Introduction to American Literature
26 December 2011
The Spread of Passion
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, "Cupid in these latter times has probably laid aside his bow and arrow, and uses fire-arms -- a pistol -- perhaps a revolver." (Hawthorne 82). This excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne's American Note-Books depicts the contemporary attitude of literary works during the time of romanticism. The romantic period was a literary movement that transformed the writing in the late 18th century until the mid-19th century. It all began in Germany and England and flourished through France, London, Boston, Mexico City, Tokyo, Vladivostok and Oslo (Brians). Romanticism was reflected in many of writer's works including Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Edger Allen Poe. During the romantic period, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows interest in the emphasis of character's imaginations, the love and expression of nature, and the character's physical and mental emotions.
The Romantic Movement shaped poetry, painting, sculpture, literature, drama, and all forms of concert music throughout the 18th century (Brians). This movement developed as a reaction against the narrow rationalism of the early and mid 18th century (Quinn). It sparked a change that many people were infatuated with (Brians). The movement spread like wild fire though all areas of the world. The works involved interests in character's imaginations that expanded through all kinds of fields of the world. Imagination is extolled as the ultimate synthesizing faculty, enabling humans to reconcile differences and opposites in the world of
appearance (Imagination). Also, the passion and interest in nature and the colors of life are expressed throughout works of the Romantic Movement. Nature was displayed as a healing power, a source of subject and image, and as a refuge from the artificial constructs of civilization, including artificial language (Nature). Lastly, the character's mental...