Beauty of being Alone
“Laying in the meadow, the wind the perfect temperature. The flowers smell like heaven, you eyes are closed and you are feeling the relaxation of the world. This is the beauty of being alone. This is the general idea of romanticism. There are many parts or types of romanticism. The different types are dark romanticism, anti-transcendentalism, and American Gothic. They all deal with Romanticism yet, they all have different qualities tying them together. Romanticism focuses on beauty, love, sadness, loss, supernatural, or darkness. Writers went away from religion, they still believed, but they wanted to make stories about the darkness or sins that even the Bible talks about. There was more writing for entertainment rather than truth.
The mind is a very curious and dangerous thing. Writers could have questioned or got bored about writing toward belief, so they started to write about stories on based upon fiction or tragic events. Romanticism focuses mainly on the beauty or wonderful parts of life because before the darkness people may have wanted to believe that all things are beautiful and bright. Which this is seen all around the world everyday. It is seen in art, literature, movies, shows, and many more ways. For example, Thomas Cole is a well known artist that painted an peice called, “ The Oxbow.”(Cole, 1835) Made in 1835. This piece is and example of Romanticism. As stated before, Romanticism is focused on the beauty and and goodness in the world. In this artwork, you can easily see that it is a landscape but it looks like a beautiful place to be. With the trees and the river. You can imagine yourself there and in a peaceful mind state, hearing the wilderness around. The birds chirping, wind blowing. Yet, not all artworks or artistic projects are just this type of Romanticism.
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Dark Romanticism is generally focused on the evil. Which in the artwork, you can see an evil figure on a white clothed lady and a dark evil looking horse in the background. This piece was made in 1781, when everyone was moving on from romanticism and going on to dark romanticism. Although, there are a lot of examples in of romanticism and its types in are, there are also examples in music. Most commonly, you can find romanticism in country music. For example, “ You’re an angle, tell me you’re never leaving, Cause you’re the first thing I know I can believe in, You’re holy, holy, holy….I’m high on loving you…..” (“”Florida Georgia Line H.O.L.Y,”” 2016) This is a song is called H.O.L.Y and its by Florida Georgia Line produced in 2016. This song, explains that a man loves a woman and she is the only thing he believes in. That she is the person that he loves most. This song focuses mainly on the love aspect of romanticism. In a way, love can be beautiful too. As stated before, romanticism is found everywhere if you are willing to look.
A type of romanticism is Anti-Transcendentalism. It was developed from puritan thoughts. Anti- Transcendentalism basically means that not everyone is “good.” This type of romanticism lacked optimism and was a very negative type of writing. Anti- Transcendentalism focuses on the relationship between good and evil. For example, the battle between angels and demon. This was all about how demons are the darkness, sinful, and trouble part of life. Angels are the good, the helpers of god, and the attended. They are like the protectors of all things good, and do not want darkness taking over. That is the general idea of the concept good versus evil or demons versus angels. Not only did Anti-Transcendentalism focus on the concept of good and evil but it also focuses on the dark side and madness of human nature. Yes, still meaning good or evil but the darkness of human, how gloomy human life could get or how sad it could be. It deals with evil, the sins of humans, and insanity.
Exactly how crazy can humans be? That’s the main question in Anti-Transcendentalism. How far human nature is going to go. What evils can humans do? Well, there is murder, deceit, abandonment, and many more. It is all about if human nature can feel guilty or if they can do a evil or horrible thing without the feeling of guilt. For example, if someone is married to someone and one day, they start fighting and fighting over and over again. Soon that fighting turns into an abusive situation. Yet, no matter how much they hurt you, your instincts tell you to still stay. What if that person’s human nature turns so evil that they end up killing them. Feeling little to no guilt. Can human nature turn that evil, that even in the most sinful situation, a person won’t feel anything. Another example would be Nathaniel Hawthorne. He is a New England writer that wrote the book, The Birthmark. The characters in this story are married and in this story the husband is worried for his wife over a mark on her face that made her beauty look flawed. So he did everything in his power to remove it. In modern-day, the husband was like a plastic surgeon so to speak. “ Shocks you my husband!…You cannot love what shocks you.” (CourseHero, n.d.) This is meaning that her husband was grossed out by her mark and when she found out she was not happy. Once the husband was obsessed with the removal of the birthmark, he finds a way to remove it even though it would be dangerous to his wife. She is willing to do anything to make him still love her, so in the end she drinks a potion that he says cures blots. So the wife drinks it and the mark fades. Once she wakes up, she says her last words and then dies. Leaving her husband. Today you see Anti-Transcendentalism in movies. For example, the Twilight series, or video games like Left for Dead. These would be he evil side of human beings. Human nature is and can be a horrible part of life if someone becomes sinful, evil, or dark.
American Gothic is another type of romanticism. It deals with guilt, ghosts, monsters. class or racial conflicts, rational versus irrational, puritanism, and the uncanny. The first novel writing began in 1765 from 1820. It began as a sophisticated joke and reader back then felt deceived by the fiction and were unhappy when it was revealed as a “modern” fake. Although the writers felt and started it as a joke, once the readers read about it being fiction, a lot people would keep reading and get swept up in the realness of it all even though they knew it was fiction. An example of American Gothic literature would be Horace Walpole.
Published The Castle of Otranto in 1764. One of the well known American Gothic stories would be Dracula, which was published in 1897, the first edition, by Bram Stoker. As many people know the story, Dracula is about a young lawyer named Jonathan Harker who travels to Castle Dracula in Transylvania to finish a real estate transaction with a man named Count Dracula. Many people from there warned him about where he was going, giving crucifixes and holy water, saying words that he translated to “vampire.” Once he gets to his destination he later realizes the longer he is there that this man has supernatural powers. On from there, later in the story, a man named Van Helsing helps him and defeats Dracula. There is a lot more detail between there but that is the summarized version. The supernatural was a big hit back then.
Mostly because it had to do with people or creatures that caused a bump in the night and frightened all. As readers read more and more about it, they became more popular over time. The danger and adventure is what drew people into the stories. As time went on, you would see supernatural stories, shows, movies, art, and many others. The writers were able to make it so influential to the readers that the elements were mainly focused on the victorian fiction. Gothic stories were explained to be as if you, “entering an old building means entering the stories of those who lived in it before.” (Mullan, 2014) That is how real the stories felt to the readers. As readers became more and more interested in the American Gothic literature, the more real a lot of the stories became to people.
The last type of romanticism is Dark Romanticism. It is the literary genre that took place during the 19th century. Dark romanticism focus on the darkness or evil about everything. For example, Henry Fuseli is a artist that made the piece, “ The Nightmare.” ( Paulson, n.d.) This piece is an example of Dark Romanticism. Dark Romanticism is generally focused on the evil. In the artwork, you can see an evil figure on a white clothed lady and a dark evil looking horse in the background. This piece was made in 1781, when everyone was moving on from romanticism and going on to dark romanticism. Dark Romanticism is self destruction, physiological effect of guilt, judgment, punishment, psychological of sin. This type main focused on how everything would affect them or others. They had to of been very focused how they treated themselves and others. It was steeped in emotion and expression of individualism.
In many situations, dark romanticism stories could mainly focus on that person or character. A great example would be Edgar Allan Poe. In one story by Poe, called The Raven, it talks about loss and guilt. That was what dark romanticism focused on. The darker parts of life, loss, death, and guilt. But, in this story it was about a lost loved, Lenore. “ Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”— Merely this and nothing more.” (Foundation, n.d.) This is a quote from The Raven, as you can see it is a great example of Dark Romanticism. Another example would be, Nathaniel Hawthorne. He is a great example of both Dark Romanticism and Anti-Transcendentalism. Hawthorne wrote the book The Scarlet Letter. Which is set in a puritan town in 17th century, Boston.
The book is mainly about loss as well. It was published in 1850.“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”(Foundation, n.d.) From this quote you can see that it could be telling you that people wear more than one face and sometimes cannot be trusted. As stated before, Dark Romanticism stories is mainly focused on sin, evil, guilt, and shame. It explains that not everyone is good, but that human nature can cause improper or horrible thoughts and actions. That we control these actions but is it more of what our human nature that brings us toward that darkness.
In Conclusion, Romanticism is based and focused on the joy, beauty, love, and wonderfulness of the world. Although there are different types of romanticism, Dark Romanticism, Anti-Transcendentalism, and American Gothic Literature. They all have to deal with human nature in some way or form. Whether, it is with creatures or people that go bump in the night or if its the insanity that human nature can cause. These types of romanticism show us that not everyone or anything is truely or fully good. There will always be a battle between good and evil. Whether it is between ourselves or others. In life, you see these types of romanticism in movies, shows, art, books, and many more. You can see all of these in everyday life you are willing to look as well. You can especially find romanticism in songs. As stated before with the song H.O.L.Y by Florida Georgia Line. Romanticism is all around us everyday.”