Edgar Allan Poe and Romanticism Edgar Allan Poe, an archetype of the Romantic writer, was one of the first American writers to become a major figure in world literature. Poe focused mainly on the effect the style of the piece had on its readers. By replacing the technical side to the written word, Poe was able to establish a new genre. Frequent themes in Romanticism are: imagination, sensitivity, feelings, spontaneity, freedom, introspection, intuition, individualism, nature, solitude, and emotion. How do examples from texts taken from Poe prove that the most dominant characteristic of the Romantic Movement was the rejection of the rational and the intellectual in favor of the intuitive and the emotional?
While Irving may poke fun at the idea of a simplistic moral, a clear maxim that one can easily digest, he nevertheless infuses his work with a message. If any “moral” could be taken from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” it is that there are some places where reason cannot guide us. The possibility of a place where reason and rationality are no longer useful is a direct and sharp critique of the ideals of the Enlightenment. Through his “tools of the trade” as a storyteller, Irving effectively denounces the limits of Enlightenment thinking, and opens the door for the possibilities of Romanticism and the Gothic.
And the primary transcendental motif of the primacy of spirituality over flesh is an understated plot device in Poe's story. Though clearly featuring Poe's scorn towards several defining facets of the transcendental movement, “The Fall of the House of Usher” simultaneously bears the mark of one of the most overarching themes of transcendental thinking. Works Cited Poe, Edgar A. "The Fall of the House of Usher." The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
Indeed, the literature these authors produced are relative to the Romantic trend in elevating self-awareness, however their work demonstrates Emerson and Whitman differ with Poe regarding the ascendancy of the conscious and unconscious states of the mind. Emerson and Whitman celebrated the conscious power of the individual, while Poe exposed the hidde... ... middle of paper ... ... "Being Odd, Getting Even." The American Face of Edgar Allan Poe. Ed. Shawn Rosenheim and Stephen Rachman.
The Augustan approach was intellectual with formal restraint; while relying on reason and traditionalism to create literary works. These stipulations were very controlled by their boundaries and could not be exaggerated with out being broken. The Augustan critical attitude condemned spontaneity for its chaotic qualities, imagination for its objection to reason and liberalism for its opposition to traditionalism. Gothic fiction appears as a specific response to the Age of Reason’s order. During the late eighteenth-century, several different kinds of new fiction arose to challenge the Augustan tradition; leading the way was the Gothic novel.
The dominance of reason as the essential method of making decisions becomes apparent in the works of both Shakespeare and Herrick. Some writers emphasized emotion as the dominant factor in regards to what should influence an individual’s decision the most. For instance, in John Donne’s Poem, “The Flea,” the speaker attempts to convince his lover through the use of rational thought, however, his intention of emotional ‘satisfaction’ is obviously his primary goal. Donne emphasizes the need for emotional satisfaction as being more important than the need for reasonable thought, however, Donne’s rational approach demonstrates his intermingling of both reason and emotion into one work. Other writers emphasize the importance of both emotion and reason.
The primary theme of the works of Fellini is the role of the poet as reader. Neoconstructive desituationism holds that expression comes from communication, given that Lacan's essay on objectivism is valid. But if Batailleist `powerful communication' holds, we have to choose between structuralist rationalism and postmodern textual theory. If one examines objectivism, one is faced with a choice: either accept Batailleist `powerful communication' or conclude that art is part of the dialectic of reality. Debord uses the term 'textual theory' to denote the meaninglessness, and hence the rubicon, of prematerial class.
Henry James discusses the intricacies of writing in his piece “The Art of Fiction.” While the main binary in literature is between that of fiction and non-fiction, however James further distinguishes the category of fiction into romance and novel. While a romance exists for the form of entertainment and is driven by character development, a novel is more of an attempt to create a realistic representation of the current social standard. James declares that fiction is not just a leisure art form but meant to be taken seriously, as a historical text. In this piece James critiques the work of another author, Besant, and discredits the former hostility towards novels as a credible form of knowledge. Many of James’ key points are present in his short story “Daisy Miller: A Study” which follows a young girl’s journey through American society abroad.
These contrasting styles can be seen notably in Journal of the Plague Year (1722) by Daniel Defoe, and Joseph Andrews (1742) by Henry Fielding respectively. In the context of these author’s respective works, the intrusiveness of Fielding’s narrator along with his relatively artificial characters and plot, ultimately makes the work less realistic by the standards of Formal Realism and by contrast, Defoe’s first person narration along with his more lifelike characters and plot, adhere more strictly to the conventions of Formal Realism. In the debate about knowledge, the author’s intentions for a work are important, and should be considered by looking at the impact of realism towards the effectiveness of communicating the author’s purpose to the reader. However, knowledge in literature is not limited to an author’s intentions, and I contend that realism is directly proportional to the knowledge in literature through discovery of new possibilities and learning from an author’s experience, and though not perfect, De... ... middle of paper ... ...of Defoe and Fielding, and in the context of Putnam’s evaluation of knowledge in literature, there is a direct correlation between the utilization of Formal Realism and the knowledge a work can offer. It is understandable that every work has its unique intentions, and not every work needs to adhere perfectly to the conventions of Formal Realism for it to be valuable, but generally there is a positive correlation between realistic characters, plots, and narrative techniques and potential of conceptual discovery.
Thoreau's "Walden" and "Resistance to Civil Government," Douglass's "Narrative," and Emerson's "The American Scholar" are reflective, observational and hopeful works which inspire their audiences to interpret and incorporate the ideas found within to their own philosophies concerning personal and national identity. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the oldest of the three was often referred to as "the sage of Concord." A talented poet and essayist, he put into words the need for intellectual severance from Europe. Ever the ardent non-conformist, he believed that American intellectual culture too closely relied on and echoed those of other lands, writing that, in the worst case, the American scholar was "the parrot of other men's thinking" (Emerson). He expertly and eloquently mapped out a clear, if verbose, mold into which the new, elite and singularly American intellect should fill.