American Romanticism : The Highest Expression Of Imagination

1721 WordsDec 23, 20147 Pages
American Romanticism is a journey away from the corruption of civilization and the limits of rational thoughts, and toward the integrity of nature and the freedom of imagination. In other words, it is a journey away from industrialism or rationalism, which is working hard and earning money. This movement, originally started in Europe and later reached in America. It can be best defined as a thought that values feeling and intuition over reason. Some of the characteristics include the importance of feeling and intuition over reason, placing faith in inner experience and the power of imagination, preferring youthful innocence over educated sophistication, finding beauty and reality in exotic locales. It encouraged people to enjoy the integrity of nature and freedom of imagination. It also encouraged one to have faith in imagination and inner experience. In addition, romanticists found inspiration in myth, legend, and folk culture and found poetry as the highest expression of imagination. Romanticists believed that the landscape was regarded as an extension of the human personality, capable of sympathy with man 's emotional state, whereas nature was regarded as a vehicle for spirit just as man; the breath of God fills both man and the earth. However, romantics would create chaos when the issues were connected with human rights, individualism, and freedom from oppression (Arpin 138-150). During the period of romanticism, a philosophy known as transcendentalism became famous.
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