The core idea of the American Dream, would be the individual citizens ability to achieve a level of existence, that would enable them to live their live to the fullest. To not only provide for themselves but also, include the opportunity to be able to provide for their families as well. As it stood for many, the attitude towards the American Dream would be one of a wistful state. Many would desire it and hope to achieve it. On the other side of the equation, there would be those that felt the elements of the American Dream would be nothing more, than a capitalist viewpoint and the encouragement of a mentality that promoted greed through mass acquiring of products. In the earlier days of the nation, the assessment of the American Dream would take on the appearance of an innocent and romantic idea, something that would have taken such an appearance if documented by those writers of the Romanticism era of literature. As literature would enter into the more realistic era of time, those earlier thoughts would in fact be adjusted to be more in line with the time period around them.
During the period of the romantics, well known authors would have included Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allen Poe. As for motivations during this period, "American poets like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Edgar Allen Poe were inspired by nature, patriotism, and religion to create inspirational and experimental poetic works," (Lombardi, p.1). With such relevance placed upon the notions of being patriotic in this instance, individuals such as Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson and Poe, would have found their beliefs of the power of the American Dream, to be heavily influenced by the period which they would have been writing. To have such a level of patriotism running through their respective veins, it would have only seemed natural to assert the benefits and strength of the nation and what it would offer to anyone who lived within it. With the inherent power that lies within the written word, the ability of an author to aide in the influence of ideas and discussion, would have been present and used by the very authors who published during the era itself. Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain, among others, would also be mentioned within the period of realism, thus bringing light to the varied level of period ability that each would have had, as it came to producing works during those points in time.
As it came to literature and the element of romanticism, it would have been, "The period between the "second revolution" of the Jacksonian Era and the close of the Civil War in America saw the testings of a nation and its development by ordeal. It was an age of great westward expansion, of the increasing gravity of the slavery question, of an intensification of the spirit of embattled sectionalism in the South, and of a powerful impulse to reform in the North. Its culminating act was the trial by arms of the opposing views in a civil war, whose conclusion certified the fact of a united nation dedicated to the concepts of industry and capitalism and philosophically committed to egalitarianism," (Harmon, et. al., p.1). Heavily emphasized morals and a predominant level of