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Dark Romantic (1800-1860). Ashley Poole Michael Easterwood Daniel Raubolt. Dark Romantic History. History has always made a strong connection to literary works of the time.

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Dark romantic 1800 1860

Dark Romantic(1800-1860)

Ashley Poole

Michael Easterwood

Daniel Raubolt

Dark romantic history
Dark Romantic History

  • History has always made a strong connection to literary works of the time.

  • Historical events and what is going in the world and the specific author’s life effects the themes and tone of the pieces produced.

  • Many short stories, poems, novels-expressing emotion

  • Spiritual and emotional views, literary elements expressing insight and thought in emotion

  • Dark works, torment, human psyche, inner feelings

  • Problems in US gave depressing inspiration to writers


  • In the early 1800’s, 900,000 of the 1 million African Americans living in the United States are enslaved.

  • Slaves were owned by plantation farmers

  • Were whipped, beaten, mistreated

  • Paid nothing, worked every day

  • North and South argued about slave rights, and free states/slave states

  • Abolitionist group arose around the 1820’s

Westward expansion
Westward Expansion

  • The Louis and Clark expedition in 1804

  • began westward expansion in the United States

  • Taking almost two years to explore, the expedition led to endless possibilities for American boundaries

  • The Louisiana Purchase literally doubled the size of the United States

  • Jefferson bought the land between the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, stretching fro the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border

  • Overnight, the United States boundaries expanded by nearly one million square miles

Industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution

  • Industrialization changed the way that many Americans lived their lives

  • Large scale production took home manufacturing out of the lifestyle of Americans

  • They were usually paid low wages and worked 12 or more hour days

  • This lead to many problems such as child labor and horrible living conditions

  • Many injuries and disfigurations associated with factories

  • Many Americans lived in these poor conditions while the Industrial Revolution was taking place in America

Edgar allan poe 1809 1849
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

  • Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, MA

  • His father left shortly after his birth. A year later, his mother died

  • Poe lived with the Allans after his own family died

  • He attended the University of Virginia

  • Poe also joined the army and the US Military Academy at West Point

  • He married his cousin Virginia in 1835. She died in 1847 at the age of 24

  • Died at the age of 40 in 1849

Poe 2

  • Poe worked as a magazine editor

  • He wrote a few volumes of poetry and one novel (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym)

  • Poe’s most famous poem was “The Raven”, published in 1845

  • Poe couldn’t get out of poverty and he twice suffered from depression and madness

  • Poe is credited with inventing the detective story

  • Remembered for using imagery and sound effects and showing different sides of human nature

Nathaniel hawthorne 1804 1864
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

  • Born in 1804 in Salem, MA

  • His father died in 1808, so he lived with his mother and sisters

  • Descendant of a Salem witchcraft trial judge and a judge who persecuted Quakers

  • Graduated from Maine’s Bowdoin College in 1825

  • Died in 1864

Hawthorne 2

  • He wrote his most famous book, The Scarlet Letter, in 1850

  • It was about the sin and guilt among early Puritans in Massachusetts

  • Hawthorne’s writing was shaped by the sense of inherited guilt he had about being related to the judges

  • He showed a gloomy vision of human affairs

  • He wrote many short stories and three other major novels

Herman melville 1819 1891
Herman Melville (1819-1891)

  • Born in New York City in 1819 to a wealthy merchant

  • His dad’s business failed and then his dad died in 1832, so Melville had to work as a child to support the family

  • Spent several years working on whaling ships

  • Briefly served in the Navy

  • Melville died in 1891

Melvile 2

  • His first two books were popular, but the next few he made weren’t

  • In 1851, Melville published his most famous book, Moby Dick (called The Whale)

  • It had many layers of meaning

  • The book was criticized and considered a failure during his lifetime

  • Melville’s works became valued among scholars during the 1920’s

  • Slavery

  • Worked for long hours for nothing

  • Owned by the plantation master

  • Beaten and whipped often

  • Sang folk songs and told stories to deal with problems

  • Lived on cotton and tobacco plantations

  • Industrialization

  • Child labor, many hours, low pay, dangerous conditions

  • Filthy streets, cities, and rivers from waste

  • Large increase of products made

  • Gloomy ambiance presented by the factories

  • Invention-Typewriter

  • Early type writer invented in 1821

  • Christopher Sholes

  • Very important in the everyday work life

  • Was the “early computer”

  • Made writing documents, stories or articles much easier and efficient

  • Indian removal due to expansion

  • Trail of tears- Indians forced off land

  • Endured whole winters, little or no food

  • Thousands of deaths

  • White settlers discovered gold on Cherokee land

  • Occurred close to a year-long and depressing

  • Westward expansion

  • Louisiana Purchase-doubled size of the United States.

  • Cost $15,000,000 bought from France

  • Many Americans moving west for land and opportunity

  • Exploring the unknown, navigation of the Mississippi River

  • Cultural battles

  • Tensions between North and South rise

  • North wants industry, no slavery, change

  • South wants farming, slaves, no change

  • Dispute between free and slave states

  • Void formed between lifestyles

High regard for inner feeling and emotion
High Regard for Inner Feeling and Emotion

  • Writers change style from earlier American writers

  • Embody emotion into writing

  • Valued intuition over logic and reasoning

  • Intense emotions such as love, hate, passion, fury

  • Authors write more with their heart than their head

Truth and happiness not always found in life
Truth and Happiness Not Always Found in Life

  • Don’t believe that humans are perfect

  • prone to sin and self-destruction, they do not always have divinity and wisdom

  • the natural world is dark, decaying, and mysterious

  • bad things can and will happen resulting in an unhappy life

  • negative (semi-realistic) viewpoint

  • Disappointment and troubles in history lead to this conclusion in writing

Inner workings and dark side of human psyche
Inner workings (and dark side) of human psyche

  • The authors explored the complexities of people’s thought processes

  • Focused on how humans have a dark side to their thoughts and feelings, in contrast to Transcendalism

  • The Raven details a man’s thoughts after losing his lover

  • The Tell-Tale Heart tells of a murderer insisting he isn’t insane

Dark or macabre incidents
Dark or macabre incidents

  • Writings acknowledged that bad things do happen

  • These events can cause people to drastically change emotionally and become compulsive or obsessive

  • In Moby-Dick, Captain Ahab is injured and later killed by the whale

  • Poe’s writing was influenced by the deaths of his family members

Torment psychological or physical
Torment- Psychological or Physical

  • Pain and suffering in both mind and body

  • Writings consisted of anguish and suffering

  • Events such as war and pain in the world led to writings

  • Push human limits beyond comfort

  • Many works consisted of torture to mind and body

  • Evil and its doings

Human nature as a mix of both good and evil
Human Nature as a Mix of Both Good and Evil

  • Good and evil happenings

  • How the human mindset can change and be affected

  • If one seems good, might not always be so

  • All good has evil, all evil has good

  • Multiple intentions

  • Corruption and holiness


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Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. page numbers.

"Quirino, Elpidio." World Book Online Reference Center. August 19. 2008 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar742910>.

"Timeline: 1800-1860 The Triumph of nationalism and the Nation Dividing". National Humanities Center. August 18, 2008 <http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/triumphnationalism/timeline.pdf>.

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