American Romanticism And Nonconformism

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American Romanticism was a time period consisting of one of the first “big” literary movements in the United States. This time period was made up of a group of authors who wrote and published many works when the United States was still trying to set itself in stone as a new nation. Amongst the writers of the American Romantic time period was an author by the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson who displayed his ideas of nonconformity. With this new movement also came painters who helped visualize these ideas of nonconformity and making the United States their own individual nation. Alongside these American Romantic painters was a man by the name of Emanuel Leutze who visually showed the ideas of a “new beginning” for the United States through his paintings. Between Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Circles” and Emanuel Leutze’s painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” we can see how the ideas of nonconformity can relate with regards to their thematic and stylistic similarities. Ralph Waldo Emerson sees a sort of “circle” in everything in life where he believes that every end is only a new beginning for the future. This whole idea that every end is only a new beginning can be seen when Emerson states, “the eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary picture is repeated without end” (Emerson 286). This same theme can also be seen in the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze where former president

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