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In this paper I will give an overview of the period in which the story The Birthmark was written and explain why it can be categorized as American Romanticism The paper will provide the evidence that Hawthorne may be called a dark romanticist regarding to the themes of romanticism The similarities and differences to romanticism within the story The Birthmark will be highlighted and explained in order to grasp the concept of romanticism and in particular compared to dark romanticismRomanticRomanticism has not much to do with the modern version of romance where it is mainly about love Romanticism originated in Germany in the late 1700s and spread over Europe arriving years later in America and lasting until 1860 The movement spread ideas and opinions over and reached America being contrasted by the Age of Reason The Age of reason was mainly concerned with the issues of enlightenment rationality and calculation which promised development in scientific fields Industrialization was flourishing and changing the lives of people People started moving into bigger cities looking for jobs and wealth The economic growth brought optimism and a feeling of control was present The human power over nature rose with the idea that anything could be conquered Urbanization was one result of it People moved to escape little towns farms and the wilderness in order to find richness and a comfortablematerialistic life At the same time cities became overcrowded places of filth A vast number of social conflicts arose due to unsafe working conditions discrimination against women and slavery issues Romanticists criticized this development the new way of life and the euphoria evoked by industrialization and science Their writings were a way to say No to the social environment an inner greed and a way to appeal to peoples minds and ethics Nature was the major theme in the romantic period and became a source of spirituality the place to search for oneself The ordinary man
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