American PeriodsPre- in American  Pre-settlement (before 1620) Native  Puritanism (1620s – mid-1700s)  Enlightenment, also known as The Age of Reason (second half of the 18th century; 1750s-early 1800s)  Romanticism (1820s-1861)  (1860s-1920s)  (1914-1945)  Post- II (1945- ) What We’ll Learn  When American Romanticism flourished  Characteristics of the American Romantic period  Some American Romantic authors  A bit about and

Romanticism/Renaissance  Some call the Romantic period the Renaissance  “It was a Renaissance in the sense of a flowering, excitement over possibilities, and a high regard for ego. It was definitely and even defiantly American, as these writers struggled to understand what ‘American’ could possibly mean, especially in terms of a literature which was distinctively American…” (Ann Woodlief, Virginia Commonwealth University) Why American Romanticism?  American Romanticism was a reaction to the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Reason  It also was a response against the scientific rationalization of  The swings the other way  Coincided with national expansion and the discovery of a distinctive American voice Romantic Period Timeframes  Primarily from 1820-1865  Some put its start to late 1700s  Glory years were 1850-1855

Bradstreet Franklini Bryant Reading Break  Take out a sheet of paper. Turn it sideways and make three columns.  Read Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband.”  List three characteristics of this Puritan work (“it is a poem” does not count). Think about tone, language, style, etc.  What does she say she values her husband’s love more than?  What is she saying in lines 11 and 12? (Put it in today’s words)  Go to page 83 in text. Read “A Letter” by Franklin.  List at least three characteristics of this Enlightenment work.  Go to page 139-140 in text. Read To a Waterfowl by .  List at least three characteristics of this Romantic work. Outside Influences on Authors  The frontier and its promises for expansion, growth and  This led to a spirit of optimism  Immigration  New cultures and perspectives  Industry starts to grow in the northern states while the southern states remain agrarian  The end of Romanticism coincides with the Civil War and the beginning of Realism American Romantic Characteristics  Formal language  Emotional: lots of metaphors!  Love solitude and nature, which were written about emotionally  Tried to find a connection with the new and the spontaneous in nature and in self  Had a lot of creative energy and power  The “” appears, as do Outcasts  James Fennimore Cooper’s Deerslayer and Last of the Mohicans, part of the Natty Bumpo (Leatherstocking) tales

American Romantic Characteristics  Idealism  Writers rejected because they believed that scientific reasoning discouraged intuition and spontaneity  Examines human frailty, weakness, limitation  Examined the self  Stories of pilgrimages or journeys  Best characterized as leaving civilization and entering the world of nature  Novelists particularly were inspired by wilderness, westward expansion, and the rise of a nationalist spirit American Romantic Characteristics  Plots demonstrate: romantic love, honor and integrity, idealism of the self  Some very non-romantic problems enter literature:  War   Materialism  in the supernatural  Lots of metaphors

Reading/Listening Break  Listen and read the opening of “The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fennimore Cooper  On the handout of what you just read/listened to, edit/rewrite Cooper’s first paragraph to cut out or change all the unnecessary and overly emotional language. Follow the directions.  Do the first sentence now.  What do you have left?  Turn in your edited paragraph tomorrow.

Reading Break: Dickenson

 Hope is the Thing with  I'm Nobody! Who are you? Feathers  I'm Nobody! Who are you?  Hope is the thing with feathers Are you – Nobody – too? That perches in the soul, Then there's a pair of us! And sings the tune without the words, Don't tell! they'd advertise – you And never stops at all, know!

And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm How dreary – to be – Somebody! That could abash the little bird How public – like a Frog – That kept so many warm. To tell one's name – the livelong June – I've heard it in the chillest land To an admiring Bog! And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me. American Romantic Heroes  Heroes in American Romantic literature tended to be:  Childlike  Innocent  Distrustful of women  Fond of nature  In search of a higher truth

Reading Break  Turn to page 125 and read “Rip Van Winkle.”  Answer the following:  1. How does RVW illustrate the following:  Childlike  Story of a journey  Idealism  Interest in the supernatural  Distrust of women  In search of a higher truth  Supernatural

Romanticism Sub Genres  Slave narratives  Protest; struggle for identity, self-realization  Domestic  Sentimental; social visits; women as secondary to men  Coming of age novels  Transcendentalism  Dark romanticism Transcendentalism  Description: An American literary, political, and of the early 1800s, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson  Critical of for its unthinking  Urged that each person find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe”  By 1850s they were highly critical of slavery  People were at their best when self-reliant and independent

Forward Thinkers  In the 1840s several transcendentalists were engaged in the social experiments of , Fruitlands, and  They were the original commune-living !

Walt Whitman  (1819-1892): Part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Was a printer, journalist, editor, , and teacher. Published in 1855, then continued to refine and republish for several editions. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Whitman vowed to live a "purged" and "cleansed" life. He is among the most influential in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial, particularly Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Whitman spent his later years In a simple two- story clapboard house working on and revisions to a new edition of Leaves.

Authors Lived the Life

 Henry Thoreau (1817-1862): One of his first memories was of "looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them."  You could say he never stopped examining nature for ultimate Truth. He worked as a surveyor and making pencils with his father.  At 28 he wanted to write his first book. He went to and built a cabin on land owned by Emerson. He spent endless hours "sauntering" in nature.  He was imprisoned briefly for not paying his poll tax.  Wrote “,” and saying should not overrule a person’s conscious—he was an abolitionist.  After a little more than two years, Thoreau returned to Concord. He died of at the age of 44. His last words were said to be "Moose" and "Indian." Prominent Transcendentalists   Walden; Civil Disobedience  Ralph Waldo Emerson  Nature; Self-Reliance (), (poem)  , best known for journalism  Women in the Nineteenth Century (first feminist work); Summer on the Lakes Reading Break/Discussion  Turn to page 217. Read “Conclusion” for another taste of Transcendentalism.  What is Thoreau telling us to do in this section?  How does this piece exhibit characteristics of the Romantic period?  Attitude toward society  Attitude toward nature  Ornate language  Personification of nature  Attitude toward nature

Affect of Transcendentalists  Transcendentalists helped establish and lead the American ideal of and self-reliance  They were progressive on women's , abolition, reform, and  They criticized , organized religion, laws, social institutions, and industrialization  They created an American "state of mind“  Imagination was better than reason, was better than theory, and action was better than contemplation  They believed that all would be well because could rise above their limits and reach fantastic heights The Dark Romantics  Acknowledged the darker side of life and mankind  Romantic authors glorified life and did not acknowledge evil or sin  The world is dark and mysterious and the truths revealed in literature are evil and awful  They obsessed over extreme experiences in love, fear, and horror  Vivid description, gloomy events  Emotional or psychological torment prominent

Reading Break/Discussion  Turn to page 255 in the text. Read “.”  Look for:  The darker side of life  Extremism in love, fear, horror  Vivid description  Physical and/or emotional torment  Ways you think this is considered “romantic”

Prominent Dark Romantics  Edgar Allen Poe  The Raven; Fall of the House of Usher; The Cask of Amontillado; The Tell-Tale  The Scarlet Letter; Young Goodman  Moby Dick; Omoo  “Call me Ishmael.” Reading Break: Romantic War  Read the account of the U.S.S. defeating the HMS Guerrière in 1812  This account was written by a crewman on the Constitution, Smith  Notice the crossover in the account: it is from the War of 1812, near the with its logic and plain language; was published in the Age of Romanticism; yet was near the end of Romanticism and verging on Realism  The result is a bit of romanticism, a dash of logic, and a tad bit of realism The Constitution Wins

 This was a Yankee style which the British had not adopted. The English officers often spoke of it to ours, after the war was over. They said they were astonished at the spirit of our men in the toil and heat of the battle. Amid the dying and the dead, the crash of timbers, the flying of splinters and falling of spars, the American heart poured out its patriotism with long and loud cheers. The effect was always electrical, throughout all the struggle for our rights.  When the smoke cleared away after the first broadside, we saw that we had cut off the mizzen of the Guerriere, and that her main- yard had been shot from the slings. Her mast and rigging were hanging in great confusion over her sides, and dashing against her on the waves. Reading Break: Sojourner Truth  One problem was slavery; later, women’s rights  Sojourner Truth was an early feminist and abolitionist  Born in 1797 (or 1787) in New York, sold in 1809 with a herd of sheep for $100; sold several more times; first around 1816; escaped to freedom with an infant daughter in 1827; campaigned against slavery; in 1865 tried to desegregate street cars in Washington, D.C.; died in Michigan in 1873  Best-known speech is “Ain’t I a Woman?” which was delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention

American Romantic Authors

 Rip Van Winkle  Nathanial Hawthorne  The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables  Herman Melville  Moby Dick  Walt Whitman  Leaves of Grass   (poems)   Uncle Tom’s Cabin  Frederick Douglass  Heroic Slave   House of Usher, stories Review  Stressed strong emotions in reaction to the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Reason, and was a response against the scientific rationalization of nature.  A time when the nation’s identity was solidified amid surging idealism  1820-1865; glory years 1850-1855  Variety of author techniques  Improbable plots  Experimentation

Review  Characteristics include  Idealism  Examination of human frailty, weakness, limitation  Stories of pilgrimages or journeys

Review  Problems of war and slavery, materialism and conformity  Influence of immigration  Individualism  Emphasis on destructive effect of society on individual

Review  Transcendentalism  Reaction against 18th century rationalism  Based on a in the unity of the world and God  Self-reliance and individualism developed through a belief in the identification of the individual soul with God  American Romantic authors  Irving, Poe, Thoreau, Melville, Dickinson, Alcott, Emerson, Whitman

Extra Credit Reading Break  Read “The Pit and the Pendulum”  Answer the questions at the end of the story Questions?