Adherence to Greek and Roman aesthetics, rather than individual expression characterized Classicism. These restrictions resulted in a cultural movement that rejected all suppositions of idealism. Romanticism, and further in depth Transcendentalism, embraced invention, perceptibility, imagination and ingenuity. Through the writings of prominent authors including William Cullen Bryant, Edgar Allen Poe, Washington Irving, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, influence on literature is apparent. “Thanatopsis-, “Masque of the Red Death-, “The Devil and Tom Walker-, “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls-, “A Psalm of Life-, “Self-Reliance-, “Civil Disobedience- and Walden demonstrate this influence. Both Romanticism and Transcendentalism involve idealism; worth of the individual and democracy are alike in their correspondence; love of nature is consonantly observable; interest in the past and exotic antagonistically relates to social reform; interest in the supernatural is sui generis to Romanticism, analogous, naturalism to Transcendentalism; exclusive to the latter and inimitable, are intuition and individualism. .
Movement towards perfection, or idealism, is observable in Romanticism. William Cullen Bryant incorporated consummation in “Thanatopsis-: .
So live, that when they summons comes to join.
The innumerable caravan, which moves.
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take .
His chamber in the silent halls of death;.
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,.
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed.
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,.
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch.
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Bryant wrote of living fully and dying peacefully as ideal. Perfection is again visible in “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “The little waves, with their soft, white hands,/Efface the footprints in the sands-.