Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2018)
American renaissance by many critics and ideals that strengthen America into a strong nation
Author(s): Mudasir Bashir, Abdul Rashid Teli, Asrar Amin Khan
Abstract: America in the nineteenth century witnessed many significant changes in various ways. It was a period in which many social and literary changes were taking place in America. No other period in the history of American literature is as rich and significant as this period. Therefore, this period was called as the American renaissance by many critics. The ideals that strengthen America into a strong nation came forth. It was a period marked by significant growth in American literature. This rich literary age saw the birth of one of the most important literary figure of America, namely Ralph Waldo Emerson. American literary power was at its peak during this time. For Walt Whitman, the famous American poet, this phenomenon began with Emerson: America of the future, in her long train of poets and writers, while knowing more vehement and luxuriant ones, will, I think, acknowledge nothing nearer this man, the actual beginner of the whole procession. (Richard Rudland and Malcolm Bradbery, 104) In 1941, F.O. Mathiessen completed a groundbreaking study of the major writers of the nineteenth century American literature. He studied Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman and their culture. However, he could find no title to describe the extraordinary episode he had examined. His friend and student, Hary Levin, proposed ‘American Renaissance’ and that is what Mathiessen finally called his study: The term is, however, imperfect, this was not a rebirth but a new beginning, as Emerson insisted and as Mathiessen himself said, observing that the period signaled America’s coming to its first maturity and affirming its rightful heritage in the whole expanse of art and culture. (Richard Rudland and Malcolm Bradbery, 104).