American Literature: Romanticism

Model Assignments

Student Final Exam Samples 2015

final exam assignment

Mid-length essay (4-6 paragraphs): Review & prioritize your learning in American Romanticism.

Jonathon Anderson, A Long Time Coming

Melissa Hodgkins, Modernism and Fairy Tales: My Kind of Romance

Hanna Mak, American Romanticism: A Course Retrospect

Lori Wheeler, Romanticism: The New Frontier

Long Essay Questions

1.  Why do “desire and loss” re-appear so frequently in American Romantic texts, both as driving forces in the “romance” narrative and as indexes for Romantic values?

Gregory Buchanan, Philosophy and Literature United in American Romanticism

Roslynn Kelley, Desiring Desire and Preventing Loss: An Examination of Different Approaches in the Romantic Tradition of Desire and Loss.

Hanna Mak, The Relevance of Desire and Loss

Marichia Lee Wyatt, Falling Back in Love

2. How has American Romanticism continued or changed in post-Romantic American literature?—that is, literature after the Civil War and American Renaissance of the pre-Civil War generation of the1820s-1860s? . . .

Jonathon Anderson, “The early impressions remain”: Romanticism as Touchstone in American Literature

3. . . . Romanticism must adapt to a multi-racial and multicultural nation . . . . Write an essay involving three writers representing at least two of the three major early American races (or ethnicities) . . . .

Heather Schutmaat, The Romance Narrative in the Works of Douglass, Jacobs, and Stowe

4. Citing at least three authors, review and evaluate some varieties of the Gothic encountered this semester. Why does the Gothic recur so frequently . . . ? Why is it so adaptable to different environments, and what different purposes may it serve? . . .

Niki Bippen, The Haunting of American Romanticism

Melissa Hodgkins, Sin, Decay, & the Old South

Marissa Holland, Varieties of the Gothic

Roslynn Kelley, The Unconquerable Darkness: An Examination of Adaptations from European Gothic Romance Narratives into a New American Gothic.

5. Review and defend Romantic Poetry as an essential medium for American Romanticism, explicating 2-3 poems (one of which may be outside our course readings).

Jonathon Anderson, The Rejection of Learning in Freneau’s “The Indian Burial Ground” and Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

Gregory Buchanan, The Heroic Individual's Path from Isolation to Reconciliation in American Romantic Poetry

Hanna Mak, Approaching the Study of American Romantic Poetry

Lori Wheeler, Poetry and the Perpetual Dream

Marichia Wyatt, Short, Sweet, and Subjective

6. The "romance narrative" . . . Define the concept . . . . Describe its appearances in at least three of our texts, citing its potential variations for different writers and identities. For a theoretical angle, identify the potential value of studying narrative along with its conceptual challenges.

Gregory Buchanan, The Dark Romance Narrative

Heather Schutmaat, The Romance Narrative in the Works of Douglass, Jacobs, and Stowe

7. Write an essay concerning some persistent or occasional issue, problem, or theme significant to the course but overlooked by the previous questions.