By: Gleb, Grace, Megan V.

Important Historical Events and Impact

1804- Lewis and Clark begin the famous expedition, mapping the west

1812- War of 1812 occurs

1813- Jane Austin publishes Pride and Prejudice

1825- Erie Canal is completed

1827- Poe publishes Tamerlane, his first collection of poems

1838 - The Trail of Tears

1847 - Emily Bronte publishes Wuthering Heights

1848 - Karl Marx writes the Communist Manifesto

1850 - Nathanial Hawthorne publishes the Scarlett Letter

1851 - Herman Melville publishes Moby-Dick

1852 - Harriet Tubman publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin

(all dates p.228)

Pre Dominant Genres and Themes

Writers elevated the imagination over reason and intuition over fact (233). When you think of the Romanticism era, the first thing to come to mind is love. However, this is not the case (233). Gothic fiction was the primary genre in this time period (312). It appeared in the late 1700's (312). Gothic novels were often set in Gothic Style houses often populated by the insane, the love lorn, the terrified , and often the dead. Thus promising reading experiences of intense emotion (312) . Short stories should be constructed to achieve a certain unique or single effect (307). Two famous short stories by Edgar Allan Poe were The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher. The theme of The Raven is that people are masochistic and the theme of The Fall of House of Usher is that everything is in a state of decay. As you can see, it seems everything in the Romanticism era was subjected to dread and hopelessness. It's a wonder that people enjoyed this dark writing. Most of the themes seemed to highlight the worst of humanity.

Sylistic Approach and Devices

  • Washington Irving used characterization and both direct and indirect characterization and inner cultural attitudes. (241)
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow uses stanzas; couplet, quatrain, associates images with life. (256)
  • Uses meter and mood. (266)
  • Meriwether Luis and John Wesley Poued use description, writers style and notation special relationships (284)
  • Uses memorandums (297)
  • First sentence outlines mood. Edgar Allen Poe uses single effect, breaks down long sentences, and uses Gothic style. (308, 306)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne uses parables, symbols, draws inferences about meaning. (334)
  • Herman Melnille uses symbols, recognized symbols, elaborate themes. (352)
  • Where is Here Joyce Carol Oats uses Modern Gothic style (gloomy atmosphere, odd characters). (374)

Major Authors and Biographies

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) - Poe's began his career by publishing a collection of poems called Tamerlane. Two years later he wrote Al Arraaf but his third column of poems was a failure and he turned to fiction and literary criticism. Poe finally gained recognition as a serious writer with his publishment of The Raven and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. He died shortly after his wife. ( entire paragraph uses p. 306)

Nathanial Hawthorne (1804-1864) He was known as an anti-transcendentalist, believing evil was the dominant force in the world. Growing up Hawthorne grew up with inherited guilt from his ancestors (included in Salem Witch Trials/ persecution on Quakes). 1st book Fanshave was anonymous (he burned the book out of shame) and established him as an author (Twice Told Tales). (entire paragaph uses p. 334)


The Romanticism time period left several impressions on current American thinking. It influenced imagination over reason and intuition over fact. It also introduced nature and favoring human experience. This time period was also famous for the Gothic Style of writing. A famous example of Gothic Style writing from Joyce Carol Oats's "Where is Where". It uses gloomy atmospheres and characters. Any writing from Edgar Allen Poe is acceptable. Their stories are still famous today. (pgs. 233-234)

Important Vocabulary

Gothic (adj) - noting or pertaining to a style of architecture, fine wood work and stone work rivets. Pertaining to art, realism and detail.

Single Effect (n) - a good short story that is able to create a single emotional effect on the reader.

Parable (n) -a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson; sermon.

Symbol (n) - a thing that represents or stands for something else.

Exact Rhyme (n) - a rhyme in which the final accented vowel and all succeeding consonants are identical.

Slant Rhyme (n) - a rhyme that stresses either the consonants or vowels identically.

Free Verse (n) - poem with no rhyme pattern or meter.

Diction (n) - word choice and phrases in speech or writing