What Made Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson Part of the Romantic Movement?

Decent Essays
What Made Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson Part of the Romantic Movement?

The Romantic Movement, or period, was from the year 1828 to about 1865. The main feature of the American Romantic period was the celebration and praise of individualism. This time is also considered to be the first period of genuine American creativity. Emotion, instead of reason, became the largest source of inspiration and creativity during this period. All of this was a reaction to all of the constraints that were forced on people during the era of Realism. At this time in history, America was in a great period of expansion, the writers of the American Romantic period were discovering that could create a new and vastly different voice for this new era in
…show more content…
Whitman was able to change people’s views on life and was able to give people something that they wanted and were looking for in his creation of a new writing style. His writing about real life experiences connected him well with the common man, which is another aspect of the Romantic period. Whitman is also thought of as the “father of free verse.” He enjoyed using free verse because it could further distinguish him from other writers of the past, and of his time. Emily Dickinson, who lived from 1830 to 1886, also had a large impact in the American Romantic period. However, she would never know of the impact she had due to the fact that her writings were not published until after her death. The subject of her poetry ranged from religion to nature, which both are large influences to this time. One poem that fits in very well with this era is “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” The poem begins by saying, “Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me; the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality.” This poem deals with human immortality and what occurs after we die. The desire for knowledge and wanting to understand what we currently do not are influences in American Romanticism. Dickinson seemed to be consumed with death and what happens to humans after death, she even wrote to a priest to ask what the state of mind was of a friend she had while he was on his deathbed. Her fascination with death played a major role in many of her
Get Access