Transcendentalism The American Renaissance A Literary Coming of Age (1840-1860) Miss Mottle American Literature David Anderson Sr. High School
The Big Question for Americans
Would there ever be an American writer as great as England’s William Shakespeare?
Renaissance : means “rebirth.” Describes the extraordinary explosion of literary genius, comparing America to England’s Renaissance.
Your Book’s Version
1. Everything in the world, including human beings, is a reflection of the Divine Soul.
2. The physical facts of the natural world are a doorway to the spiritual or ideal world.
3. People can use their intuition to behold God’s spirit revealed in nature or in their own souls.
4. Self-Reliance and individualism must outweigh external authority and blind conformity to custom and tradition.
5. Spontaneous feelings and intuition are superior to deliberate intellectualism and rationality.
Characteristics The Transcendental View of the World
Free thought (individualism)
Importance of nature
Two Main Literary Groups
1. The Transcendental Club
2. The Dark Romantics
3. Similarities between The Dark Romantics & The Transcendentalists
The Transcendental Club
Transcendentalism : the idea that in determining the ultimate reality of God, the universe, the self, and other important matters, one must transcend or go beyond everyday experience in the natural world.
Dates back to the Greek philosopher, Plato, in the fourth century B.C.
Values intuition and human perfectibility
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson
B. Henry David Thoreau
The Dark Romantics
1. Focus on the conflict between good and evil.
2. The psychological effects of guilt and sin.
3. Madness and derangement in the human mind.
The Dark Romantics Authors
1. Nathaniel Hawthorne
2. Edgar Allan Poe
3. Herman Melville
Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edgar Allan Poe
Similarities between The Dark Romantics & The Transcendentalists
1. Valued Intuition over logic
2. Like the Puritans, they saw signs & symbols in human events
Examples of Transcendentalist Comics
Calvin & Hobbes
A Student View of Transcendentalism
Find lyrics for class on Thursday of this week. You can handwrite them if you do not have printer access from albums, or you can print!
The lyrics must have qualities of Transcendentalism.
Write the rough draft of your descriptive essay for Monday of next week.
Appealed to intellectuals and the public
They refer to him as a poet.
He left and went on a European tour
Suffered from a severe loss of memory in old age.
Imagery : the use of language to evoke pictures or concrete sensations of a person, place, or an experience.
Paradox : a contradictory statement.
Aphorisms : short statements that express wise or clever observations about life.
Henry David Thoreau’s Walden American Literature Miss Mottle