American Lit 1 - Test 2
American Lit 1 - Test 2 EH 201
Jacksonville State University
Popular in American Literature I
Popular in Foreign Language
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American Lit 1 – Test 2 • Benjamin Franklin – Autobiography o Scientist, printer, diplomat, humanist (liberal), humanitarian, rational/logical (logic has all the answers) o Embraced & demonstrated Neoclassical qualities o Believed in reality of world as experienced through senses (Deist) o Believed in progress through education & humanitarianism o Unique life – long life, 1 of 15 children, self taught § Father was a soap & candle maker § Father wanted to give him to the church as a preacher (needed college for t hat) § Great swimmer – taught lessons – swam across a river § Apprenticed with his brother as a printer o At the Print Shop § Wrote essays & slid them under the door at night & used pen name “Silence Dogood” § Brother goes to jail for offending the local authoritie s & Ben runs shop • Brothers have falling out, B en leaves & ends up in Philadelphia o Settles in Philadelphia § Sets up his own print shop § Publisher of Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper § Publisher of Poor Richard’s Almanack – pen name Richard Saunders – most famous work • Popularized sayings • Americana – American Folklore • Published every year for 25 years st • Some sayings were funny – America’s 1 humorist § Print shop & Almanack made him rich – symbol of the American dream o Most significant figure of the American Revolution § Signed Declaration of Independence, constructed & signed Constitution, wrote & signed Treaty of Paris o Constitutional Convention § Led a prayer to help Rebels; “God governs in the affairs of man” • Probably for the Theists in attendance o 20,000 people attended his funeral o Other inventions: Franklin stove, bifocals, lightning rod,Fire Department, 1 circulating library, & researched whirlwinds (tornadoes) § Stove – wood burning, to keep homes warm § Library – out growth of his Junto (club, borrowed books from each other) • Pg. 525-526 – club trades books o “a Proposition was made by me, that since our Books were often referr’d to in our Disquisitions upon the Queries, it might be convenient to us to have them all togethe r where we met, that upon Occasion they might be consulted; & by thus clubbing our Books to a common Library, we should, while we lik’d to keep them together, have each of us the Advantage of using the Books of all the other Members which would be nearly as beneficial as if each owned the whole. It was lik’d & agree to, & we fill’d one End of the Room with such Books as we could best spare.” • Pg.526 – people subscribed to give money to buy books o “& now I set on my foot the first Project of a public Nature, that for a Subscription Library. I drew up the Proposals, got them put into Form by our great Scrivener Brockden, & by the help of my Friends in the Junto, procur’d Fifty Subscribers of 40 Shillings each to begin with & 10 Shillings a Year for 50 Years, the Term our Company was to continue. We afterwards obtained a Charter, the Company being increas’d to 100. This was the Mother of all the North American Libraries now so numerous. It is become a great thing itself, & continually increasing” o “The Way to Wealth” – preface of Almanack § Concept: Framed Writing – story within a story • Examples: The Princess Bride, Canterbury Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights • Richard Saunders (author) à Father Abraham (Quotes Poor Ric hard) à Poor Richard § Biblical reference – Father Abraham – makes him seem wise § Franklin is good at promoting himself § Pg. 463 – people sit down, listen, leave, sin ; Sayings are good ideas but people don’t act on them • “Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, & approved the doctrine, & immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon” o The Autobiography § Most widely circulated, historical document, only writing of his long enough to be considered a book § Published after he died by his grandson • Published again later with revisions § Written in the form of Epistle (letters) – • Addressed to son, William - Illegitimate – raised by Ben & his wife (not hers) o Pg. 525 – Ben’s prostitutes - Expense - $ to prostitutes & illegitimate children § “In the mean time, that hard-to-be-govern’d Passion of Youth, had hurried me frequently into Intrigues with low Women that fell in my Way, which were attended with some Expense and great Inconvenience, besides a continual Risk to my Health by a Distemper which of all Things I dreaded, tho’ by great good Luck I escaped it.” – distemper = STDs § 1 of the 1 Secular Humanism (Promoting Individual) § Pg. 517 “Before I enter upon my public Appearance in Business, it may be well to let you know the then State of my Mind, with regard to my Principles & Morals, that you may see how far those influenc’d the future Events of my Life. My parents had early given me religious Impressions, & brought me through my Childhood piously in the Discerning Way; But I was scarce 12 when, after doubting by turns of several Points as I found them disputed in the different Books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some Books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the Substance of Serm ons preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an Effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them: For the arguments of the Deists which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much Stronger that the Refutations. In short I soon beca me a Deist.” • Believed in being moral & ethical – not for Biblical reasons; • Believed people were born good (Deist) • Supported & donated to churches – some people need church • Believed in God – but not Jesus as divine • Raised Presbyterian • Doubts that Jesus reveals himself outside Bible • Became Deist by reading books against Deism o Most well known representative of Deism o No personal prayers, God is clockmaker o More important to be a good person than to be in church o Did not believe in Elect § To be successful, you have to look it • Pg.523-524 – “In order to secure my Credit and Character as a Tradesmen, I took care not only to be in Reality Industrious & frugal, but to avoid all Appearances of the contrary. I dressed plainly; I was seen at no Places of the idle Divers ion; I never went out a-fishing or shooting; a Book, indeed, sometimes debauch’d me from my Work; but that was seldom, snug, & gave no Scandal; & to show that I was not above my Business, I sometimes brought home the Paper I purchas’d at the Stores, thro’ the Streets on a Wheelbarrow. Thus being esteem’d an industrious thriving young Man, & paying duly for what I bought, the Merchants who imported Stationery solicited my Custom, others propos’d supplying me with Books & I went on swimmingly.” o Buy paper for print shop, took it home in wheelbarrow so people saw him working hard, All about image § Business Lit – rags to riches - Hard work is key § Light, personal, entertaining § Didactic tthe – educate – make book educational § 3 parts – 4 part was never finished § Prosperity & economic growth are important ; Earthly rewards – success in this world § Shift from Puritan logic/enlightenment - Often compared to Edwards (spiritual) • J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur – Letters From an American Farmer o French – spent ½ of his life in the New World o Served in French Army in the French -Indian War – injured, leaves army & settles in NY, becomes farmer o Suspected as a trader by colonists & British sides of Revolutionary War § Takes 1 child & goes to England to escape war o 2 concepts about America: the new breed of American § The American Adam – person who comes to America is a new person § The Melting Pot – surpass original cultural beliefs o Publishes book with the same title in France but this book is pro -rebel (sides with Revolution) § Does the same thing in England – book is pro-monarchy § Trying to appeal to whoever he can sell to o Returns to America from France as a diplomat § Wife dead, home gone, kids with strangers – Indian Attack o Brought Alfalfa to America; introduced potatoes to France o Book has been compared to Walden – renewing life to nature o Compared to Ben Franklin – work ethic o Writes about America – book originally published in Europe in 12 parts § Very similar to autobiography – not an autobiography § Escapes war – anti-war book § Earliest piece of American lit that describes the differences between America & Europe § Main character – James Hector St. John – changed his name to match character § Written in letter form – Epistolary Technique – each letter is a chapter • Writes letters to correspond ent interested in America o Claims: America changes people, no religious differences – idealizes America § Idealizes Democracy § France is America’s ally during Revolutionary War – he foreshadows French Revolution § Writes to farmer in America; Letter III: What Is an American is response – pg.605 • “It is not composed, as in Europe, of great lords who possess everything, & of a herd of people who have nothing. Here are no aristocratical families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisib le power giving to a few very visible one; no great manufacturers employing thousands, no great refinements of luxury. The rich & the poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe.” o Difference between cultures regarding land § Europe – Feudalism – class distinction • Feudal lords own land – poor people live on it & work like slaves § America – get land if you want it, not as much class distinction • Land is defining factor – settle on it = yours • No national church or army to be forc ed to serve in • Farming is dignified way of life – promotes farming • “We are all animated with the spirit of an industry which is unfettered & unrestrained, b/c each person works for himself. If he travel s through our rural districts he views not the hostil e castle, & the haughty mansion, contrasted with the clay -built hut & miserable cabin, where cattle & men help to keep each other warm, & dwell in meanness, smoke, & indigence.” o Emigrants find this in America, Less class distinction o Social Differences in America § “The next wish of this traveler will be to know whence came all these people? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, & Swedes. From this promiscuous breed, that race now called Americans have arisen.” - pg. 606 – intermarrying cultures, melting pot • Author only mentions white people o “here they rank as citizens. By what invisible power has this surprising metamorphosis been performed? By that of the laws & that of their industry.” People come for Liberty – pg. 607 o “What then is the American, this new man? He is neither European, or the descendant of a European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, & whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations. He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices & manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, t he new government he obeys, the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into one race of men, whose labor s & posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigor, & industry which began long since in the east; they will finish the great circle.” – pg.607 § New people, new abilities ; Both of his concepts are found in this quote § Letter XII – Distresses of A Frontier Man • Changes from Idealizing to talking about problems • Goes to live with natives b/c his new home & ancestral home are fighting o “& since I have ceased to consider myself as a member of the ancient state now convulsed, I willingly descend into an inferior one.” Natives = inferior race – pg. 622 o “Do you, my friend, perceive the path I have found out? It is that which lea ds to the tenants of the great ___ village of ___, where, far removed from the accursed neighborhood of Europeans, its inhabitants live with more ease, decency, & peace than you imagine: where, though governed but no laws, yet find, in uncontaminated simple manners all that la ws can afford. Their system is sufficiently complete to answer all the primary wants of man & to constitute him a social being, such as he ought to be in the great forest of nature.” – pg. 622 § Uses blanks to avoid revealing where he is; natives good to eac h other & him o “I dread lest the imperceptible charm of Indian education may seize my younger children & give them such a propensity to thy mode of life as may prelude their returning to the manners & customs of their parents . I have but one remedy to prevent this great evil; & that is, to employ them in the labor of the fields as much as I can; I am even resolved to make their daily subsistence depend altogether on it. As long as we keep ourselves busy in tilling the earth, there is no fear of any of us be coming wild; it is the chase & the food it procures that have this strange effect.” – pg. 622-623 § Afraid natives will make his kids wild, may loose civilized ways • Makes kid be farmers = will make them civilized o Returns to original ideas about farming o Kids – The New Adam concept o Europeans will fight no matter where they are • Thomas Paine- Common Sense & The Age of Reason o Period of Revolutionary Journalism § Pamphlets – cheap, easy to print, spread ideas quickly, say what you want, large audience, allows writers to be very specific, can be done anonymously § Well publicized revolution o Called “Inspired Agitator” ; Had natural gift for writing pamphlets o Born in England – father was a Quaker o Heard a sermon that made him think Christianity was cruel – became Deist o Apprenticed with father; went off to sea; became tax collector, grocery clerk, English teacher o Married twice – 1 died, 1 left o Self-educated, Neoclassical man o Not born a gentleman/nobility – rebelled against classes o Ben Franklin saw Paine’s potential § Came back to America & became a journalist & magazine editor • Wrote against slavery & for women’s rights o Advocates – revolution, liberty, freedom, separation o 3 things that make him think about Independence: § Proclamation of rebellion § Battles begin § Second Continental Congress o Common Sense § Doesn’t use logic & reason, exaggerates, wild claims § “The laying a country desolate with fire & sword, declaring was against the natural rights of all mankind, & extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man to whom nature hath given the power of feeling; of which class, regardless of party censure, is The Author.” pg. 641- exaggeration; they are killing/burning/wiping us out § New way of using language – not fancy • “In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, & common sense: & have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice & prepossession, & put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true c haracter of a man, & generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.” – pg.641 o Put personal prejudices aside & listen § 3 Major Points • Emphasizes cruelness of Britain – attacks Britain • Tries to get people to pit y colonists • Paints a picture of gloriousne ss of freedom; Creates mood that favors Independence § Sold over 10,000 copies in 3 months • Ultimately sold ½ million copies ; Couldn’t remain anonymous • Charged with treason by England o “Crisis” – rally against British § “The Crisis, No. 1” - pg. 647 – also referred to as The American Crisis • “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier & the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love & thanks of man & w oman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” o ‘summer soldier & sunshine patriot’ – only for the good times o Important b/c Washington’s troops fired up by this o Signed “Common Sense” o Job: write things to get people fired u p, Joined Revolution to write o Political Parties § Tory – loyal to king & England § Whigs – want independence; England – parliament party o House – confiscated Tory estate o Inventor: candle that smoked less, iron bridge o Well received in England & France until he put his nose in things nd § Wrote 2 famous work in England – “Rights of Man” • Against monarchy – accused of treason again § In France – writes condemning them for executing the King • In jail – visited by James Monroe who gets him back in America o Last thing he did in NY – made people mad § The Age of Reason • Chapter II: “Of Missions & Revelations” – pg.654-655 o “Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles & saints; and the Turks their Mahomet; as if the way to God was not open to every man alike. Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; &, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.” - Attacks religions; Idea that God reveals himself different ly is ridiculous o “It is, however, not difficult to account for the credit that was given to the story of Jesus Christ being the Son of God. He was born when the heathen mythology had still some fashion & repute in the world, & that mythology had prepared the people for the belief of such a story.” – angered a lot of people, Attack on Christianity § People tried to assassinate him o Asked for a Quaker funeral – they refused; heavily disliked o 1819- someone dug up his grave for a monument – auctioned off body • Thomas Jefferson o Born in Virginia – wealthy family – classical education at William & Mary College o Rejected classes. Fought against inherited privilege o Claimed to take an oath against Tyranny o Believed women should not be educated like men o Became a Deist in college o Studied Law – gets involved in Politics § Began in House of Burgesses § 2ndContinental Congress – he gets involved in international politics § Skilled writer – asked to write declarationdof independence rd o He was Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, 2 Vice President, 3 President, inventor, architect, founded University of Virginia, musician, free public education § Inventor: plow with steel blade, clock with calendar, dumb weighter § Gravestone: Author of Declaration of Independence, Author of Statute of Virginia, Father of University of Virginia o The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson § The Declaration of Independence included • Underlined phrases are omits ; added phrases in margins • “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent & inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness” - Pg. 663 – all equal, get rights from crea tor o Idea of Natural, God given rights § Others believed God ordained Kings § Jefferson said all rights come from God – shoots down need for Kings • “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, & organizing its powers in such a form, as to them sh all seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness.” – pg.663; Gives ideas about government o If government if abusive, we have the right to change it § Right to revolt against English government • Long list of King’s wrong -doings – not protecting & is abusive – need our own country o The Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom § Everyone has right to worship how they want – believes in total religious freedom § Paradoxes • Wrote against slavery – had slaves – sex with slaves • Good writer but poor public speaker – weird for politician § “Query XIV. Laws [SLAVERY]” – pg. 669 • “They should be colonized to such a place as the circumstances of th e time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of household & of the handicraft arts, seeds, pairs of the usual domestic animals, &c. to declare them a free & independent people, & extend to them our alliance & protection, till they shall have acquired strength” • “Why not retain & incorporate the blacks into the state, & thus save the expense of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations” • Wants to send slaves back to Africa; prov ide them with stuff but they need to leave § “Query XVII [RELIGION]” – pg. 673-674 • “The first settlers in this country were emigrants from England, of the English church, just at a point of time when it was flushed with complete victory over the religious of all other persuasions.” - Church of England dominant – people come over here to escape or enforce • “The present state of our laws on the subject of religion is this. The convention of May 1776, in their declaration of rights, declared it to be a truth, & a natural right, that the exercise of religion should be free; but, when they pro ceeded to form on that declaration the ordinance of government, instead of taking up every principle declared in the bill of rights, & guarding it by legislative sanction, they passed over that which asserted our religious rights, leaving them as they found them.” - Not enforcing it • Philip Freneau - Poet of the American Revolution o Born in NY, upper class family, educated with private tutor, father dies when PF is young o Entered Princeton as a Sophomore § Developed interest in lit, politics, & journalism § Started campus organization – American Whig Association – Whigs wanted revolution § Graduates, becomes school teacher, goes back to study religion & theology, drawn to public service o Wrote political satire o Scared of war, takes job in West Indies, learned to be a navigator § Wrote a lot of poetry about nature & cruelty of slavery o Comes back to New Jersey & becomes a ship captain for ship that carries war material o Becomes a newspaper editor – Anti-federalist paper § Federalist – political party of George Washin gton – strong federal government, liberal § Democratic Republicans – party headed by Thomas Jefferson – today’s democratic party • Power in states, conservative § Freneau Deist, Democratic, believed in fighting for a worthy cause – like Thomas Paine § Published his poems in the paper o Poetry – interest in nature, God is revealed in nature, expresses humanitarian sympathy, people naturally good, earlier civilization was benevolent, there will be Golden Age in America o Not famous poet in his time; he was known for po litical writings & newspaper o Had to sell parts of his farm b/c of financial problems – froze to death o “On the Emigration to America & Peopling in the Western Country” – handout § Views America as a beautiful place with great future - optimistic § “To the western woods, & lonely plains,/ Palemon from the crowd departs,/ Where Nature’s wildest genius reigns,/ To tame the soil, and plant the arts --/ What wonders there shall freedom show,/ What mighty states successive grow!” • Reference to nature & growth, America will grow wonderful things planted here (states, etc) § “From Europe’s proud, despotic shores/ Hither the stranger takes his way,/ And in our new found world explores/ A happier soil, a milder sway,/ Where no proud despot holds him down,/ No slaves insult him with a crown.” – equality, idealistic, no classes like Europe, nobody lifted up for being upper class § “From there fair plains, these rural seats,/ So long concealed, so lately unknown,/ The unsocial Indian far retreats,/ To make some other clime his own,/ Where other streams, less pleasing flow,/ And darker forests round him grow.” – driven Indians off their land & now they have to find land that isn’t as good § “While virtue warms the generous breast,/ There heaven -born freedom shall reside,/ Nor shall the voices of war molest,/ Nor Europe’s all -aspiring pride--/ There Reason shall new laws devise,/ & order from confusion rise.” – natural rights, God-given, Europe’s ways won’t be here § “Forsaking kings & royal state,/ With all their pomp & fancied bliss,/ The traveller owns, convinced through late,/ No realm so few, so blest as this--/ The east is half to slaved consigned,/ Where kings & priests enchain the mind.” – like De Crevecoeur; we are great country but still have slavery § “O come the time, & haste the day,/ When man shall man to longer crush,/ When Reason shall enforce her sway,/ Nor there fair regions raise our blush,/ Where still the African complains,/ & mourns his yet unbroken chains.” – ‘blush’ = slavery is embarrassing & he wants it gone o “The Wild Honey Suckle” – pg. 757 § Nature poem, nature is cyclical § Lyric poem – musical quality, song lyrics – personal feelings § “Smit with those charms, that must decay,/ I grieve to see your future doom;/ They died – nor were those flowers more gay,/ The flowers did in Eden bloom;/ Unpitying frosts, & Autumn’s power/ Shall leave no vestige of this flower.” – flowers wither & die, time causes decay, Eden = US o “The Indian Burying Ground” – pg.758 st § One of the 1 poems that idealizes Indians, examines the m from spiritual point of view § U.S. has history from Indians – trying to establish our history § Relatable to English § “In spite of all the learned have said, I still my old opinion keep; The posture, that we give the dead,/ Points out the soul’s eternal sl eep./ Not so the ancients of the lands -/ The Indian, when from life released, Again is seated with his friends,/ & shares again the joyous feast./ His imagined birds, & painted bowl,/ & venison, for a journey dressed,/ Bespeak the nature of the soul,/ Act ivity, that knows no rest./ His bow, for action ready bent,/ & arrows, with a head of stone,/ Can only mean that life is spent,/ & not the old ideas gone.” • Posture – shows the way we view afterlife; English lay dead in casket • Indians believe afterlife is active, sin dead up, bury with what they need § “Here still a lofty rock remains,/ On which the curious eye may trace/ (Now wasted, half, by wearing rains)/ The fancies of a rudder race./ Here still an aged elm aspires,/ Beneath whose far -projecting shade/ (& which the shepherd still admires)/ The children of the forest played!” • Look on rocks to see paintings/markings made by Indians • Natives’ children in the forest play under trees 100s of years old § “By midnight moons, o’er moistening dews,/ In habit for the chase arrayed./ The hunter still the deer pursues,/ The hunter & the deer, a shade!” – still hunting & being hunted = ghosts/spirits • Phillis Wheatley - 1 African American poet, 1 slave to be published o Started African American lit tra dition in America o Brought to America by man with the last name Wheatley; got Phillis from the name of the ship she was on § She was weak, couldn’t do heavy work; owners let her work in the house § Caught onto writing, owners encouraged her & allowed their daughter to tutor her § Child prodigy/genius – learned English, Latin, Greek, read Bible – Neoclassical Education § Treated more like a family member § Wrote her 1 poem at 13 § Freed from her master, continued to live with family until Mrs. Wheatley died o Married, had 3 kids, husband abandons, becomes scullery maid, 2 children died, her & last child die § She is buried in an unmarked grave o Wrote book of poetry published in England – she was sent to England b/c of health problems o Style: Heroic Couplets – written in Iambic Pentameter, every 2 lines rhyme, every 2 lines makes a point § Poems were either Elegies (tribute to someone) or Salvation (religious) o Abolitionists use her poetry as inspiration o “On Being Brought from Africa to America” – pg. 764 § “Twas mercy brought me from my pagan land,/ Taught me benighted soul to understand/ That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too:/ Once I redemption neither sought nor knew./ Some view our sable race with scornful eye,/ “Their color is a diabolic eye.”/ Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,/ May be refined, & join the angelic train.” § Blessing that she came to America b/c she learned about Jesus § Implies equality – equal in God’s eyes, should be equal in men’s eyes o On the Death of the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield” – pg. 767 § Elegy; poem made her famous in America & Europe § “Hail, happy saint, on thine immortal throne,/ Possessed of glory, life, & bliss unknown;/ We hear no more the music of thy tongue” – fancy language § “He prayed that grace in every heart might dwell,/ He longed to see America excel;/ He charged its youth that every grace divine/ Should with full l uster in their conduct shine” - led revivals, save Americans § “‘Take Him, ye Africans, He longs for you,/ ‘Impartial Savior is His title due:/ ‘Washed in the fountain of redeeming blood,/ ‘You shall be sons, & kings, & priests to God.’” – written like he is preaching • Gave the same opportun ity to be saved to the slaves • Literature 1820–1865 – Romanticism o Americans are more familiar with lit from places other than Europe b/c of Neoclassical Education § British lit was more available b/c if printed in America, no royalty to author in England § America’s lit is very nonfiction/logical/boring – fiction was frowned upon o New works from Britain get people’s attention § Sir Walter Scott – 1 of the pioneers of the historical novel – Ivan Hoe, Waverly • Historical Novel – a long work of fiction that special izes in past events/periods • Wrote about Medieval Period, introduced Historical Novels to America • Part of Romanticism Movement o Romanticism Movement § Romanticism – written in romance languages – Latin (language of the Romans), French, Spanish, Portuguese - Latin root languages § Opposite of Enlightenment, rejects logic & reason, emphasizes heart over head § Uses 2 things: imagination & feelings § Gothic writing, writing set in the West, King Arthur § America is creating identity – reflect concerns • Freneau – idealism (romantic quality) § Often deals with past & far away places, nature, exotic, individual, ordinary people, folklore • Washington Irving st o 1 American to be popular internationally o 1 American to earn a living as an author o Most famous for short stories –Father of short stories in America § Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow o Born in NYC after the revolution o Never went to college, read & traveled o Named after George Washington st o 1 successful work – collection of history of NY § 1 humorous § Historical Fiction – set in New Amsterdam – Dutch colony, NY o Pseudonym – Diedrich Knickerbocker – a “Dutch scholar” § Knickerbocker means any author of this time § Used pseudonyms b/c his work was mostly plagiarism o The Sketch Book – collected tales & sketches § “Author” Geoffrey Crayon “Found” Knickerbocker’s work § Collection of tales often w/ Gothic element § Travel lit § Rip Van Winkle & Sleepy Hollow included in here o Wrote biographies o Never married; buried in Sleepy Hollow, NY (he invented the name) o Rip Van Winkle § Based off folktale – plagiarized § Set in New York before & after Revolutionary War ; At this time, NY still has a lot of Dutch influence § Local Color Writing/Regionalism § Gothic Story – has supernatural elements • Ghost men that appear every 20 years • Drink makes ordinary men sleep § Rip doesn’t like to work, goes into woods, meets dwarfs playing 9 pins, drinks their liquor, passes out & sleeps for 20 years § Pg. 30-31 – “He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, & accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina. He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple g ood natured man; he was moreover a kind neighbor, & an obedient, henpecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious & conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers. Doubtless, are rendered pliant & malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation, & a curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience & long suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be considered a tolerable blessing; & if so, Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed. Certain it is, that he was a great favourite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sec, took his part in all family squabbles, & never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle.” - Rip is a good person ; Everyone blames wife; Shrews & termagant = nag wife • “Thrice blessed” – his wife is 3x worse than other wives • Curtain lecture – when a wife says no to her husband after curtains around bed are drawn § pg. 31 – “The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labour. It could not be for the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long & heavy as a Tartar’s lance, & fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble. He would carry a fowling piece on his shoulder, for hours together, trudging through woods & swamps, & up hill & down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never even refuse to assist a neighbor in the roughest toil, & was a foremost man at all country frolicks for husking Indian corn, or building stone fences; the women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, & to do suck little at jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them; - in a word Rip was ready to attend to any body’s business but his own; but as to doing family duty, & keeping his farm in order, it was impossible.” - He doesn’t like work but will help anyone § pg. 32 – “Rip’s sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf, who was as much henpecked as his master” • Only friend is dog, wife picks on dog too • Typical of male writers at this tim e to make wife/woman bad characters b/c men write & read § Blames confusion when he wakes up on drink § Walks back to town • Doesn’t recognize anything or anyone, his house is in ruin, wife is gone, kids are grown up § Turning point: when Rip sees inn • Irving changes to irony/satire o The town is the same but different § How colonists feel after war o Satire – change happens overnight o 20 years of sleep = 20 years of war o Government is different now § Pg. 36-37 – “He now harried forth, & hastened to his old escort, the little village inn – but it too was gone. A large rickety wooden building stood in its place, with great gaping windows, some of them broken, & mended with old hats & petticoats, & o ver the door was painted, ‘The U nion Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle.’ Instead of the great tree that used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was a reared a tall naked pole, with something on top that looked like a red night cap, & from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars & stripes –all this was strange & incomprehensible. He recognized that on the sign, however, the ruby face of King George, und er which he has smoked so many a peaceful pipe, but even this was singularly metamorphed. The red coa t was changed for one of blue & buff, a sword was stuck in the hand instead of a scepter, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, & underneath was painted in a large characters, GENERAL WASHINGTON.” – the building is the same but different, the old men h ang out here • Now has “red night cap” & American flag (he has never seen before), someone changed to picture of the King to represent George Washington o Like the country look different after the war, but it is the same underneath o King is no longer in contro l, Washington is o Irony – picture of the King changed to Washington (liberator) § Pg. 39 – “It was determined, however, to take the opinion of old Peter Vanderdonk, who was seen slowly advancing up the road. He was a descendant of the historian of that name, who wrote one of the earliest accounts of the province. Peter was the most ancient inhabitant of the villag e, & well versed in all the wonderful events & traditions of the neighbourhood. He recollected Rip at once, & corroborated his story in the most sati sfactory manner. He assured the company that it was a fact, handed down from his ancestor the historian, that the Kaatskill Mountains had always been haunted by strange beings. That it was affirmed that the great Hendrick Hudson, the first discoverer of th e river & country, kept a kind of vigil there every twenty years, with his crew of the Half -moon, being permitted in this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, & keep a guardian eye upon the river, & the great city called by his name. That his father had once seen them in their old Dutch dresses playing at nine pins in a hollow of the mountain; & that he himself had heard, one summer afternoon, the sound of their balls, like long peals of thunder.” - Proof that the man is Rip; ask oldest man in village whose father wrote history of village • Other people have seen the dwarfs ; People thought the rolling balls were thunder § Pg. 40 – “Rip, in fact, was no politician; the changes of states & empires made but little impression on him. But there was one species of despotism under which he has long groaned, & that was – petticoat government. Happily, that was at an end; he had got his neck out of the yolk of matrimony, & could go in & out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny of Dame Van Winkles . Whenever her name was mentioned, however, he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, & cast up his eye s; which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance.” • Wife is dead, goes to hang out with friends, his revolution; wife dies of stroke b/c blood vessel burst while she was fighting with someone (loved to fight) o The Legend of Sleepy Hollow § 4 things Irving Incorporates: humor, supernatural, satire, & irony § Satire – makes fun of people for believing in supernat ural § Tall Tale – exaggerated, hard to believe story § Description of Ichabod – pg. 43 • “He was tall but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms & legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, & his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, & flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, & a long snipe nose, so that it might have been mistaken for a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind bl ew.” • Caricature – humorous exaggeration of a person or thing o Compares nose to weathercock (weathervane in the form of rooster on roof) o Draws readers attention nd § 2 Description of Ichabod – pg. 52 • “Ichabod was a suitable figure for such a steed. He rode wit h short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stick out like grasshoppers’; he carried his whip perpendicular in his hand, like a scepter, & as the horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings. A small wool hat rested on the top of his nose, for so his scanty strip of forehead might be called, & the skirts of his black coat fluttered out almost to the horse’s tail. Such was the appearance of Ichabod & his steed, as they shambled out of the gate of Hans Van Ripper, & it was altogether such an apparition as is seldom to be met with in broad day light.” • Draws attention, humorous; comparison to apparition/ghost – foreshadow § Ichabod has a lot of appetites, for more than food • Pg. 53-54 – food, checks out all of the food laid out, shows the host is rich o “Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlour of Can Tassel’s mansion. Not those of the bevy of buxom lasses, with their luxurious display of red & white: but the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea -table, in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped up platters of cakes of various & almost indescribable kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives. There was the doughty dough-nut, the tenderer oly koek, & the crisp & crumbling cruller; sweet cakes & short cakes, ginger cakes & honey cakes, & the whole family of cakes . & then there were apple pies & peach pies & pumpkin pies; not to mention slices of ham & smoke beef, together with broiled shad & roasted chickens; besides delectable dishes of preserved plum, & peaches, & pears, & quinces; with bowls of milk & cream, all mingled higgledy -piggledy, pretty much as I have enumerated them, with the motherly tea -pot sending up its clouds of vapour from the midst – Heaven bless the mark! I want breath & time to discuss the banquet as it deserves, & am too eager to get on with my story. Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his historian, but did ample justice to every dainty.” • Pg. 45 – he gets the ladies attention b/c he can make conversation/educated o “The schoolmaster is generally a man of some importance in the female circle of a rural neighbourhood, being considered a kind of idle gentleman-like personage, of vastly superior taste & accomplishments to the rough country swain, &, indeed, inferior in learning only to the parson. His appearance, therefore, is apt to occasion some little stir at the tea-table of a farm-house, & the addition of a supernumerary dish of cakes or sweat-meats, or, peradventure, the parade of a silver tea-pot. Our man of letters, therefore, was peculiarly happy in the smiles of all the country damsels. o He likes Katrina for her beauty & expectati ons (inheritance); Ichabod is greedy • Loves ghost stories & supernatural, believes all of them o Pg. 45 – this area is full of stories & legends § “He was, in fact, an odd mixture of small shrewdness & simple credulity. His appetite for the marvelous, & his pow ers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; & both had been increased by his residence in this spellbound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow. o Pg. 42 – stories abundant from this area § “Some say that the place was bewitched by a high German doctor during the early days of settlement; others, that the old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. C ertain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie.” o Pg. 42 – headless horseman introduced § “The dominant spirit, however, that ha unts the enchanted region, & seems to be the commander of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head has been carried away by a cannon -ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war” § Hessian – German Soldier § Supernatural, true, or Brom Bone’s tricks • Supernatural – Romantic element, gothic o Pg. 61 – country wives say the story is true – proof § “The old country wives, however, who ar e the best judges of the matter, maintain to this day, that Ichabod was spirited away by supernatural means; & it is a favourite story often told about the neighbourhood round the winter evening fire.” • Pg. 41 – Diedrich Knickerbocker (pen name) o “(found among the Papers of the Late Diedrich Knickerbocker )” o Sleepy Hollow is from the Sketch book collection – framed writing § Irving à Crayon à Knickerbocker à Brom § Brom tells the story, Knickerbocker hears it, Crayon gets the story from Knickerbocker, & Irving is the re al writer § Conflict – Ichabod (hero) vs. Brom (antagonist) • Ichabod – weak, wimpy, good guy, Yankee (colonial, not country) • Brom – opposite of Ichabod o Description – pg. 49 § “Among these, the most formidable, was a burley, roaring, roistering blade, of the name of Abraham, or, according to the Dutch abbreviation, Brom Van Brunt, the hero of the country round, which rung with his feats of strength & hardihood. He was broad shouldered & double jointed, with short curly black hair, & a bluff, but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air of fun & arrogance. From his Herculean frame & great powers of limb, he had received the nickname of BROM BONES, by which he was universally known. He was framed for great knowledge & skill in horsemanship, being as dexte rous on horseback as Tartar.” § “when any mad-cap prank, or rustic brawl, occurred in the vicinity, always shook their heads, & warranted Brom Bones was at the bottom of it.” o Ichabod had a lot of adversaries b/c he was from out of town o Big, strong, good hors eman, prankster § Prankster – foreshadow that he might be behind what happens § Ichabod has 1 major flaw: believes in supernatural, all ghost stories, superstitions, scared of being alone in the dark, has imagination (Romantic element) • Easy target for Brom § Headless Horseman throws pumpkin, Ichabod thinks he throws his head, Ichabod disappears, horse returns on his own § Postscript – pg. 61 – at city council meeting • “The preceding Tale is given, almost in the precise words in which I heard it related at the corporation meeting of the ancient city of the Manhattoes, at which were present many of its sagest & most illustrious burghers. The narrator was a pleasant, shabby, gentlemanly old fellow, in pepper & salt clothes, with a sadly humorous face, & one whom I s trongly suspected of being poor, he made such efforts to be entertaining.” • “There was however, one tall, dry-looking old gentleman, with beetling eyebrows, who maintained a grave & rather severe face throughout; now & then folding his arm, inclining his head, & looking down upon the floor, as if turning over a doubt in his mind . . . he leaned one arm on the elbow of his chair, & sticking the other a -kimbo, demanded, with a slight, but exceedingly sage motion of the head, & contradiction of the brow, what w as moral of the story, & what it went to prove.” • “‘That there is no situation in life but has its advantages & pleasures, provided we will but take a joke as we find it: That, therefore, he that runs races with goblin troopers, is like to have rough riding of it: Ergo, for a country schoolmaster to be refused the hand of a Dutch heiress, is a certain step to high preferment in the state.’ The cautious old gentleman knit his brows tenfold closer after this explanation, being sorely puzzles by the ratiocination of the syllogism: while methought the one in pepper & salt eyed him with somewhat of a triumphant leer. At length he observed, that all this was very well, but still he thought the story a little on the extravagant – there were 1or 2 points on which he had his doubts. ‘Faith, sir,’ replied the story - teller, ‘as to that matter, I don’t believe one half of it myself.’” • Tall, skinny, eyebrows = Ichabod • Short, bigger, poor = Brom • Irony – they are both still alive; Brom tells the story in front of Ichabod Who is the character speaking other than narrator; why is it important to the work – Washington Irving (caricature), Jefferson (God given rights – not from King) Definitions
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