The Romantic Era was ground into dust by the Civil War.
The blood of tens of thousands of Union soldiers not only cleansed the nation of slavery and united 38 states into "one nation," it also ended the idealism and recklessness that we find in writers like Whitman and Thoreau.
Yet there are still Romantics among us--there always will be.
If you're interested in more contemporary stories of people
whose love for nature and extreme individualism carried on the traditions of the Romantic writers, you may be interested in these source.
- Best-selling writer, Jon Krakauer, traced the story of Chris McCandless in his book, Into the Wild. McCandless gave up all ties to society and family and wandered the American West as a vagabond, until his untimely death in Alaska. Sean Penn directed a high-quality movie based on the book in 2007
- Another American Romantic, Everett Ruess, disappeared in the canyons of southern Utah in 1934. His story and his motivation inspire lovers of the outdoors, even today. I first learned of him through the article, "What Happened to Everett Ruess?" It's a great, great read.
Bonus: Read or watch one of the sources listed above and demonstrate the connections you found between these individuals and Romanticism (be sure to use at least one quote from the person or the story).
Are there other artists/singers/writers today who are Romantics? Find a modern-day Romantic and make the case to Mr. Dittes for their inclusion in the Pantheon.