- Rebellion against the Puritans. The Puritans came to America for religious freedom, however, there was no separation between religion rules and state law. They were the same.
- Reaction to Transcendentalists. Transcendentalists believed in only the goodness of people while The Dark Romantics saw not only the goodness but of the dark and evil side to the spiritual truth.
- Lyceum Movement which is American Education and how important it was.
Values and Beliefs
The Dark Romantics believed the natural world is dark, decaying, and mysterious. Truth is evil and shows failure in individuals who attempt to change for the better. Presented themselves as prone to sin and self destruction, not possessing divinity and wisdom.
Genre and style
Believed that feelings, emotions, and imagination take priority over logic and facts. Children were thought as innocent and wise, and nature as beautiful and truth. Heroic individualism. Nostalgia for past. Desire or will as personal motivation. Symbolic characters such as Devils, ghosts, vampires, and ghouls. The gothics as a nightmare world of intense emotion and complex psychology. Focused on outcasts.
Significant authors and works
- Edgar Allan Poe (Tell Tale Heart 1843)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Birthmark 1843)
- Herman Melville (Moby Dick 1851)
- Emily Dickinson (Because I Could not Stop for Death)
- Mary Shelly (Falkner 1837)
This paragraph is from Tell Tale Heart (1843):
"True! -- nervous -- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed -- not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily -- how calmly I can tell you the whole story."
This paragraph has anaphora which is repeating a sequence of words at the beginning of neighboring clauses, for a emphasis effect. It also has alliteration.