Romanticism in American Lit

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Transcendentalism, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 2 (783 words) Published: November 25, 2012
anRomanticism in American Literature brought us some of the world's greatest writers ever to live. Writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau all wrote during the Romanticism period. Without them we would not have stories such Moby Dick, Resistance to Civil Government, The American Scholar, The Scarlet Letter, and Edgar Allan Poe’s most notorious works such as The Raven and Annabel lee. The Romanticism movement started in Europe and in the late 1820’s it worked its way into America. It was aimed as a rebellion against the enlightenment movement. It was also referred to as the American Renaissance because it was the rebirth of literary values lost previously in the enlightenment era and Puritanism era. American Romanticism was in a broad sense a new attitude toward nature, humanity, and society that espoused individualism and freedom.

Characteristics of romanticism writing included the power of imagination, impulse towards reform, admiration for nature, and the fascination with death and the supernatural. Romanticism literature had two very different sides to it, one being optimistic and the other is pessimistic. On the optimistic side you had writers such as Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Pessimistic writers included Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Edgar Allan Poe was a very dark romanticist and was also a very deeply pessimistic writer, but in a philosophical kind of way. He wrote poems, novels, and essays throughout his writing career, and he even developed the style of southern gothic writing. His poems often portray a character in despair and he explores the state of the mind a lot. Another trait of Poe is he uses a lot of symbolism and imagery for example his use of darkness and light in the poem “Annabel Lee”. Poe implies that the “kingdom by the sea” is a bright, cheerful place where the sun shines on...
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