Romanticism Vs Transcendentalism

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The English poet William Wordsworth once wrote, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” In this quote, Wordsworth demonstrates a love for nature, a key spect to the literary movement known as Romanticism. Romanticism is a term to describe a style of literature that focuses on a love of nature, the independence of man, and the quest of the individual to define himself. In addition, the Transcendentalist movement focuses on nature, but with an added religious aspect. Romanticism supports religion, but believes it to be an external force. On the other hand, Transcendentalism supports the idea that God is inside all of us and all humans are innately good. As the name suggests, Dark Romanticism is a subset of Romanticism that emphasizes…show more content…
As someone who would never be described as religious, I simply cannot see myself aligning with the Transcendentalists, who believe in letting a higher power guide them through life. With Romanticism, there is a sense of spirituality, sometimes seen in the form of a divine being like God, and other times through the personification through nature, such as in William Cullen Bryant’s Thanatopsis, “To him who in the love of Nature holds/Communion with her visible forms, she speaks.” When Nature became something more than a construct, when it took on a pronoun and even spoke, it morphed into something otherworldly. I’m not spiritual and don’t believe things have an inner spark light of God, I believe that we can choose to be spiritual and religious. This theme is evident in a poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow when he wrote, “And ever and anon, the wind,/Sweet-scented with the hay,/Turned o’er the hymn-book’s fluttering leaves/That on the window lay.” In A Gleam of Sunshine, he perfectly displays references to religion with the hymn book, and yet it doesn’t give off an overwhelming sense of holiness. There’s a personal choice here, as if the reader can choose to pick up the book of hymns or not. The spirituality is here for the taking, but it’s our personal freedom and our understanding of nature that helps us

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