Flowering of American Literature

by hayley hymbaugh

What it is

The Flowering of American Literature was a period in American history (most prevalent from about 1850 to 1856) when the ideas and attitudes of the time came to reflect in the writing and writing styles. Before this, most literature in America pretty much just reflected the life in Great Britain and even plagiarized some of those works. This time was just a huge outpour of literary masterpieces and many writers rose to prominence as great thinkers of the time.

Where it came from

▲Inspired by Second Great Awakening

▲Doing the right thing, being a good person, thinking & improving for yourself

▲Virtues of expanding middle class-a strong work ethic, frugality and temperance

What was affected

▲Ideas & attitudes of Second Great Awakening recurring themes in literature

▲Emerson=Transcendentalism (spiritual self & individualism), "Self Reliance"

▲Thoreau="Walden", disapproved of pressures of society & government

▲Hawthorne=Romanticism (sin & guilt are natural human qualities), "Scarlet Letter"

▲Whitman=controversial, uncensored free thinking

how it was recieved

▲Public opinion=varying

▲Some of the specifics were not so widely accepted

▲General concepts did reflect the coming shift in society, took time to catch on