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    The American Renaissance

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    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
    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?”
    Yes
    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?
    Moby-Dick
    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”?
    1849-1855
    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?
    1826
    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”?
    Idealism
    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?
    perfection
    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?
    intuition
    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?
    1/2
    What did many die from in the 19th century?
    Tuberculosis
    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 =
    farmer
    Country Mother =
    housewife
    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 _______
    philosopher
    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
    innocence
    intuition
    inspiration from nature
    imagination
    individual worth for ALL living things
    What was unique about the literature of the American Renaissance?
    new settings unique to US (ex. Louisiana)
    nature

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