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American Romanticism

What is the American journey a quest for?
For opportunity.

What are the goals of eighteenth century America?
A reaching out for independence, prosperity, commerce, and urban civilization.

According to Rationalists, what is the city a place for?
A place for chances and success.

According to Romantics, what is the city a place for?
A place for sins, corruption, diseases, and/or deaths.

What does the word ambiguity mean? How does it apply to the Romantics view of the city?
Ambiguity: unclear, uncertain.
Romantics’ views: the city’s events are unexpected and everything that happened has different perspectives.

Where is the romantic journey? Why?
The journey is a voyage to the country of the imagination, because they deeply believe in dreams are real.

Who was the first popular professional writer in American and what kind of story is he known for?
Washington Irving; he is known for an immortal story about an escape from civilization and responsibility.

What does Romanticism value?
Romanticism is the name given to those schools of thought that value feeling and intuition over reason.

Where did Romanticism begin?

On what did the Romantics have a strong influence?
In Literature, music, and painting throughout Europe and England.

Why did Romanticism begin?
Because it developed in part as a reaction against rationalism.

What did the Romantics come to believe?
They believe that the imagination was able to apprehend truths that the rational mind could not reach.

What was of greater value to the Romantic sensibility?
Wild nature was of the greater value than reason, logic, planning, and cultivation.

According to the Romantics, what was the “highest and most sublime embodiment of the imagination”?

List the characteristics of American Romanticism.
Emotional, individualistic, revolutionary, loves solitude and nature, fantasy the particular subjective perception, and think with right brain.

What are the two ways in which Romanticism would “rise above dull realities to a random higher truth”?
1. Romantics searched for exotic setting in the more “natural: past or in a world removed from the grimy and noisy industrial age.
2. Romantics tried to contemplate the natural world until dull reality fell away to reveal underlying beauty and truth.

Where can we most easily see the first Romantic approach?
In the development of the Gothic novel.

What are the roots of the Gothic?
In French, German, and English Literature

In America, what did the Gothic focus on?
Focus in Edgar Allen Poes’ work; the gothic took a turn around the psychological exploration of the human mind.

Where did we see the second Romantic approach?
American literature than for European, and later in some of the arts, like music and painting, than in literature.

What happen in a typical Romantic poem?
The speaker sees a commonplace object or event. A flower found by a stream or a waterfall flying overhead brings the speaker to some impotent.

What about Romantic poems is similar to the Puritans’ lesson? How is it different?
The contemplative process is similar to the way the Puritans drew moral lessons from nature. The difference is one of the emphasis and goal.

What was the big question about American literature during the Romantic period?
Would American writers continue to initiate the English and European models? Or they would finally develop a distinctive literature of their own?

What coincided with the development of the American novel?
Westward expansion, the growth of the nationalist spirit, and the rapid spread of cities.

What is the “geography of the imagination”?
Developed in town, country, and frontier would place a role in American life and literature.

What novel did James Fenimore Cooper write that broke free of European traditions? In what ways did it break free?
“The Pioneers”. Cooper explored unique American setting and characters.

What type of character did he create in this novel? What was his name?
The first American heroic figure: Natty Bumppo

What are the characteristics of this new kind of character?
It was this character who appeared in the rest of the leather stocking tales.

How did the Europeans view of the Americans?
The Europeans had an image of the Americans unsophisticated and uncivilized.

Where were the eternal truths waiting to be discovered? How did this affect the Europeans?
In the American wilderness that was unknown and unavailable to Europeans.

What was one of the most important outgrowths of the American novel?
The American Romantic hero

What are the characteristics of the American hero?
Worldly, educated, sophisticated, and bent on making a place for himself in civilization.

Give examples of pop cultures heroes who are similar to the American Romantic hero.
The Lone Ranger, Superman, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones.

What is the difference between American Romantics novelists and American Romantic poets?
Looked for new subject matter and innovative themes, but the opposite tendency appears in the works of the mantic poets.

Like Benjamin Franklin, what did Romantic poets want to do?
These Romantic poets wanted to prove that Americans were not unsophisticated hicks.

In what style did American Romantic poets write?
A cultivated person from England who had recently immigrated to America might be to expected to use.

What limited American poetry?
In this collection looked backward – over their shoulders. As it established European literary models. It was limited by slavish devotion to traditional and by their own alleviate to standard.

Who are the Fireside Poets and why were they given this name?
Henry Wadsworth long fellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell.

What was another name for the Fireside Poets? Why were they called this name?
Schoolroom poets because their poems were for many years, memorized and recited in American classrooms.

How did the Fireside Poets further the evolution of American poetry? Be specific.
By introducing uniquely American subject matter in their choices of topics: American landscape, abolitionist issues, American Indian culture, and celebrations of American people, places, and events.

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