career--an answer to the challenge
    of his wife. In his fiction he dealt with the
    themes of wilderness versus civilization, freedom
    versus law, order versus change, aristocrat
    versus democrat, and natural rights versus legal
  • The Leatherstocking Tales are five novels set in
    the early frontier period of American history
    about the American wilderness The Pioneers
    (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The
    Prairie (1827) The Pathfinder (1840) and The
    Deerslayer (1841). They illustrate the importance
    of the frontier and the wilderness for the first
    time in the history of American literature.
  • The central figure Natty Bumppo is a symbol of
    the American desire for unity with nature. He
    seems to be related to the deepest meaning of the
    American national experience of adventure into
    the wilderness of the American West.

  • Washington Irving (1783- 1859)-- "the father of
    American literature," as the first
    internationally recognized American writer and he
    made great contributuion to the form of short
    story in American literature. He was extremely
    popular in Europe.
  • He is indifferent to the immediate reality and
    wrote for pleasure and to produce pleasure as he
    regards literature as a self-contained amusement.
    He gave an impetus both to the American humor and
    to the urbane wit.
  • In his Sketch Book appeared the first modern
    American short stories and the first great
    American juvenile literature.
  • His style reflected the shift in American
    literature from the rationalism of the 18th
    century to the sentimentalism 19th century. His
    essays are models of perfect English.

  • Practitioners
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Walt Whitman
  • Emily Dickinson

High Romantics
  • American romanticism reached its peak with the
    appearance of the major authors of the 19th
    century such as Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and
    Emily Dickinson in poetry, and Nathaniel
    Hawthorne and Herman Melville in fiction.
  • They took their departure from the earlier
    complacent romantic impulse and created new
    literary personalities.
  • Except Whitman, other writers presented dark and
    brooding pictures of the country.
  • Their literary fame has been on the rise since
    the 20th century and their works have been
    regarded as classics of American literature.
  • They laid the foundation for a native American
    literary tradition of conscious art .

Study Questions
  • What is the background of Romanticism?
  • What are the main features of Romanticism?
  • What is the thread of the Leatherstocking Tales ?
  • What is Washington Irvings contribution to
    American literature?
  • How do you understand high Modernism?

  • George McMichael et al., ed. Anthology of
    American Literature. New York Macmillan
    Publishing Co., Inc., 1980.
  • James D. Hart, The Oxford Companion to American
    literature 4th ed. New York Oxford University
    Press, 1978.
  • Perkins, et al. ed., The American Tradition in
    Literature. New York Random House, 1985.

  • Thank You Very Much for Attending This Lecture
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