A Study Of Literature "Isms' Essay, Research Study Of Literature "Isms' People change through every generation. But the bidding force through all the generations has been literature. There are four essential classifications for literature, romanticism, realism, naturalism, and existentialism. Romanticism centers "around art as inspiration, the spiritual and aesthetic dimension of nature, and metaphors of organic growth' (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayist and Poets'). VanSpanckeren says that in his essay "The Poet', Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most influential writer of the Romantic era, asserts: For all men live by truth, and stand in need in expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret.

The man is only half himself, the other half is expression (qtd. in "The Romantic Period: Essayist and Poets'). Romantic literature came from a reaction to the neoclassicism and formal orthodoxy of the preceding period (Holman and Harmon). "Romanticism arose so gradually and exhibited so many phases that a satisfactory definition is not possible' (Holman and Harmon).

According to VanSpanckeren, the development of the self became a major theme in romanticism; self- awareness was a primary method. According to the Romantic theory, self and nature are the same, and self- awareness is not a selfish dead end but a mode of knowledge opening up the universe (VanSpankeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). With this new found idea of self, new compound words with positive meanings emerged: self- realization, self- expression, and self- reliance (VanSpankeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayist and Poets'). Romanticism stresses individualism, affirmed the value of the common person, and looked to the inspired imagination for its aesthetic and ethical values (VanSpankeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). In New England, Romanticism prospered, the New England transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and their associates, were inspired to a new optimistic affirmation by the romanticism ideas (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). The transcendentalists believed that the soul of each individual was thought to be identical with the world (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayist and Poets').

Some examples of romantic writers are the New England transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, and William Ellery Channing), Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Edgar Allen Poe (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). The New England transcendentalist carried the expression of philosophical and religious ideas to a high level through essays and lectures (Holman and Harmon). Ralph Waldo Emerson's first publication, Nature, shows his romantic view of life of how human being should enjoy the universe in the opening of the essay: Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchers of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes.

Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs. Embosom ed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past… ? The sun shines today also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship (qtd.

in VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). Oliver Wendell Holmes' work was renowned because his work was marked by his refreshing versatility (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). His works interpreted everything from society and language to medicine and human nature (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Essayists and Poets'). In one of his philosophical poems, "The Chambered Nautilus', in the last line he writes, "Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!' (Holmes 35). Edgar Allen Poe's poems told of solitary individuals witnessing lonely visions from the grave (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Fiction'). One of his best known poems, "The Raven', the haunted, sleepless narrator, who had been mourning the death of his "lost Lenore' at midnight, is visited by a raven that perches above his door and ominously repeats the poem's famous refrain, "nevermore' (VanSpanckeren, "The Romantic Period: Fiction').

The poem ends with in a frozen scene of death-in-life: And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted — nevermore! (Poe 103-08) Realism can be defined as the faithful representation of reality or verisimilitude (Campbell, "American Realism'). Realism is practiced by many schools of writing, it denotes a particular kind of subject matter, especially representation of middle class life (Campbell, "American Realism'). Campbell states that "a reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the systematizing of the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy all effected the rise of realism'. One of the principles of realism are insistence upon and defense of the experienced commonplace (Reuben). Another principle of realism that the character is more important than the plot (Reuben). Some realism techniques are that the setting is familiar to the writer, the plot emphasizes the norm of daily experience, ordinary characters are studied in depth, and it is a world truly reported (Reuben).

Some styles of realism were frontier humor and realism, local color, Midwestern realism, and cosmopolitan novels. The frontier humor and realism stories were told in rugged frontier villages, on river boats, in mining camps, and around cowboy campfires far from city amusements, the storytelling flourished (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Each region had its own brand of colorful characters around which stories were collected, some examples were: Casey Jones, the brave railroad engineer; John Henry, the steel-driving African American; and Paul Bunyan, the giant logger whose fame was helped along by advertising (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Another form of realism, which closely resembled the frontier humor was local color. "What set the local colorists apart is their self- conscious and exclusive interest in rendering a given location, and their scrupulously factual, realistic technique' (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Some famous local colorists were Mark Twain and Bret Harte (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism').

Harte's adventurous story set along the western mining frontier, "The Outcasts of the Poker Flat' was one of the first great successful attempts of local color (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Another form of realism, Midwestern realism, carefully interweave d social circumstances with the emotions of ordinary middle-class Americans (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). The main Midwestern realism author was William Dean Howells, his novels A Modern Instance, The Rise of Silas Lapham, and A Hazard of New Fortunes were great examples of realism (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Another form of realism, the cosmopolitan novel, had an "international theme', with complex relationships between naive Americans and cosmopolitan Europeans (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism').

Some great cosmopolitan novelists were Henry James and Edith Wharton. They were both able to write about Europeans growing up and spending time in there adult life there. Some of James famous novels were Transatlantic Sketches, The American, Daisy Miller, and A Portrait of a Lady (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Some of Wharton's famous novels were The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, Summer, The Age of Innocence, and a novella Ethan Frome (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism').

Campbell states in "Naturalism in American Literature', that the term naturalism describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Unlike realism, naturalism implies a philosophical position that human beings are "human beasts' which can be studied through their relationships with their surroundings (Campbell, "Naturalism in American Literature'). Through this study of human beings, writers of naturalism believe that the laws behind the forces of human nature could be studied and understood (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). Naturalistic writers studied human beings governed by their instincts and passions and well as how their lives were governed by forces of heredity and environment (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). The naturalists used the same techniques as the realists to accumulate detail, they had a specific object in mind when they chose the segment of reality they wished to convey (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature').

Naturalism is the literary expression of determinism, associated with bleak, realistic depictions of lower-class life (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). Determinism denies religion as a motivating force of the universe and perceives the universe as a machine (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). In that same light, "Naturalists imagined society, instead, as a blind machine, godless and out of control' (VanSpanckeren, "The Rise of Realism'). In naturalist writings, characters are frequently but not invariably ill-educated or lower-class characters whose lives are governed by the forces of heredity, instinct, and passion (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). The characters' attempts at free will or choice are normally stopped by force beyond their control (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). "Walcott says that the naturalistic novel offers ‘ clinical, panoramic, slice-of-life' drama that is often a ‘ chronicle of despair'' (qtd.

in Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). Some of the themes in naturalistic writing are survival, determinism, and violence (Campbell, "Naturalism in Literature'). Another recurring theme in naturalistic work is that the story usually deals with dull everyday life with the main protagonist rising above it ("Realists and Naturalists'). One of the best examples of naturalism is Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat'. In this story, Crane shows us a Universe totally unconcerned with the affairs of human kind (Voegele). Voegele states that in the story the characters come face to face with this indifference and are nearly overcome by Nature's lack of concern.

The characters survive through persistence and cooperation (Voegele). The story opens with four men, known simply as the captain, the oiler, the correspondent, and the cook, stranded in the ocean in a small boat (Crane 57-8). Crane shows in the beginning nature's lack of concern for the group's tragedy: "The birds sat comfortably in groups, and they were envied by some in the dinge y, for the wrath of the sea was no more to them than it was to a covey of prairie chickens a thousand miles inland' (Crane 60). The characters in "The Open Boat' come to realize that the only way to survive in nature is though sympathy and concern for other human beings (Voegele). Crane reveals this to us in through the character of the correspondent (Voegele). Crane tells us that he had been taught to be cynical of men, but his shared tragedy with the other three men on the boat forced him to form a comradeship that goes beyond mere associations (61).

"The Open Boat' gives us a dose of reality that starts off bitter but gradually conjures up emotions and in the end stands a testament to the human spirit (Voegele). The next literature "ism' is the most difficult to define. The beliefs of existentialism are that mankind has free will, life is a series of choices that create stress, few decisions are without any negative consequences, some things are irrational without explanation, and the one the makes the decision must follow through on, his or her, decision ("Existentialism: An Introduction '). Existentialism is typically thought to be have brought about by Kierkegaard ("Existentialism- Phenomenology'). Kiekegaard was a critic of the Christian churches of his day, which he felt contributed to the forgetfulness of "existence' (Existentialism- Phenomenology'). By "existence' Kiekegaard meant that the human being was cast into an unfinished world and the individual was responsible for his or her choice ("Existentialism- Phenomenology').

Kiekegaard believed that human beings had the free choice, and the choice was made in the face of the unknown and lead to recognition that one's choices our one's own, despite the fact that one can never know for certain whether these choices will bear out in the end ("Existentialism- Phenomenology'). "Kiekegaard held great contempt for those who relied on the "crowd' to take responsibility for individual choice' ("Existentialism- Phenomenology'). According to Kiekegaard, one must answer to God as an individual, apart from the crowd ("Existentialism- Phenomenology'). Some well-known thinkers that helped establish this brand of thought were Freidrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Karl Marx ("Existentialism- Phenomenology'). The are certain characteristics that all existentialist share. They are that they are obsessed with how to live one's live and believe that philosophical and psychological inquiry can help (Corbett).

They believe that all human beings must answer questions about their existence such as about death, the meaning of life, the place of God in existence, the meaning of value, interpersonal relationships, and the place of self r elective conscious knowledge of one's self in existing (Corbett). Existentialists believe that life is very difficult and it does not have an "objective', and that the individual must create value by affirming it and living it, not talking about it (Corbett). Existentialists often find that literary characterizations rather than more abstract philosophical thinking; are the best way to show existential struggles (Corbett). Existentialists take free will as absolute common sense (Corbett). Sometimes there are arguments for free will in Existentialism literature, but those arguments are for the "outsiders', because the "insiders' do not even think twice about free will (Corbett). One of the best examples of existentialist literature is Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

In most of Dostoevsky's work, the philosophical ideas of existentialism are done in an indirect manner through unfolding the destinies of his characters (Gallagher). Crime and Punishment's main character, Raskolnikov starts out to test his existentialist "superior man theory' (Gallagher). According to Raskolnikov, all men are divided into two categories ordinary and extraordinary (Roberts 69). The ordinary man can do nothing but produce his own kind he is inferior (Roberts 69). He has to live in submission and cannot break the law because he is and will always be ordinary (Roberts 69).

According to Raskolnikov, the extraordinary men have the to commit any crime and to break the law because they are extraordinary (Roberts 69). They are extraordinary men because they are able to forge civilization onward to new heights of achievements (Roberts 69). According to this theory, since these achievements benefit all mankind, an extraordinary man has the inner right to decide whether or not to overstep the law or any other obstacle that stands in the way of his idea (Roberts 69). Raskolnikov thinks he is a extraordinary man, so he murders the pawnbroker lady to see if he has the courage to break the law (Gallagher). He ends up being tortured with guilt and repenting and gladly being sent away to a prison in Siberia (Gallagher). In conclusion, the four essential classifications of literature are very broad and easy to define.

The bidding force throughout time, literature, will live on through many generations. 15 bc Campbell, Donna. "Naturalism in American Literature.' Literary Movements. 14 January 1999. 9 December 1999 — . "American Realism.' Literary Movements.

23 August 1999. 9 December 1999 Corbett, Bob. "What is Existentialism.' My Philosophy Page. March 1985. Webster University Philosophy Department. 15 December 1999 Crane, Stephen.

"The Open Boat.' The Open Boat and Other Stories. Dover Publications, 1993. 57-77 "Existentialism: An Introduction.' Christopher Scott Wyatt: Home Page. 7 October 1999.

14 December 1999 "Existentialism- Phenomenology.' Mythos & Logos. 23 December 1998. 9 December 1999 Gallagher, Jay. "Dostoevsky as Philosopher.' Lecture Notes, Philosophy 151. 12 March 1999. UCDavis Philosophy Department.

15 December 1999 Holmes, Oliver Wendell. "The Chambered Nautilus.' 1858. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894). 13 December 1999 Holman, Hugh, and William Harmon. "Romanticism.' A Handbook to Literature, Sixth Edition. Ed.

Ann Woodlief. 24 October 1998 Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Raven.' 1845. 9 December 1999 'Realists and Naturalists.' Mr.

Kilmer's Home Page. 3 October 1998. 13 December 1999 Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 5: Late Nineteenth Century – An Introduction.' PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. 15 December 1999 Roberts, James L.

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9 December 1999 Voegele, Jason. "Naturalism in ‘ The Open Boat.' ' Essays and Opinions. 15 December 1999 Works Cited Campbell, Donna. "Naturalism in American Literature.' Literary Movements. 14 January 1999.

9 December 1999 — . "American Realism.' Literary Movements. 23 August 1999. 9 December 1999 Corbett, Bob. "What is Existentialism.' My Philosophy Page. March 1985.

Webster University Philosophy Department. 15 December 1999 Crane, Stephen. "The Open Boat.' The Open Boat and Other Stories. Dover Publications, 1993. 57-77 "Existentialism: An Introduction.' Christopher Scott Wyatt: Home Page. 7 October 1999.

14 December 1999 "Existentialism- Phenomenology.' Mythos & Logos. 23 December 1998. 9 December 1999 Gallagher, Jay. "Dostoevsky as Philosopher.' Lecture Notes, Philosophy 151. 12 March 1999. UCDavis Philosophy Department.

15 December 1999 Holmes, Oliver Wendell. "The Chambered Nautilus.' 1858. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894). 13 December 1999 Holman, Hugh, and William Harmon. "Romanticism.' A Handbook to Literature, Sixth Edition. Ed.

Ann Woodlief. 24 October 1998 Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Raven.' 1845. 9 December 1999 'Realists and Naturalists.' Mr. Kilmer's Home Page.

3 October 1998. 13 December 1999 Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 5: Late Nineteenth Century – An Introduction.' PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. 15 December 1999 Roberts, James L.

, ed. Cliffs Notes on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliffs Notes, 1963. VanSpanckeren, Kathryn. "The Rise of Realism: 1860-1914.' Outline of American Literature. United States Information Agency.

9 December 1999 — . "The Romantic Period, 1820-1860: Essayists and Poets.' Outline of American Literature. United States Information Agency. 9 December 1999 — . "The Romantic Period, 1820-1860: Fiction.' Outline of American Literature. United States Information Agency.

9 December 1999 Voegele, Jason. "Naturalism in ‘ The Open Boat.' ' Essays and Opinions. 15 December 1999.