American Romanticism, the Gothic, and Transcendentalism
American Romanticism followed European Romanticism by several years, and first appeared after the civil war. Like European Romanticism, it X, Y, and Z. However, the American experience was intensely individual. American Romanticism was more about the discovery of yourself, then about discovering the world through your own filter.
Neo-platonism – perfection is in ideas, the physical world is just an imperfect representation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was the leader of this school, but Henry David Thoreau and others, too
The gothic relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot. It is dedicated to the dark sides of human nature. Some literary critics believe the gothic is a way of engaging with questions about race (anxiety, legibility, or divisiveness of race).