When you hear the term Romanticism, wouldn’t you think of something that has to do with romance? That is what I thought when I first heard the word, but I was foolishly mistaken. Romanticism dealt with placing central importance upon the emotions and upon the individual. This time period only lasted about thirty years but greatly changed the and influenced the country in which we live in today. In the following composition, I will discuss the ideas of Romanticism and three famous writers of this time and their distinct subjects.The United States condensed as a nation during the major cultural change distinguished by the shift from classicism to Romanticism. This change had an impact on every aspect of culture including arts, philosophy, education and science.Before all this even happened, an earlier belief known as Classicism was around. This unhealthy culture put reason as their dominating characteristic of nature and were also bound by strict unchanging laws by the government. Now, who would want to live under this dull inexpressible culture? Well, the early Puritans were part of this Age of Reason and many a good man came out of this era. Anyway, it was time for change. People wanted to start believing in themselves more and having a greater sense or nationalism. This is where Romanticism came in and replaced classicism. It was the beginning of a new era and initiated a whole new way of thinking.
Romanticism basically dealt with three attitudes: Nature, the past, and the inner world of human nature. Although the early Romantic writers varied widely in the forms that they chose, these certain subjects were characteristics or Romantic attitudes.The writer who mainly told about nature was William Cullen Bryant. He became the first national spokesperson for a new religion of nature in which nature serves as a source of moral and spiritual lessons.One of his famous poems, To a Waterfowl, tells of the journey of a waterfowl during migration and relates that to the path in which we as humans take in our lives. He also incorporates some religious attitudes in his works
as well and you can see this at the end of To a Waterfowl when he tells you that God will lead your steps aright Washington Irving was a fine example of telling about the past. He wrote many a folk tales.In the short story The Devil and Tom Walker he Americanizes the devil and gives him qualities that are carried on with him for generations. The last writer that I will discuss is Edgar Allen Poe. Now, he is considered to be the most influential writer/poet of this time period. Unique as they were, his thoughts and powerful writings came from his inner self. No other writer had anywhere near the imagination as this poet did. He used his dark gothic mind to create horrifying stories and poems such as The Raven. This is his most famous poem and tells of a man torturing himself on purpose by asking a raven questions he already knows the answers to. If you follow Poe’s writings closely, you will see how he uses his technique to create a whole single effect, and this is what he does so great and is known for.When I now think of Romanticism, it gives me the feeling of freedom, and this is what the whole purpose of the Romantic period was. It changed the way people wrote from then on and also changed the whole lifestyle of man in my eyes. Maybe another revolution of such beauty as this will one day cross our eyes and we will be able to experience the radical changes and feelings as the people of this period once did.