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The American Transcendental Movement

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The American Transcendental Movement Earliest American Literature to the Romantic Era Earliest Literature to 1800: Native Americans Puritan and Colonial Literature ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The American Transcendental Movement


1
The American Transcendental Movement
2
Earliest American Literature to the Romantic
Era Earliest Literature to 1800 Native
Americans Puritan and Colonial
Literature American Romanticism (1800 1860)
3
History of Romanticism (1800-1830) A number of
changing attitudes related to a sense of
nationalisma devotion to ones nation or
patriotismnot a philosophy yet
4
  • The romantics emphasis on the individual
    reflects the political ideal set forth in the
    Declaration of Independence that all men are
    created equal.
  • This new emphasis leads to a new focus on the
    dignity and worth of the common individual and to
    social reforms that were meant to fulfill this
    ideal of equality.

5
Romantic Literature and Attitudes Romantics
were mostly interested in the expression of their
own intuitive experiences.
6
  • Subjects characteristic of Romantic attitudes
  • NATURE
  • THE PAST
  • THE INNER WORLD OF
  • HUMAN NATURE

7
  • Subjects characteristic of Romantic attitudes
  • NATURE Romantics emphasized the beauty,
    strangeness, and the mystery of nature. As
    opposed to the rational laws of the
    realists/rationalists
  • They saw nature not as a machine, but as an
    organic process, constantly developing and
    changing.
  • They placed emphasis on the organic connection
    between the human imagination and the natural
    world.
  • The mystery and grandeur of the vast and still
    unknown land were part of their heritage and a
    powerful influence on their imaginations.

8
Subjects characteristic of Romantic
attitudes THE PAST The rise of nationalism
brought with it a new interest in the American
past. American literature gradually developed
a sense of a national past and of an emerging
national character.
9
Subjects characteristic of Romantic
attitudes THE INNER WORLD OF HUMAN
NATURE Romantics emphasized the emotions,
intuition, and the individual and thus encouraged
the exploration and the expression of the
writers most private inner being. Romantic
writers became interested in the irrational
depths of human nature.
10
The American Romantic writers had found in
Romanticism a new way of expressing their
experiences as Americans. In this process, they
expressed the nationalistic spirit of the age
and created a truly significant national
literature.
11
Significant Romantic Writers The
Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882) Henry David Thoreau
(1817-1862) Walt Whitman (1819-1892) The Brahmin
Poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-
1882) James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) Oliver
Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) John Greenleaf
Whittier (1807-1892) Margaret Fuller
(1810-1850) Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Dark
Romantics/Anti-Transcendentalists Nathaniel
Hawthorne (1804-1864) Herman Melville
(1819-1891) Edgar Allan Poe (1809- 1849)
12
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • Chiefly an attitude toward humans, nature and the
    world.
  • The term came from the German philosopher
    Immannuel Kant.
  • He wrote the Critique of Practical Reason
    (1788)to him transcendental meant the knowledge
    or understanding a person gains intuitively,
    although it lies beyond
  • direct physical experience.

13
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They had a sense of intense individualism and
    self-reliance

14
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They had a sense of intense individualism and
    self-reliance
  • They believed in the unity of God and the world

15
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They had a sense of intense individualism and
    self-reliance
  • They believed in the unity of God and the world
  • They felt the real truths lay outside the
    experience of the senses, residing instead in the
    over-soula universal benign ominipresnce . . .
    A God known to men only in moments of mystic
    enthusiasm, whose visitations leave them altered,
    self-reliant and purified of petty aims.

16
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They revered nature and its relationship to
    humanity.
  • They had a philosophy of individualism,
    simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice.
  • Many maintained a positive, optimistic, or rosy
    view of life.
  • They focused their attention on the human spirit.

17
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They revered nature and its relationship to
    humanity.

18
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They revered nature and its relationship to
    humanity.
  • They had a philosophy of individualism,
    simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice.

19
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They revered nature and its relationship to
    humanity.
  • They had a philosophy of individualism,
    simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice.
  • Many maintained a positive, optimistic, or rosy
    view of life.

20
  • Characteristics of Transcendentalists
  • They revered nature and its relationship to
    humanity.
  • They had a philosophy of individualism,
    simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice.
  • Many maintained a positive, optimistic, or rosy
    view of life.
  • They focused their attention on the human spirit.
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