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American Romanticism.docx

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McMaster University

American Romanticism- oct 22,2013 Reformers 1. Optimistic about humanity 2. Enthusiastic about order -plantation societies entrenching themselves against industrialization - instability -rise of groups of people that wanted to help society because they thought it was reforming the nation Reform meant to soothe nation as it started to modernize, there were two elemental qualities: 1. Optimistic- intrinsic goodness in everyone (romanticism), stark contrast to original sin - Includes enjoyment of existence - Intrinsic goodness still needed to be controlled - Conservative nostalgia - Concentrated in the North East - 1830’s reforms unifying force, helped spread nationalism - Will take on dividing role (abolition) ARTS AND RELIGION - Romanticism, liberation of human spirit - Started undergoing modernization, fair deal of liberation from medieval concepts Paintings Most artists were interested in Romanticism, landscape is the most popular kind of painting -depicted concepts of nature and its power Americans held a view that unbridled nature was the best inspiration -New York was significant - Americans had more promise than Europe -Europe stagnant , closed, America is open LITERATURE Walter Scott, wrote on swashbucklin’ Naval stories were very popular SOUTHERN LIT- intrinsically good people are facing nature’s adversity, not everyone optimistic Focused on historical romances Romantic eulagies of southern life Defending southern plantation life Small minority of writers that focused on gritty life (poor whites) harsh realities POETRY *Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855) popular at the time, now considered classic *Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven (1845), much darkness can be found in the act of searching, brutal medieval commander, too much pride and too independent. *Tamerlane (1827), poetry was hated at the
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