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The American Dream During the Romantic Period

analytical Essay
2251 words
2251 words
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The Romantic Dream The Romantic period was an entirely unique era in American history that produced new life philosophies through the focus of nature and exploration resulting in the evolution of the American Dream. Consequently, some of the world’s greatest advancements in arts and literature were accomplished during this time period. Authors such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Fennimore Cooper, and Oliver Wendell Holmes sparked the imagination of American audiences through newfound literature such as lyrical poetry, myths, legends, folklore, and the new American novel. Romantic age writers emphasized nature, especially in poetry, as an inspiration for imagination and emotion. The American Dream during the Romantic era was to lead a life of emotion and intuition over reasoning through exploration of the countryside and the recognition of natural beauty displayed by imaginative literature that reflected this American Dream. Rather than using reasoning and knowledge for guidance, the people of the Romantic period focused largely on the idea of using feelings and intuition to make decisions. The main foundation of the Romantic era was a reaction against rationalism and reasoning. Upward mobility and success through intellect was a major concept of the Rationalist period. “In an important respect, however, the Dream of Upward Mobility, particularly in the South, was actually too successful…” (Cullen 61). Unfortunately, during the rationalist movement, large cities and higher standards of living led to problems for Americans. Morality declined as Americans strove for money, power, and overall success. Poverty along with death rates increased as the small population of wealthy became wealthier as the poor became poorer. “The... ... middle of paper ... ...of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 308-309. Print. Irving, Washington. “The Devil and Tom Walker”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 175-185. Print. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 196. Print. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “The Cross of Snow”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 198. Print. “Political and Social Milestones 1800-1860”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Hold, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 160-161. Print. Small, Miriam Rossiter. Oliver Wendell Holmes. New York: Twayne, 1963. Print. "Voices of the Night A Psalm of Life." Bartleby.com. Bartleby,2014. Web. 5 May 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the romantic period produced new life philosophies through the focus of nature and exploration resulting in the evolution of the american dream.
  • Analyzes how the romantic era was a reaction against rationalism and reasoning.
  • Explains that wildlife was a major aspect of the american dream during the romantic era. the yearning for westward expansion began in 1803 with the louisiana purchase.
  • Explains that during the romantic era, experimentation in literature was a new concept along with an interest in the supernatural.
  • Analyzes how longfellow's "a psalm of life" illustrates the romantic idea of finding god through nature.
  • Explains that the fireside poets reflected the many values of the romantic era while attempting to prove sophistication by writing in traditional european style.
  • Analyzes how james fenimore cooper created the first american hero, natty bumppo, in "the last of the mohicans".
  • Analyzes how henry wadsworth longfellow depicted the characteristics of the romantic american dream through his poetry and life. he grew up by the ocean close to nature's beauty and away from the oppressive city.
  • Explains the purpose of the american dream during the romantic era was for people to leave their mark on the world for future generations to see. longfellow states in his poem, "a psalm of life", that people had to take action and make it happen.
  • Explains that the american dream during the romantic era was to lead a life of emotion and intuition over reasoning through exploration of the countryside and the recognition of natural beauty displayed by imaginative literature.
  • Explains arpin, gary q., "american romanticism". elements of literature: fifth course. austin: holt, rinehart and winston, 2008.
  • Analyzes how the focus on exploration and nature produced the romantic traits of independence and moral purity as well as imagination and the supernatural.
  • Explains that the romantic-era novel: a special issue. holmes, oliver wendell. "the chambered nautilus".
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