Nature in Romanticism
The Romantic era of literature was an important part of the early 1800s. With a new country emerging, writers wanted to make a name for themselves and establish a uniquely American style. Many new ideas were put into the works of Romantic authors and became ubiquitous themes. As America was growing, the frontier was constantly changing and growing larger. On a daily basis, people were interacting with nature, discovering new plants and animals. This interaction with nature changed the very concept of nature. Romantic authors appreciated nature while others saw it as something to be conquered and profited from. Nature was starting to be seen as a helpful resource rather than a dangerous place to venture. Authors incorporated spiritual connections to nature and its relation to the afterlife. Ultimately, nature plays a large role in many stories of this period and is one of the most important themes of the Romantic Era. Romanticism also demonstrates the theme of how horrible moral behavior can have bad consequences. Some do not understand the seriousness of morality and a guiding force like nature serves them justice. “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving actively displays this theme. The main character, Tom, makes a deal with the devil to become rich. The devil tells Tom where Kidd the Pirate buried his treasure so that he may use it as capital to become a usurer. Tom does many immoral things and even turns on his friends. Tom’s improvident avarice leads to his death when the devil comes to claim his soul. Toms wife suffers a similar fate when her greed entices her to seek out the devil and make a deal. "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe also contains this ubiquitous Romantic theme. The narrator is a drunk and has frequent bouts of anger. He stabs his cat, Pluto, in the eye and later hangs the cat. When the narrator goes to a bar he, sees another black cat and it follows him. The next day the cat shows up and is missing an eye and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document