American Romanticism Essay

929 words - 4 pages

Just as the European romantics cared about emotions, nature, imagination, meditation, humanity and freedom, the American first "group of great imaginative writers -Irving, Bryant and Poe" (readers Note p 57) -cared about the them too . In their writings, these writers were taken by the romantic ideals empathizing on nature, creating their own world, borrowing sets from the past or from legends, meditating their life, and finding their own explanations to its processes . With such attitudes, these writers made their way into literature as romantics . " The Devil And Tom Walker","Hop Frog", " To a Waterfowl" and "Thanatopsis" serve as good examples for American Romanticism .

In "The Devil and Tom Walker" Irving plots the setting in a way that makes it so frightening and telling . From the beginning of the story the reader is put into the atmosphere that foreshadows the events :Destruction of great things, death and black times, a wood with high trees, mysterious places, frightening people, an atmosphere that suits very much the evil to occur . Irving borrows events from the German legend of Faust and applies it on the American frontier society .He goes deeply into imagining a relation between the Devil and Tom walker that takes Tom from his human characteristics, giving him the power that is against his nature in the first place. Taking such action which in itself is against nature, Tom had to pay back his bill for the fault he committed . Being Romantic, Irving associates modernization with Evil. Before even mentioning Tom and his story, Irving talks about earthquakes/nature that revenges from Buildings/modernization, which is the second face of man/nature relation ; whenever man is in harmony with nature in general and with his nature everything goes well, but whenever man works against nature he himself plants evil and works for his own destruction.

In "hop Frog" Poe empathizes on humanity and equality, talking about the revenge that "Hop Frog" takes against the king who keeps insulting the poor dwarf. Being captured from some far off province by a victorious general in the employ of the King, Hop Frog, was sent as a gift to the royal court for the King's amusement. The king likes Hop frog as an amusement for his ready witticisms, his inherent physical disabilities, his diminutive size and a particularly curious sensitivity to wine that "... excited the poor cripple almost to madness...". He enjoyed making Hop Frog drink wine against his well only to have fun watching him mad drunk . In this story...

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