Romanticism In American Literature

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Throughout the time of slavery, literature changed as quickly as America. It helped open up the eyes of the people, helped bring the people closer together, and helped solve the one problem that destroyed a nation. The Civil War and slavery helped shape literature in a way that was necessary for the reassembling of a country. Slavery and the Civil War made literature all about telling the truth whether it was beautiful or not, ignore the propaganda published by the newspapers, and focusing on the common people and the problems they suffered from. Before slavery, literature was all about the beautiful in the world. Romanticists cherished nature and emotions, and used this as their main topic in their literature. As slavery appeared throughout…show more content…
This gave hope to a new group of writers; the Gothics. The Gothics wrote about death and suffering in life. They wished to send out the message that life was not all about the beautiful. Writers from this group believed that everyone had something evil hidden inside of them (Brians). The American Gothics, also called The Brooding Romantics, were the closest thing to realism, however, Gothics usually included a villain in their stories, and always something dark. Realism wrote, unlike romanticists, about the real life. There were stories about the good life, but also stories about war and death. They wanted to send out the message that no genre had been able to so far; they drew a picture of the real world using literature (Brians). Realist writers wrote, unlike romanticists, from a realistic perspective. They wrote about ordinary people with normal problems and normal struggles. They focused on problems in society, and wanted to open the eyes of the people through their literature. Characters were often more important than the actual plot, and they were always shown in their natural position with normal emotions to show natural reactions. Usually in realistic writing, the ending is predictable. Realistic writers tended to skip the dramatic effects, and go straight to the climax, just like it would happen in real life. Realism was all about the real world, and what happened around…show more content…
Ambrose Bierce served for the Union during the Civil War, which almost got him killed when he got shot in the head by a Southern soldier. After the war, he chose to focus on literature, mostly to write about his experiences from the Civil War, and about reality as he saw it. These stories often included death and satiric elements. He used this satire to bring out strong point of views of war and death, which earlier was seen as something heroic and brave (Hart). Another famous writer from the realistic era was Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman feared that the civil war would divide his dear and beautiful country, if it did not end before violence was used. When he heard that his brother, George Whitman, was hurt, he made the travel to Virginia to see him. He chose to become an unofficial nurse for the wounded Northern and Southern soldiers. Whitman said in “Battle of Bull Run, July, 1861: The dream of humanity, the vaunted Union we thought so strong, so impregnable — lo! it seems already smash’d like a china plate. One bitter, bitter hour — perhaps proud America will never again know such an hour. She must pack and fly — no time to spare.

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