Ch 11: American Romantic Literature

About This Chapter

Join our instructors on a journey into the Dark Romanticism of American literature. Explore the lives and writings of famous American authors and analyze their romantic style. As you read and review great literature and poetry, interpret and analyze the themes and writer's craft that create a sense of romance.

American Romantic Literature - Chapter Summary

While working through this chapter, you will learn how to identify elements of the Romantic style. You will apply your understanding of the Romantic structures on writing to the works of Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, and Lovecraft. By analyzing the histories and writings of these American classics writers, you will investigate the influence of the lives of these great writers on their literary style. The instructors will guide you in finding effective strategies to compare each author's style to the characteristics of Dark Romanticism. When you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Construct a list of the characteristics of Dark Romanticism in literature
  • Analyze American literature and prose for elements of Romanticism
  • Draw conclusions about the influence of an author's life on their writing style and themes
  • Summarize the major works of Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, and Lovecraft

Professional instructors will guide you in your study of American literature through concise video lessons. You can easily review specific points in the lessons by using the Timeline feature of the video player. Transcripts of the lessons are also provided for you to review. Be sure to make use of the self-assessment quizzes, as well. They will provide helpful feedback on your progress understanding the specific ideas presented in the chapter.

6 Lessons in Chapter 11: American Romantic Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Dark Romantics in American Literature

1. The Dark Romantics in American Literature

This video introduces the characteristics of Dark Romanticism, a movement at the end of the Romantic period where literature embodied creepy symbols, horrific themes, and explored the psychological effects of guilt and sin. Authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote short stories, poems, and novels that encouraged Americans to see evil in everything.

Dark Romanticism Characteristics

2. Dark Romanticism Characteristics

Deep grief, insanity, criminality, the grotesque and the bizarre are some of the subjects explored by writers categorized by the label Dark Romanticism. These writers focus on the darker aspects of emotion and nature.

Edgar Allan Poe: Biography, Works, and Style

3. Edgar Allan Poe: Biography, Works, and Style

This video introduces Edgar Allan Poe, the father of the modern mystery story. Through his works, like 'The Raven' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' Poe reflected the characteristics of Dark Romanticism by creating horrific storylines and characters while exploring the dark, irrational depths of the human mind.

Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

4. Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

Like many great people, Herman Melville was misunderstood during his time. Watch this video to find out why the author of the famous novel 'Moby Dick' died almost as a complete unknown.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

5. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

Who was Nathaniel Hawthorne? Well, besides being a brooding guy with a bit of a dark past, he was one of the most famous writers from early America. Learn more about him and his view of the Puritan belief system in this video.

HP Lovecraft: Biography & Quotes

6. HP Lovecraft: Biography & Quotes

In this lesson, we will learn about the life of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the earliest American horror and science fiction writers. We will also list some well-known quotes from his fiction, letters, and critical work.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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