Romantic Writers of the Amer. Renaissance

| February 3, 2014

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Both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman were per-eminent writers in the Romantic Movement that typified many of the social and political ideas apparent in the mid-19th century. Both were spokesmen for intellectual self-awareness and for a cultural independence for the new American nation; they both reveal an interest in and respect for nature and the relationship of man to nature. They were patriots and democrats, themes that are also reflected in much of their writing. Readings See the Web Links and the Content File icon for access to the following readings. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self Reliance” Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself” Using excerpts from “Self Reliance” by Emerson and “Song of Myself” by Whitman, develop a two-page essay addressing the following questions: In what specific ways did Emerson and Whitman reflect the ideals of democracy? Who was to enjoy the fruits of this democracy? How do they view independence and self-reliance? What does Emerson recommend about cultural independence of the United States? Does Whitman reflect this same confidence in solely American intellectual trends? In what ways were these men visionaries, reflecting the spirit of social experimentation characteristic of the age in which they lived? Why may they be said to be “Romantics”? What is their view of nature and man’s relation to it? When you have completed your essay, submit it using the Assignments tool by the due date listed in the course calendar.
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