The American Romantic Hero


Since the founding of America, up to the early 1800s American authors did not have their own voice.  They stuck mainly to European themes and structures and were seen mainly as unsophisticated and uncivilized “copy-cat” authors.  This insult was turned around with the creation of the American Romantic hero.

The following is a list of qualities that the American Romantic hero possesses.  While watching the film, give at least three specific examples of how the hero meets the requirements for an American Romantic hero.


n      Youthful, innocent, and pure of heart




n      Has a sense of honor based not on society’s rules, but on a higher principle




n      Knowledge of life/people through intuition = street smarts




n      Loves nature; avoids city-life




n      Quests for a “higher truth” in the natural world