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The American Renaissance

When did “a remarkable party” occur?
August 5, 1850
Where did “a remarkable party” occur?
Stockbridge, MA
Who attended “a remarkable party”?
A Boston publisher
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Nathaniel Hawthorne
NY Editor
Cornelius Mathews
Herman Melville
The American Renaissance

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What did the party do in the morning?
climbed Berkshire Mts.
Describe the views of Holmes and Melville about American Literature during the dinner conversation.
Holmes – praised English writers
Melville – defended American writers
Describe Melville and Hawthorne’s answers to “Would there ever be an American writer as great as England’s William Shakespeare?”
Describe the background of Melville.
An ex-sailor with little education
Describe the background of Hawthorne
a well-educated loner
What is the age gap between Hawthorne and Melville?
15 years
What was Melville’s first literary work?
Typee (1846) about South Seas adventures
What famous novel did Melville write?
What did Melville like about Hawthorne’s work?
his “power of blackness”
What was the result of Melville and Hawthorne’s meeting?
a magazine essay
What did Melville write in the magazine essay?
defended American literature
England = “aliens to us”
urged to “prize and cherish” American writers
Patiotism –> “America is very close to its own Shakespeare in Hawthorne”
During what time periond was Melville’s magazine published?
during the “coming of age”
When was the “coming of age”?
What was the “coming of age”?
American writers produced a remarkable body of work to make up a national literature
Why was the “coming of age” possible?
American landscape and culture placed literature in a distinct place away from European
What did American writers call the “coming of age”?
A renaissance
Who are the most famous writers of the “coming of age”?
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Herman Melville
What is the Lyceum Movement?
a burst of American literature best known for interest in self-improvement and intellectual inquiry
When was the Lyceum Movement?
Where did the Lyceum Movement start?
Millbury, MA
What were the goals of the Lyceum groups?
educating adults, training teachers, establishing museums, social reforms
What was the most popular Lyceum program?
a course of lectures in the winter
Where was the Lyceum lecture popular?
New England & mid-West
Who was one of the most popular Lyceum speakers?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Horace Mann
improve public education
Dorothea Dix
mental institutions
William Lloyd Garrison
end slavery
Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, Emma Willard
improve women’s rights
Name the most popular Feminists of the Lyceum Movement
Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, Emma Willard
In 1840, what did Emerson say every man who could read have?
a plan for utopia, a perfect society
What was Emerson a member of?
the most influential utopian group
What was the name of Emerson’s utopian club?
The Transcendentalists Club
When was transcendentalism founded?
18th century
Who created the term transcendental?
German philosopher Immanuel Kent
Definition of Transcendentalism
determining ultimate reality of God, universe, self, etc. by transcending (going beyond) everyday human experience in physical world
What is the transcendentalist view on intuition?
intuition is an important tool for discovering truth
Emerson’s Definition of Transcendentalism
“the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mold of these new times”
What are the “oldest thoughts”?
When was Idealism?
4th Century BC
Who created Idealism?
Greek Philosopher Plato
Definition of Idealism
the belief that true reality is made of ideas NOT the world perceived by the senses
What did Idealists seek?
permanent reality that underlay physical appearance
Definition of American Transcendentalists
idealists but a broader, more practical way
What did American Transcendentalists believe humans could achieve?
we should work to achieve this goal
Who were believed to be anti-Transcendentalists?
Hawthorne, Melville, Poe
What were these anti-Transcendentalists known as?
Dark Romantics
What did the Dark Romantics and Emerson agree on?
intuition > logic and reason
signs and symbols in human events
spiritual facts in nature
What did the Dark Romantics and Emerson disagree on?
humans are good and harmless
What were the purposes of the literature of the Dark Romantics?
to balance the Puritan aspects and the transcendentalist aspects
What did the Dark Romantics write about?
good vs. evil
psychological effects of guilt and sin
madness and disagreement in human psyche
blackness and horror of evil
5 Ideas of Transcendentalism
1. everything (i.e. humans) = reflection of Divine Soul
2. physical facts of natural world = doorway to spiritual/ideal world
3. use intuition to behold God’s spirit revealed in nature/souls
4. self-reliance & individualism > external authority & conformity to custom & tradition
5. spontaneous feelings + intuition > intellectualism + rationality
Definition of Romanticism
native mysticism
“Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact” (Emerson)
Roots of Transcendentalism
Puritanism + Roman tradition
Who is an author of Roman tradition?
William Cullen Bryant
What leads to the mystical view of the world?
Definition of Intuition
capacity to know things spontaneously & immediately through emotions rather than through reasoning abilities
God is ________ and works through _________
good; nature
Transcendentalist view of tragic natural events
spiritual explanation
Transcendentalist view of death
part of cycle of life
What makes someone capable of evil?
a separation from the direct, intuitive knowledge of God
How can one become part of the Divine Soul?
by trusting to know God directly
Who did the transcendentalists’ optimism and hope appeal to?
those experiencing bad economy, regional strife, slavery
How long did people live in the 1840s?
40 years
How many people died young?
What did many die from in the 19th century?
What was the population in 1840?
17 million
How many Africans were free in 1840?
1.5 million
What was the population in 1995?
260 million
What was happening to the population in the 1840s?
increasing rapidly
What were the 5 biggest cities in the 1840s?
Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston
Describe the cities in 1840s.
filthy because of no citywide garbage collection
pigs moving freely
Where did most Americans live in the 1840s?
in the countries
Country Father =
Country Mother =
Country School
1 room
reading, writing, arithmetic, proper behavior
When did people marry in the 1840s?
at a very young age
What did people do for fun in the 1840s?
dancing, cornhusking contests, quilting bees, baseball, read, visiting friends & neighbors
Who were the heroes of the 1840s?
politicians with military backgrounds
Who was the most famous hero of the 1840s?
George Washington
Who were the famous poets of the American Renaissance?
Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, Bryant
What were Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Bryant known as?
Fireside / Schoolroom Poets
What were the subjects of the poems?
comforting nation after war, duty, patriotism, family
Where were these poems read?
by firesides and in schools
Who were the famous Dark Romantic writers?
Hawthorne, Melville, Poe
Who were the famous Transcendentalist writers?
Emerson and Thoreau
What did Transcendentalists believe about man?
man is capable of perfection
Describe the literary form of the Transcendentalists
nonfiction, narrative
A Transcendentalist writer is also a _______
Who is the founder of Transcendentalism?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is Transcendentalism a reaction to?
Industrial Revolution
Who did Emerson inspire?
William Wordsworth
5 I’s of Romanticism
inspiration from nature
individual worth for ALL living things
What was unique about the literature of the American Renaissance?
new settings unique to US (ex. Louisiana)

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The American Renaissance
When did "a remarkable party" occur? August 5, 1850 Where did "a remarkable party" occur? Stockbridge, MA
2021-02-24 03:21:17
The American Renaissance
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