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THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE

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THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE A Literary Coming of Age 1840 - 1860 English Critic Sydney Smith Literature the Americans have none in the four corners of the globe ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE


1
THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE
  • A Literary Coming of Age
  • 1840 - 1860

2
English Critic Sydney Smith
  • Literaturethe Americans have nonein the four
    corners of the globe, who reads an American book?!

3
True American Literary Giants Emerge
  • Herman Melville
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Edgar Allan Poe

4
The Rise of Periodicals
  • The Dial
  • Harpers Magazine
  • The New York Times
  • The Atlantic Monthly

5
The American Renaissance
  • American culture came into its own
  • American literature distanced itself from the
    conventional forms of European literature
  • The 1840-1860 period produced more literary
    masterpieces than any other time in American
    literature

6
The American Renaissance
  • New England became known for intellectual inquiry
  • Lyceums provided knowledge, teaching, discourse,
    and debate
  • New England was the center of reform movements in
    education, abolition, and womens rights

7
The American Renaissance
  • Utopian projects grew in popularity
  • New Englanders sought to create a more perfect
    society
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, through his writing and
    lectures, helped inspire new ways of thinking

8
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9
American Transcendentalism
  • Transcendental philosophy has its roots in the
    German philosopher, Immanuel Kant
  • Transcendentalism believes that ultimate true is
    found by transcending, or going beyond/above,
    normal human experience through use of intuitive
    thought

10
American Transcendentalism
  • Emerson introduced the philosophy of
    transcendentalism to Americans
  • Emerson saw Platos idealism in modern
    transcendentalism
  • American transcendentalists believed in human
    perfectibility

11
American Transcendentalism
  • Everything, including humans, are part of the
    Divine Soul
  • Oneness with the natural world leads one to the
    spiritual or ideal world
  • Intuition can lead one to an understanding of
    self and God
  • Self-reliance and individualism overrule
    authority, custom, and tradition
  • Spontaneous feelings and intuition, not the
    intellectual or rational mind should be followed

12
American Transcendentalism
  • Emerson was the Father of American
    Transcendentalism
  • He felt the key to transcendentalist thought was
    the intuition
  • Intuition is our ability to know things
    spontaneously through emotions, rather than
    through an intellectual process

13
American Transcendentalism
  • Optimism is at the heart of Emersons
    transcendentalism
  • Emerson felt humans could find God directly in
    nature
  • Since God is in all nature, God is within us, too
  • Emerson called this concept the Divine Soul, or
    the oversoul

14
The Anti-Transcendentalists
  • Herman Melville
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Edgar Allan Poe

15
The Anti-Transcendentalists
  • These three men were also known as the Dark
    Romantics
  • Despite their critical approach to
    transcendentalism, they had much in common with
    this philosophy
  • The believed in the symbolism in nature, but did
    not see nature as necessarily good

16
The Anti-Transcendentalists
  • They explored the guilt associated with our
    Puritan ancestry
  • They explored the conflicts between good and evil
    in humans
  • They explored the psychological effects of sin,
    guilt, madness, derangement
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