This week in Den’ja Pommarane’s English class marks the beginning of a new literary unit: Romanticism. 

Romanticism was an artistic, literary and musical movement from the end of the 18th century to approximately 1850 and was stylized to glorify the individual and nature, preferring the medieval over the classical. 

Books such as “Moby Dick”, “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Last of the Mohicans” demonstrate the style of romanticism, focusing on the sublimity of nature and how the individual is and should be one with nature, connected to everything. 

“Moby Dick” shows this motif through its white whale, personified to be omniscient and omnipresent, with Captain Ahab pursuing it over everything else, shows how the individual is connected with everything, chasing the sublime.

“The Last of the Mohicans” focuses more on the doctrine of Calvinism, that everything is predestined, with nature in control and that it is better to just go with the flow of it than to try and fight nature. 

“The Scarlet Letter” shows the importance of the individual but the cruelty of humans, with an unknown husband almost ruining a woman’s life, but showing the protection of nature, when she goes back to live in her old cabin in the woods.

Den’ja has started with showing his students paintings from the romanticism era, and talking about how they show how people want to be in nature and that it creates a sense of euphoria. 

In the past, later on in the unit Den’ja has given his students a choice between these three books along with others, and has his students read them and write papers about how they relate to romanticism and what message they convey. However, this year they might do something different to study the romanticism period.

The English 9 class at LHS studies multiple literary movements, ranging from nativism, with works like “Pachee Goyo”, to Puritanism with “The Crucible”, then moving on to the Enlightenment period, focusing on science with works like “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine. 

Romanticism follows the enlightenment, winging away from hard facts in response to the movement before it, with it ending after the “Battle of Fort Sumter” with The Civil War, comes Realism. After this movement Modernism responds with “different thinking”, and Post-Modernism being the movement we are currently in, with all authors having an agenda they want to push, trying to make a point regarding social issues. 

Overall the Romanticism unit is an exciting and unique literary movement that tries to explain our longing to be in nature, to experience the sublime and to know what drives us to do the things that we do.

Romanticism Challenges the idea that the fanciful doesn’t have application, that imagination is the most powerful tool and gift to a person. 

The students of Den’ja’s American Literature class will be in for an exciting adventure through the human condition and the problems they face while chasing the desires of their hearts.