American Neoclassicism

Essay by shanniebushellHigh School, 11th grade October 2014

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Shannon Bushell

Honors American Literature

Lesson #9

American Neoclassicism

Literature is a huge part of America, but many people lack knowledge on how America's literature transformed into what it is today. Neoclassicism was a revived interest in classical forms and ideas that saturated American intellectual thought, fine arts and politics during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There are three main things that are taken into consideration regarding neoclassicism, which are its history, the fundamental writers who contributed to the idea, and the impact it has today on America.

Neoclassicism has a whole lot of history surrounding it. "The Neoclassical style arose from such first-hand observation and reproduction of antique works and came to dominate European architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts," (Gontar 1). Neoclassicism was based off ancient ideas and soon took over many aspects of arts in Europe. Neoclassicism was a very powerful and intellectual idea that transformed art and made it into something amazing.

"Economical mass printing, affordable books and engraved drawings helped to stimulate interest and spread neoclassical taste. Academies, publishers, libraries and museums moved neoclassical ideas forward with accelerating velocity and at all levels of culture," (Sewall 1). Various organizations and facilities contributed in making neoclassicism thrive and improve. If it weren't for the help of those spreading the concepts and ideas, neoclassicism wouldn't be as big a part of American literature as it is to this day. However, neoclassicism wouldn't have any history at all if it weren't for the people who contributed in creating this beautiful concept.

Neoclassicism had various fundamental writers who contributed in making neoclassicism something great, but the concept wasn't as easy as it looked. In the book called Outline of American Literature by Kathryn VanSpanckeren, Timothy Dwight is introduced. Dwight was a talented writer who attempted to utilize neoclassicism in...