Rationalism, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism

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Rationalism, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism

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1. Rationalism, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism Comparing Three Literary Periods

2. Rationalism Defined: Rationalists believed that humans could find truth through reason, rather than relying on religion, faith, intuition, or past scholars.

3. Rationalism Defined: Rationalists believed God gave mankind reason as a gift. In early America, during the Age of Reason, people used reason to find ways of simply surviving in the difficult environment.

4. Historical Time Period 1750-1800

5. Realist Authors Thomas Paine Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson

6. Quotes from the Realists Benjamin Franklin Thomas Paine Thomas Jefferson

7. Benjamin Franklin “To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.”

8. Thomas Paine

9. Thomas Jefferson “To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education”

10. Romanticism A Reaction to Rationalism and Realism

11. Romanticism the journey away from the corruption of society, civilization, and the limits of all rational thought

12. Romanticism Romanticism believed that intuition, imagination, and emotion marked a clearer route to truth than reason alone.

13. Romanticism believed poetry to be superior to science, and that the contemplation of the natural world is the means of discovering the "truth".

14. Romanticism Romanticism exhibited a distrust of industry and city life, and the idealization of rural life and the wilderness.

15. Romanticism Explored a deep interest in the supernatural.

16. Romanticism Defined: Romantic writing frequently uses the countryside as a backdrop, the perfect symbol of freedom and moral clarity. However, some Romantic writers (like Poe) used purely fictional locations as their "countryside".

17. Romanticism Defined: Romantic literature often involves an escape from civilization and responsibility, frequently leading to a more simplistic life.

18. Historical Time Period 1800-1860

19. Romanticism Defined: Prominent Romantic writers journeyed to the understanding of higher truth either by exploring the past/exotic/supernatural realms, or through the contemplation of the natural world

20. Romantic Authors Edgar Allan Poe - Washington Irving - William Cullen Bryant - James Fenimore Cooper

22. Quotes from the Romantics “Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.” ~William Cullen Bryant “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ~Emily Dickinson

23. Transcendentalism Defined: Transcendentalists held that God can be found in every aspect of nature (including humanity), and that everyone is capable of reaching God through intuition.

24. Transcendentalism Defined:

25. Transcendentalism Defined: Writings often assert a positive spiritual reason behind each occurrence in nature and frequently hail the beauty of rebellion, the rejection of society, and the struggle toward inner peace and understanding.

26. Transcendentalism Defined: Transcendentalism held a very optimistic view of the world.

27. Historical Time Period 1840-1860

28. Transcendental Authors Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau Margaret Fuller

29. Quotes from the Transcendentalists “Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.” ~Fuller

30. Quotes from the Transcendentalists “It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.” ~Henry David Thoreau

31. Quotes from the Transcendentalists “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” ~Thoreau

32. Quotes from the Transcendentalists “We are always getting ready to live, but never living” ~Emerson

33. Quotes from the Transcendentalists “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.” ~Emerson

34. References http://mspomerantz.com/AP/AmericanLiteratureEras.htm

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