American Romanticism

Just as the European romantics cared about emotions, nature, imagination, meditation, humanity and freedom, the American first "group of great imaginative writers -Irving, Bryant and Poe" (readers Note p 57) -cared about the them too . In their writings, these writers were taken by the romantic ideals empathizing on nature, creating their own world, borrowing sets from the past or from legends, meditating their life, and finding their own explanations to its processes . With such attitudes, these writers made their way into literature as romantics . " The Devil And Tom Walker","Hop Frog", " To a Waterfowl" and "Thanatopsis" serve as good examples for American Romanticism .

In "The Devil and Tom Walker" Irving plots the setting in a way that makes it so frightening and telling . From the beginning of the story the reader is put into the atmosphere that foreshadows the events :Destruction of great things, death and black times, a wood with high trees, mysterious places, frightening people, an atmosphere that suits very much the evil to occur . Irving borrows events from the German legend of Faust and applies it on the American frontier society .He goes deeply into imagining a relation between the Devil and Tom walker that takes Tom from his human characteristics, giving him the power that is against his nature in the first place. Taking such action which in itself is against nature, Tom had to pay back his bill for the fault he committed . Being Romantic, Irving associates modernization with Evil. Before even mentioning Tom and his story, Irving talks about earthquakes/nature that revenges from Buildings/modernization, which is the second face of man/natu...

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...nd happily when he says "Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,"(77), so we would not be as a tired slave at night, who did not enjoy moment of the day thus we should live our lives in such a way that we would not have any regrets when it is time for us to go. Bryant also illustrates the enormity of the place where we would be laid after death by the following words in this poem " nor coulst thou wish couch more magnificent. "(32-33). This suggests us that we should not live our life lazily since there is the most relaxing and comfortable place waiting for us which none of us can ever experience in life.

Bryant wanted Thanatopsis to help the readers see the good things about death, let them understand what death really means and how people are just a part of earth/nature from what they were born and to what they will be returned.
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