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In general American literature during the first half of the 19th century is categorized under the Romantic Movement The movement began in an Era of Good Feeling when Americans felt proud of their young and rapidly expanding country The good feelings are reflected in William Cullen Bryants poems The rise of Transcendentalism brought about a change in attitude and philosophy to a more critical and analytical tone Finally toward the end of the Romantic Movement writers such as Herman Melville became anti- transcendentalist The changes in language and philosophy during the Romantic Movement are in the writings of Bryant Emerson and Hawthorne In the early Romantic Period people felt proud of their country as it expands westward Literature such as Bryants poems was also optimistic In Thanatopsis though the tone is elegiac the recurring themes are optimistic God is seen in love truth liberty and justice Human progress is viewed as a good thing The narrator learns a lesson from the determination of the fowler to carry on despite its toils Thus the waterfowl is a fairly noble image In both poems Bryant presents some images and deduces themes from them As the Era of Good Feeling passed and the frontier disappearing tensions arose between regions of the country Again these changes are reflected in literature Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his poems and essays with many descriptions and observations In Ode numerous images and descriptions are used to urge men to live for friendship and love He also feels the state should follow men not vive versa Emersons writings are much more critical and analytical of society than earlier writers In the latter stages of the Romantic Movement authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne opposed transcendentalism They felt that it was too optimistic and nave Hawthorne saw the
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