Romantic Movement in American Literature
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In the English literature, there is no other era that displayed a multifaceted style, theme and content in the same way as the Romantic Movement. Romanticism has been a topic of heated debate with so much confusion and disagreement based on its defining principles and aesthetics. The best way to describe the Romantic Movement period is that it revolves around a network of competing philosophies, principles and points of interest. During the 18th century, up through 1870’s, the movement had its greatest influence in Europe.
In America, Romanticism faced some delays, and it was modulated. Its considerable influence was felt in arts and letters during the 1830’s up to the time of the Civil War. In addition, in America, the novel was championed in the field of literature as the most fitting genre for Romantic Movement. In spite of some criticisms over usage, there are some definitive statements made concerning Romantic Movement in America. For instance, Romantic Movement makes more emphasis on an individual rather than the society. Romantics hold a view that individual imaginations are particularly fascinating. For example, Emily Dickinson’s literature influenced Romantic Movement in one way or another.
Dickinson’s influence on Romantic Movement can be traced in her letters and poetry. She expressed herself through written works satiated with sensible perception of reality. She used her talent in poetry to pass her message and demonstrate her care and affection. Dickinson corresponded regularly with deep emotional letters to the few friends she had. Her actions changed and influenced the American culture and literature (Frye, 41).
In America, Romanticism, also referred to as the period of American Renaissance, marked the initial stage of maturation of American letters. Americans believed in the innate goodness of man. In a natural setting, man usually behaves well; however, there are external forces of civilization, which appear as a hindrance to human. The indicators of truth during this period included faith in emotion, sincerity, as well as spontaneity. Furthermore, the self-expression of an individual was considered more worthy than the way an individual presented himself or was perceived by others (Langdell, Cheri, and Adrienne, 34).
Many people observed nature as a source of instruction throughout the period of Romanticism. Nature was also seen as a source of pleasure, and mean of comfort in the quest for knowledge and understanding. Many poets unraveled their literal roots looking for inspiration and wisdom in the nature. For instance, most writers wrote about the difference between pleasant simplicity of nature and the natural impediments of society. During the period of Romanticism, America regarded herself as independent after setting itself apart from Britain. The individuality as well as the uniqueness of America was influenced by the works of new writers and artists, such as Dickinson. Their works ignited a separate growing culture that shaped the face of the current American society. Even though, Dickinson never intended to do so, she essentially influenced the Romanticism in America. The poetess applied imagery and wisdom in questioning the meaning of life.
Dickinson’s subjects of poetry varied from religion to environment; however, most of her late works involved the challenges of faith. She applied traditional variations in her artworks through unconventional nonlinearity form available (Dickinson, 15). For example, in I’m Nobody! Who Are Aou? Dickinson presented a unique technique that supports the key idea provided in the text. Through the use of a mysterious tone, starting from the first line of the poem, Dickinson explains that she is out of the society by claiming that she is nobody. In the fourth line, she makes readers understand that the term “nobody” has a secret meaning because the world do not recognize such mavericks. In the second stanza of I’m Nobody! Who Are You?, the author uses a more confident tone and compares “somebody” to a frog in admiring bog as those representatives have no sense of identity. The message has a particular style, causing a harmonious link between the content and structure.
In another poem, Because I Could not Stop for Death, Dickinson’s ideas of Romanticism are well explained. In this piece of work, Dickinson elaborates on the subject of human mortality, and the question of what lies beyond death is evident. The main idea is directly related to the issue of Romanticism, which is clear in her poem. This illustrates that the poetess has a craving for knowledge and wisdom, and, particularly, all common ideas of enlightenment, which pertain to the future and eternity. In the poem The Brain is Wider Than the Sky (Dickinson, 23),there are stanzas that make parallel statements. In this poem, Dickinson makes an assertion that imagination can encompass the sky and endow it with special and omnifarious meanings at every turn. In the second stanza, she repeats the theme by making it more convincing through the use of metaphors of sponges which absorb buckets.
In conclusion, the period of Romanticism flourished, being cherished by poetic contemplation of nature. Emily Dickinson used imagery, metaphors, irony, as well as originality in her creations. Her main ideas revolved around the subject of freedom and its equality to salvation, and consequent honorable reward. These compositions confirm that the American style of Romanticism successfully evolved due to the extent of cultural free time devoted to literature and any other form of artistic work.