After the revolutionary, America experienced great political, economical, and social changes. Because of these changes, a spirit of nationalism developed. This sense of nationalism was created in literature as well. There was a shift from classicism, which emphasized reason over imagination, to romanticism, which emphasized emotions and the individual. Authors of the early 1800’s used a faith in nature, the past, and human psychology to express the ideals of romantic literature.
A faith in nature is one characteristic used by authors of the early 1800’s. James Fenimore Cooper is an excellent example of this. In his story “The Deerslayer” he states, “scalp for a scalp, life for life, blood for blood, is one law, to feed her young another. (Cooper 144). In this quote, Cooper recites basic law of nature. It is evident that he portrays these laws in his story to express his love of nature.
Another author who portrays a faith in nature is William Cullen Bryant. Bryant shows this in his poems “To a Waterfowl” and “Thanatopsis”. In his poem, “To a Waterfowl”, he states “There is a power whose care teaches thy way along that pathless coast”. (Bryant 151) In this quote, Bryant is sharing his belief that nature and religion are one. Another quote by Bryant which is stated in “Thanatopsis” is “When thoughts of the last bitter hour come like a blight over thy spirit, and images.” (Thanatopsis, Bryant 153). Bryant recites this in his poem to show that when one is thinking of death, they become sad. Because of these quotes, you can tell that Cooper and Bryant had different views of nature, but were on the same level.
Another characteristic used by authors of the early 1800’s is the past. An excellent example of this is Edgar Allen Poe. In his story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, Poe sates “He had come like a thief in the night.” (The Masque of the Red Death, Poe 180) Poe uses this phrase because it r...