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 American Romanticism (1800 – 1860) History of Romanticism (1800-1830) A number of changing attitudes related to a sense of nationalism—a devotion to one’s nation or patriotism—not a philosophy yet •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 Romantic Literature and Attitudes: Romantics were mostly interested in the expression of their own intuitive experiences Subjects characteristic of Romantic attitudes: •NATURE •THE PAST •THE INNER WORLD OF HUMAN NATURE 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 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 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 writer’s most private inner being Romantic writers became interested in the irrational depths of human nature 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 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) 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 Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of intense individualism and selfreliance Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of intense individualism and selfreliance •They believed in the unity of God and the world Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of intense individualism and selfreliance •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-soul—a 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.” 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 Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They revered nature and its relationship to humanity Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They revered nature and its relationship to humanity •They had a philosophy of individualism, simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice 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 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 [...]... Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of intense individualism and selfreliance •They believed in the unity of God and the world Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of intense individualism and selfreliance •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-soul—a universal... 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 Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They had a sense of... leave them altered, self-reliant and purified of petty aims.” 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 Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They... •They revered nature and its relationship to humanity Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They revered nature and its relationship to humanity •They had a philosophy of individualism, simplicity, and passive resistance to injustice Characteristics of Transcendentalists: •They revered nature and its relationship to humanity •They had a philosophy of individualism, simplicity, and passive resistance... maintained a positive, optimistic, or rosy view of life 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 ...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
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