Romanticism

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Romanticism
The literary period of Romanticism has been ranked among the most influential in America. Filled with intense feelings and emotional reactions, Romanticism embodied independence from the strictness of Puritans. Some authors manifested the optimistic components of Romanticism. Other authors created a subgroup that focused on the mysterious side of Romanticism. It was because of these people that Romanticism was born.
In the years before Romanticism being contaminated with the strictness of Puritans, imagination and love of nature was simply taboo. Everyone was expected to follow the Church’s rule. When Puritanism died down, a road for Romanticism was opened. David Robinson describes this road:
… Romantic art and expression helped fill the demand for a distinctive cultural identity that political independence had encouraged, providing the means for expressing what was felt to be a uniquely national experience and identity. It also afforded… the basis for a critique of the shortcomings of the new nation and its culture.
As the world around Americans changed, so did the characteristics of literature. For the first time in literary history, writers began to shun artificiality of society and seek nature as a refuge. Feelings and intuition began to override reason. Inspiration was found in myth, legend, and culture. Faith was put in inner experience and power of the imagination. Innocence was preferred over sophistication. Individual freedom and the individual were the utmost important. Nature’s beauty was a path to spiritual and moral development. Most stories were set in exotic locales, supernatural realms, and the inner world of imagination (Arpin 144). For the first time, ordinary and outcasts were glorified. Not only d...

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"Romanticism." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Student
Resources in Context. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
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