American Lit 1 - Test 4/Final
American Lit 1 - Test 4/Final EH 201
Jacksonville State University
Popular in American Literature I
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Date Created: 01/30/16
American Lit 1 – Test 4/Final • T. B. Thorpe (Thomas Bangs Thorpe) – “The Big Bear of Arkansas” o Son of Methodist Minister; studied art, paintings, & portraits in college; painted Ichabod Crane o Went to Southwestern Frontier – Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi – settled in Louisiana o Became a journalist, got married, moves back to the North o Goes back to South during Civil War, worked for Northern gov’t, helped Louisiana draft gov’t system o Wrote a ton of articles & 6 stories o “The Big Bear of Arkansas” – most famous work § Masterpiece of Southwestern Humor • Tradition of writing humorous works set in particular regionalism, about frontier • Tales of the Southwest, lasted about 30 years, impacted M ark Twain • Urban frontier was interesting to Northerners (rich white men) • Characteristics: o Dialect – way people talk; verna cular, Big Bear/Jim Doggett “pre haps” § “‘Prehaps,’ said he, ‘gentlemen,’ running on without a person interrupting, ‘prehaps you have been to New Orleans often; I never made the first visit before, & I don’t intend to make another in a crow’s life. I am thrown away in that ar place, & useless, that ar a fact. Some of the gentlemen that called me green well, perhaps I am, said I, but I aren’t so at home; & if I ain’t off my trail much, the heads of them perlite chaps themselves weren’t much the hardest; for according to my notion, they were real know-nothings, green as a pumpkin-vine couldn’t, in farming, I’ll bet, raise a crop of turnips; & as for shooting, they’d miss a barn if the door was swinging, & that, too, with the best rifle in the country. & then they talked to me ‘bout hunting, & laughed at my calling th e principal game in Arkansaw poker, & high-low-jack. ‘Prehaps,’ said I, ‘you prefer checkers & roulette;’ at this they laughed harder than ever, & asked me if I lived in the woods, & didn’t know what game was? ‘At this, I rather think I laughed. ‘Yes,’ I roared, & says, I, ‘Strangers, if you’d ask me how we got our meat in Arkansaw, I’d a told you at once, & given you a list of varmints that would make a caravan, beginning with the bar, & ending off with the cat; that’s meat though, not game. ‘Game, indeed, that’s what city folks call it; & with them it means cupper-birds & shite-pokes; may be such a trash live in my digging, but I aren’t noticed them yet: a bird anyways is too trifling. I never did shoot at but one, & I’d never forgiven myself for that, had it weighed less than forty pounds. I wouldn’t draw a rifle on anything less heavy than that; & when I meet with another wild turkey of the same size, I will crap him.’ ‘A wild turkey weighing forty pounds!’ exclaimed twenty voices in the cabin at once. ‘Yes, strangers, & wasn’t it a whopper? You see, the thing was so f at that it couldn’t fly far; & when he fell out of the tree, after I shot him, on striking the ground he bust open behind, & the way the pound gobs of tallow rolled out of the opening was perfectly beautiful.’” o Exaggeration – can’t be a farmer b/c seed pop up so fast § “‘I had a good-sized sow killed in that same bottom land. The old thief stole an ear of corn, & took it down to eat where she slept at night. Well, she left a grain or two on the ground, & lay down on them: before morning the corn shot up, & th e percussion killed her dead. I don’t plant any more: natur intended Arkansaw for a hunting ground, & I go according to natur.’” o Humor – sex, fighting, hunter; habit=poo in the woods; § Pointed gun at bear, bear died without being shot § Grotesque – poo humor, gross, bathroom humor § “‘Well, stranger, on the morning previous to the great day of my hunting expedition, I went into the woods near my house, taking my gun & Bowieknife along, just from habit, & there sitting down, also from habit, what should I see, getting over my fence, but the bear! Yes, the old varmint was within a hundred yards of me, & the way he walked over that fence stranger; he loomed up like a black mist, he seemed so large, & he walked right towards me. ‘I raised myself, took deliberate aim, & fired. Instantly the varmint wheeled, gave a yell, & walked through the fence, as easy as a falling tree would through a cobweb. ‘I started after, but was tripped up by my inexpressibles(pants), which, either from habit or the excitement of the moment were about my heels, & before I had really gathered myself up, I heard the old varmint groaning, like a thousand sinners, in a thicket near by, &, by the time I reached him, he was a corpse.” o Rituals – hunting, “hunting the devil himself” § “‘But, stranger, I never like the way I hunted him, & missed him. There is something curious about it, that I never could understand, & I never was satisfied at his giving in so easy at last. Prehaps he had heard of my preparations to hunt him the next day, so he jist guv up, like Captain Scott’s coon, to save his wind to frunt with in dying; but that ain’t likely. My private opinion is, that that bear was an an unhuntable bear, & died when his time come.’” o Refined narrator § Framed Story – Thorpe à “Narrator” (meets Jim) à Jim Doggett (telling his story, white trash) • Middle man urban white northerners = Narrator • Andrew Jackson is President – poking fun at Doggett=poking fun at President § Types of Characters • Jim Doggett - “the mighty hunter” – unbeatable foe gives up & dies • Preachers like con-mans • Con-men that swindle people • “Ring tailed roarer” – bragger, exaggerates – Mark Twain • Henry David Thoreau – “Walden” o Born in Concord, Massachusetts – center of Transcendentalism; liked travel books, nature; taught school, hated discipline o Influenced by Emerson, gave Thoreau a job & house on Walden Pond on Emerson’s property o 1 book was not popular; “Walden” had mediocre sales, thought it taught peopl e to live wisely o Put Emerson’s ideas into action o “Walden” § Experiment – “When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them. I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, & earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years & two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.” § Condensed into 1 year § Economy – living happy without material things § “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, & have to console yourself with the bravery of minks & muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is conc ealed even under what are called the games & amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.” • Pursuing things takes up too much time, stuck in job you hate, stuck in life • Unhappy, people reading his book are most likely unhappy with their lives § Limit things in life to animal necessities (minimal needs to survive; food, shelter, clothing, & fuel for fire) • Animal necessities are all fuel to keep you alive against the elements & keep you warm o “It would be some advantage to live a primitive & frontier life, though in the midst of an outward civilization, if only to learn what the gross necessaries of life & what methods have been taken to obtain them” o “By the words necessary of life, I mean whatever, of all that man obtains by his own exertions, has been from the first, or from long use has become, so important to human life that few, if any, whether from savageness, or poverty, or philosophy, ever attempt to do without it.” • Heat=only need – “The grand necessity, then, for our bodies, is to keep warm, to keep the vital heat in us.” § Can be read in different ways • Memoir – covers segment of someone’s life b/c it’s about him & his experiences o “In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well.” • Social/cultural commentary o Every family has a place to live but in our country hardly no one owns their own home (too expensive) – savages own their home b/c it’s simple, civilization is costly, we’re debt poor & savages aren’t o Whatever we have someone controls what we pay for it, become slaves to our stuff o “In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, & sufficient for its coarser & simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, thou gh the birds of the air have their nests, & the foxes their holes, & savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter.” o “I do not mean to insist here on the disadvantage of hiring compound with owning, bu t it is evident that the savage owns his shelter because it costs so little, while the civilized man hires(rents) his commonly because he cannot afford to own it; nor can he, in the long run, any better afford to hire. But, answers one, by merely paying this tax the poor civilized man secures an abode which is a palace compared with the savage’s.” o “But how happens it that he who is said to enjoy these things is so commonly a poor civilized man, while the savage, who has them not, is rich as a savage? If it asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man, - & I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages, - it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; & the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” • Inspirational lit – believes people will change b/c of his book ; if the advice applies, use it o “Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.” • Transcendentalism – expression, emphasis on individual; true prayer=action, live in action, don’t play life,live it o “‘But,’ says one, ‘you do not mean that the students should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?’ I do not mean that exactly, but I mean something which he mig ht think a good deal like that; I mean that they should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from the beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once tryi ng the experiment of living?” • Nature book – find God in nature=find God in self § Structure is odd, language contradicts itself • Koran – Buddhist – paradox, further it makes sense • Frederick Douglass – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself o William Lloyd Garrison – hires Douglass to travel & give speeches about slavery, followers bought his freedom, people doubted he was a slave (why he wrote Autobiography, proof of his intelligence) o Wrote 2 more books; during Civil War he recruited free slaves for union side; promoted equality; served in gov’t positions o Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, born in Maryland o Ignorance, masters don’t want slaves to know their birthdays § “I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, & it is the wish of most matters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant. I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting -time, harvest-time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The whit children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege. I was not allowed to make any inquiries of my master concerning it. He deemed all such inquiries on the part of a slave improper & impertinent, & evidence o f a restless spirit. The nearest estimate I can give makes me now between twenty-seven & twenty-eight years of age. I come to this, from hearing my master say, some time during 1835, I was about seventeen years old.” o Sent to Baltimore – where Mrs. Auld taught him to read § The more educated he is the more he hates being a slave, wants to escape b/c he is being kept down, wants what he is denied; not knowing is kinder to a slave § “Very soon after I went to live with Mr. & Mrs. Auld, she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on, & at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read.” § “He would at once become unmanageable, & of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented & u nhappy. These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments that lay slumbering, & called into existence an entirely new train of thought.” o Examples of Dehumanization § Holidays, week between Christmas & New Years, owners want slaves to drink & feel free so that they are ready to go back to work; Slaves abused with tiny bit of freedom • “But by far the larger part engaged in such sports & merriments as playing ball, wrestling, running, foot -races, fiddling, dancing, & drinking whiskey; & this latt er mode of spending the time was by far the most agreeable to the feelings of our master. A slave who would work during the holidays was considered by our masters as scarcely deserving them.” • “From what I know of the effect of these holidays upon the slave , I believe them to be among the most effective means in the hands of the slavehold er in keeping down the spirit of insurrection.” • System, slaves could have overwhelmed their master o “I have said that this mode of treatment is a part of the whole system o f fraud & inhumanity of slavery. It is so. The mode here adopted to disgust the salve with freedom, by allowing him to see the abuse of it, is carried out in other things.” § Slavery destroys family, children separated from mothers, destroy individual • “My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my parentage.” • “My mother & I were separated when I was but an infant – before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age. Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, & hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, & the child is placed undwoman, too old an old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child’s affec tion toward its mother, & to blunt & destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is thnever saw my mother, to know her as such, more than four or five times in my life; & each of these times was very short in duration, & at night.” • “I was not allowed to be present during her illness, at her death, or burial. She was gone long before I knew any thing about it.” o Slave Narrative – true story that recounts the experiences of slaves pre -civil war who escape & make their way to North § Like Captivity Narrative (Mary Rowlandson) • Both show people who have been taken away from home & family • Both have to exist in unfamiliar society • Both victims struggle with feelings of freedom & dangers of escape • Both grow spiritually (Mary Rowlandson) & morally (Frederick Douglass) § Characteristics: • Purpose: arise sympathy of readers – like Uncle Tom’s Cabin (not a slave narrative) o Arouses sympathy – shows he has the same qualities • Emphasizes Christian ideals , questions God’s existence o Condemns Christianity like they use it in the South o Religion, new master is evil & not Christian ; Against hypocrisy of Southern religion § “Another advantage I gained in my new master was, he made no pretensions to, or profession of, religion; & this, in my opinio n, was truly a great advantage. I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is more covering for the most horri d crimes, - a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, - a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, - a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, & most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced t o the chains of slavery, next to the enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befa ll me.” o “What I have said respecting & against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, & with no possible reference to Christianity of Christ, I recognize the wildest possible difference – so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, & holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, & wicked. To be the friend if the o ne, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, & impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women -whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, &hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.” § Appendix –added to the end to clear up what he said about religion § Christianity of the South vs. of Christ is not the same § Like Mrs. Bird in Uncle Tom’s Cabin § He believes in real Christianity o Churches, against churches that support slavery § “Such is, very briefly, my view of the religion of this land; & to avoid any misunderstanding, growing out of the use of general terms, I mean, by the religion of this land, that which is revealed in the words, deeds, & actions, of those bodies, north & south, calling themselves Christian churches, & yet in union with slaveholders. It is against religion, as presented by these bodies, that I have felt it my duty to testify it.” • Acceptance of ideals of dominant white society o Narrative of ascent – Douglass is always progressing, moving toward freedom § Individuals can become more than they were § Prove equality academically, prove that you have the same characteristics § Garrison testifies that Douglass wrote this himself • “Mr. Douglass has very properly chosen to write his own Narrative, in his own style, & according to the best of his ability, rather than to employ someone else. It is, therefore, entirely his own production; &, considering how long & dark was the career he had to run as a slave, - how few have been his opportunities to improve his mind since he broke his iron fetters, - it is, in my judgment, highly creditable to his head & heart.” § Franklin – rags to riches, slave to well known, models of success § Quotes famous white man & he accepts the same values as the white man • “In coming to a fixed determination to run away, we did more than Patrick Henry, when he resolved upon liberty or death. With us it was a doubtful liberty at most, & almost certain death if we failed. For my part, I should prefer death to hopeless bondage.” § Learned by tricking white kids into teaching him § Education is key to his identity § “Our house stood within a few rods of the Chesapeake Bay, whose broad bosom was ever white with sails from every quarter of the habitable globe. Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts, to terrify & torment me with thoughts of my wretched conditi on. I have often, in the deep stillness of a summer’s Sabbath, stood all alone upon the lofty banks of that noble bay, & traced, with saddened heart & tearful eye, the countless n umber of sails moving off to the mighty ocean. The sight of these always affe cted me powerfully. My thoughts would compel utterance; & there, with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my soul’s complaint, in my rude way, with an apostrophe to the moving multitude of ships: - ‘You are loosed from your moorings, & are free; I am fast in my chains, & am a slave! You move merrily before the gentle gale, & I sadly before the bloody whip! You are freedom’s swift -winged angels, that fly round the world; I am confined in bands of iron! O that I were free! Oh, that I were on one of your gallant decks, & under you protecting wing! Alas! betwixt me & you, the turbid waters roll. Go on, go on. O that I could also go! Could I but swim! If I could fly! O, wh y was I born a man, of whom to make a brute! The glad ship is gone; she hides in the dim distance. I am left in the hottest hell of unending slavery. O God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free! Is there any God? Why am I a slave? I will run away. I wil l not stand it. Get caught, or get clear.” • Writes in dominant white style – Romantic • Apostrophe – addressed to something that cannot reply – to ships • Shows the cruelty of slave owners o Tries to arouse reaction to end slavery – like Uncle Tom’s Cabin o Cruelty, slave owner stomps on Brother § “& the thought of passing out of their hands int o those of Master Andrew – a man who, but a few days before, to give me a sample of his bloody disposition, took my little brother by the throat, threw him on the ground, & with the heel of his boot stamped upon his heat till the blood gushed from his nose & ears – was well calculated to make me anxious as to my fate. After he had committed the savage outrage upon my brother, he turned to me, & said that was the way he meant to serve me one of these days, - meaning, I suppose, when I came into his possessi on.” • Walt Whitman – “Song of Myself,” “Calvary Crossing a Ford,” “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom” o Born in Long Island; Quaker mother-laid back, mild, barely literate, supportive; Calvinist father -strict, money struggles o Became printer, fell in love with lit, self taught, focused a lot on Bible (wanted religion to unify) § Editor of several NY newspapers; had affair with woman who was Octoroon (1/8 black); very anti -slavery o Poetry Style – free verse: popularized, without rules, no specific meters or le ngths, written in vernacular o Patriarch of American Poetry – influenced poets for the next 100+ years, broke link between America & Europe o Volume of poetry – Leaves of Grass – Emerson endorsed, Walt advertised himself, published 8 different versions § Who am I?, What is America?, What is an American? § Themes revolve around democracy – grass is democratic b/c grows everywhere & goes through cycle of life & death st • 1 addition contained 12 poems with no titles o Purpose of poetry is to express himself & America § America, poets should not moralize – “The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” o Transcendentalists: Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman o “Song of Myself” § About Whitman, visions he has, narrative of getting in touch with over -soul, finding potential § Nature’s cycle – “What do you think has become of the young & old men?/ & what do you think has become of the women & children?/ They are alive & well somewhere,/ The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,/ & if ever there was it led forward life, & does not wait at the end to/ arrest it,/ & ceas’d the moment life appear’d./ All goes onward & outward, nothing collapses,/ & to die is different fr om what any one supposed, & luckier.” § Part 1 (1-18) – describe entering mystical state • Getting in touch with yourself, sexual language o “I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,/ & you must not be abased to the other./ Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,/ Not words, not mus ic or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even/ the best,/ Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice./ I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,/ How you settled you head athwart my hips & gently turn’d over upon/ me,/ & parted the shirt from my bosom -bone, & plunged your tongue to/ my bare -stript heart,/ & reach’d till you felt my beard, & reach’d till you held my feet.” § Part 2 (19-42) – Superman (inner being), potential of who we can be • Superman – “The supernatural of no account, myself waiting my time to be one of the supremes,/ The day getting ready for me when I shall do as much good as the best,/ & be as prodigious” § Sermon, he can see God in everything, God communicates constantly • “& I say to mankind, Be not curious about God,/ For I who am curious about God,/ (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God & about death.)/ I hear & behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least,/ Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself./ Why should I wish to see God better than this day?/ I see something of God each hour of the twenty -four, & each moment then,/ In the faces of men & women, I see God, & in my own face in the glass,/ I find letters from God dropt in the street, & every one is sign’d by God’s name,/ & I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe’er I go,/ Others will punctually come for ever & ever.” o “Calvary Crossing a Ford” § “A line in long array where they wind betwixt green islands,/ They take a serpentine course, their arms flash in the sun – hark to the musical clank,/ Behold the silvery river, in it the splashing horses l oitering stop to drink,/ Behold the brown-faced men, each group, each person a picture, the negligent rest on the saddles,/ Some emerge on the opposite bank, others are just entering the ford while,/ Scarlet & blue & anowy white,/ The guidon flags fluttgayly in the wind.” § In Civil War - North side, non-violent, drove ambulance § Picture of Calvary crossing a ford (shallow part of a river) § Imagery: musical quality to death weapons, brown -faced men (tanned), peaceful image contrast that we know these people will probably die in battle o “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom” § Eulogy within Elegy – thrush (bird) says Eulogy § Elegy – poem/song written in honor of person who dies ; Poem about Lincoln’s death – expressing grief • Characteristics: o Announce the death § Spring makes him think of Lincoln – “When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,/ & the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,/ I mourn’d, & yet shall mourn with ever -returning spring.” § Irony, seeing Spring, star, lilacs=reminded – “Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,/ Lilac blooming perennial & drooping star in the west,/ & the thought of him of love.” o Nature mourns death along with people , bird mourns § “In the swamp in secluded recesses,/ A shy & hidden bird is warbling a song./ Solitary the thrush,/ The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,/ Sings by himself a song./ Song of the bleeding throat,/ Death’s outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know,/ If thou wast not granted to sing thou would’st surely die.)” o Putting flowers on coffin § “Passing the apple-tree blows of white & pink in the orchards,/ Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,/ Night & day journeys a coffin.” – coffin goes to final resting place, blossoms fall on it § “All over bouquets of roses,/ O death, I cover you over with roses & early lilies,/ But mostly & now the lilac that blooms the first,/ Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes,/ With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,/ For you & the coffins all of you O death.” o Funeral processions – Lincoln’s body taken to his home by train, people stood by tracks § Procession – people gather to say goodbye • “Coffin that passes through lanes & streets,/ Through day & night with the great cloud darkening the land,/ With the pomp of the in loop’d flags with the cities draped in black,/ With the show of the States themselves as a crape -veil’d women standing./ With processions long & winding & the flambeaus of the night” o Comfort people who hear it ; Lincoln & soldiers who died in war are not suffering, people left behind suffer § “I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,/ & the white skeletons of young men, I saw them,/ I saw the debris & debris of all the slain soldiers of the war,/ But I saw they were not as was thought,/ They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer’d not,/ The living remain’d & the child & the musing comrade suffer’d/ & the armies that remain’d suffer’d.” • Herman Melville – Moby Dick; “Billy Bud, Sailor” o Born in NYC, 1 of 8 children, bad eyesight, scarlet fever, school teacher, becomes ship cabin boy (writing about sea) o Whaling ship crewman § He & his friend jump ship & lived with cannibal Indians – inspired 1 novel: Typee nd § Got on anthher whaling ship – 2 novel: Omoo, about mutiny o Moby Dick – 6 novel, most famous § Digressions – chapters where he gets off subject § More Realism than Romantic § Melville believes in good vs. evil – tries to find reason they exist, cannot rely on science & religion=makes weak § Has elements of several types of books: • Romantic Adventure – exotic locations • Epic – battle (Moby Dick vs. Ahab), good vs. evil, monsters (Moby Dick) • Encyclopedia – details about whales & whaling • Tragedy – Melville influenced by Shakespeare § Captain Ahab – charismatic, forces crew to follow him, se eking revenge on Moby Dick • Revenge, blames whale for everything, revenge is more important than whaling ships purpose, need for vengeance to take over o “That captain was Ahab. & then it was, that suddenly sweeping his sickle -shaped lower jaw beneath him, Moby Dick had reaped away Ahab’s leg, as a mower a blade of grass in the field. No turbaned Turk, no hired Venetian or Malay, could have smote him with more seeming malice. Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, A hab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic mor bidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual & spiritual exasperations. The White Whale swam bef ore him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them.” § Ishmael – young, curious about whales, loner has 1 friend, fascination with Moby Dick, only 1 left alive in the end to tell the story o “Billy Bud, Sailor” § Novella – long short story, short novel § “It was the summer of 1797. In the April of that year had occurred the commotion at Spithead followed in May by a second & yet more serious outbreak in the fleet at the Nore. The latter is known, & without exaggeration in the epithet, as “the Great Mutiny.” It was indeed a demonstration more menacing to England than the contemporary manifestoes & conquering & proselyting armies of the French Directory. To the British Empire the Nore Mutiny eas what a strike in the fire brigade would be to London threatened by general arson.” • Historical background, England is island & if ships can’t defend it they have nothing • Why captain has to listen to accusation § Billy – “Handsome sailor” (best), accused of mutiny by master of arms, cannot respond b/c of stutter, hits him instead • Court marshaled by captain, put on trial, found guilty, hanged • Billy – strongest, best, great guy, nice, better than others o “Invariably a proficient in his perilous calling, he was also more o r less of a mighty boxer or wrestler. It was strength & beauty. Tales of his prowess was recited. Ashore he was the champion; afloat the spokesman; on every suitable occasion always foremost. Close -reefing topsails in a gale, there he was, astride the weat her yardarm-end, foot in the Flemish as stirrup, both hands tugging at the earing as at a bridle, in very much the attitude of young Alexander curbing the fiery Bucephalus. A superb figure, tossed up as by the horns of Taurus against the thunderous sky, ch eerily hallooing to the strenuous file along the spar. The moral nature was seldom out of keeping with the physical make. Indeed, except as toned by the former, the comeliness & power, always attractive in masculine conjunction, hardly could have drawn the sort of honest homage the Handsome Sailor in some examples received from his less gifted associates.” • Natural man = naturally good • Orphan – but must have noble blood • Compared to Adam before Eden fell • Simple, naïve, can’t imagine anyone doing harm to him; Only flaw = stutter • Impressment – forced into military service, done by Navy when they were short on sailors • Ships he’s on: Bellipotent (Navy ship, “Mighty in War”) & Rights -of-Man – symbolic (denied rights) • Tries to tempt Billy, resists, stutters when he ’s upset & can’t express himself o “‘What do you mean?’ demanded Billy, here thoroughly shaking off his drowse. ‘Hist, hist!’ the hurried whisper now growing husky. ‘See here,’ & the man held up two small objects family twinkling in the night - light; ‘see, they are yours, Billy, if you’ll only -’ But Billy broke in, & in his resentful eagerness to deliver himself his vocal infirmity somewhat intruded. ‘D -d-damme, I don’t know what you are d -d-driving at, or what you mean, but you had better g -g-go where you belong!’ For the moment the fellow, as confounded, did not stir; & Billy, springing to his feet, said, ‘If you d -don’t start, I’ll t-t-toss you back over the r-rail!’ There was no mistaking this, & the mysterious emissary decamped, disappearing in the directi on of the mainmast in the shadow of the booms.” • Only struck master-at-arms b/c he couldn’t speak, didn’t mean to kill him o “‘God will bless you for that, your honor!’ not without stammering said Billy, & all but broke down. But immediately he was recalled to self-control by another question, to which with the same emotional difficulty of utterance he said, ‘No, there was no mistake between us. I never bore malice against the master -at-arms. I am sorry that he is dead. I did not mean to kill him. Could I have used my tongue I would not have struck him. But he foully lied to my face & in presence of my captain, & I had to say something, & I could only say it with a blow, God help me!’” § John Claggart • Pale (others are tan b/c they work in sun while he sneaks belo w deck) o “His brow was of the sort phrenologically associated with more than average intellect; silken jet curls partly clustering over it, making a foil to the pallor below, a pallor tinged with a faint shade of amber aking to the hue of time-tinted marbles of old.” • Different, Frenchman, went into military rather than go to jail o “Nothing was known of his former life. It might be that he was an Englishman; & yet he lurked a bit of accent in his speech suggesting that possibly he was not such by birth, but th rough naturalization in early childhood. Among certain grizzled sea gossips of the gun decks & forecastle went a rumor perdue that the master-at-arms was a chevalier who had volunteered into the King’s navy by way of compounding for some mysterious swindle whereof he had been arraigned at the King’s Bench.” • Hates Billy b/c evil hates good § Captain Vere • Very strict, black & white/right & wrong • Feels sorry for Billy • “How can we adjudge to summary & shameful death a fellow creature innocent before God, & whom we feel to be so? – Does that state it aright? You sign sad assent. Well, I too feel that, the full force of that. It is Nature. But do these buttons that we wear attest that our allegiance is to Nature? No, toKing. Though the ocean, which is inviolate Nature primeval, though this be the element where we move & have our being as sailors, yet as the King’s officers lies our duty in a sphere correspondingly natural? So little is that true, that in receiving our commissions we in the most important regard s ceased to be natural free agents.” o Officers coat shows he is part of King’s navy & must follow King not Nature o We do not work for Nature, so Billy has to pay for his crime even though his is naturally good • “‘Gentlemen, were that clearly lawful for us un der the circumstances, consider the consequences of such clemency. The people (meaning the ship’s company) have native sense; most of them are familiar with our naval usage & tradition; & how would they take it? Even could you explain to them – which our official position forbids – they, long molded by arbitrary discipline, have not that kind of intelligent responsiveness that might qualify them to comprehend & discriminate.’” o The crew will not understand if Billy is let go, the crew needs to know that rule s are enforced o 2 wrongs don’t make a right, Billy is sacrificed for greater good § Religious aspects • Imagery – Vere & Billy = Abraham & Isaac; Adam before Eden falls • Symbolism o “The hull, deliberately recovering from the periodic roll to leeward, was just re gaining an even keel when the last signal, a preconcerted dumb one, was given. At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East was shot through with a soft glory as of the fleece of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, & si multaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ascended; &, ascending, took the full rose of dawn.” § Looking at Billy & see light of Heaven, looks like Billy is rising to Heaven –beams of sun through clouds o Excerpt from Naval Newspaper– lies to justify why they killed Billy • Emily Dickinson – “My life closed twice before its close,” “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died,” “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers,” “A narrow Fellow in the Grass,” “Success is counted sweetest” o Born in Massachusetts o Strict, Orthodox Congregationalist, Calvinist family o Father was richest man in town, only wanted Emily to read Bible o Spent most of her life at home – solitary woman in white b/c she always wore white o 1862 – wrote 366 poems; had nervous breakdown o Published 10/1800+ poems anonymously o Wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson – poetry editor of Atlantic Monthly § Encouraged Emily to write but not t o publish o 1874 – her father dies, 1875 – mother paralyzed, 188 6 – Emily dies o Asked her sister to burn all of her letters & poems after she died – only burned letter, starts publishing poetry o Thomas Johnson developed the # system o Hymn Meter/Common Meter – Iambic Pentameter, simple unstressed syllable followed by stressed syllable, 4 line stanza § Ex) Amazing Grace, The me to Gilligan’s Island o “My life closed twice before it’s close” § “My life closed twice before it’s close;/ It yet remains to see/ If immortality unveil/ A third event to me” rd • Experience 2 tragedies before she died, suffered a event § “So huge, so hopeless to conceive/ As these that twice befell./ Parting is all we know of heaven,/ & all we need of hell.” – traumatic events • Paradox – contradictory, doesn’t seem true – loosing someone reminds you how much you love them is heaven & hell is the loss § Death – loosing someone o “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died” § “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died -/ The Stillness in the Room/ Was like the Stillness in the Air -/ Between the Heaves of Storm -/ The Eyes around – had wrung them dry -/ & Breaths were gathering firm/ For that last Onset – when the King/ Be witnessed – in the Room -/ I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away/ What portion of me be/ Assignable - & then it was/ There interposed a Fly -/ With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz -/ Between the light - & me -/ & then the Windows failed - & then/ I could not see to see -” § From dying person’s perspective § Death images: light, will § Mourners are cried out, seems religious, looses concentration b/c of the fly o “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” § “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -/ untouched by Morning -/ & untouched by noon -/ Sleep the meek members of the resurrection,/ Rafter of Satin & Roof of Stone -/ Grand go the Tears,/ In the Crescent above them -/ Worlds scoop their Arcs -/ & Firmaments –row -/ Diadems – drop -/ & Doges – surrender -/ soundless as Dots,/ On a Disc of Snow.” – lying in tomb, all of history goes on while these people lay in tomb waiting to go to Heaven § Emily doubted religion & Calvinism o “A narrow Fellow in the Grass” § “A narrow Fellow in the Grass/ Occasionally rides -/ You may have met him? Did you not/ His notice instant is -/ The Grass divides as with a Comb -/ A spotted Shaft is seen,/ & then is closes at your Feet/ & opens further on -/ He likes a Boggy Acre -/ A Floor too cool for Corn -/ But when a Boy & Barefoot/ I more than once at Noon/ Have passed I though a Whip Lash/ Unbraiding in the Sun/ When stooping to secure it/ It wrinkled & was gone-/ Several of Nature’s People/ I know & they know me/ I feel for them a transport/ Of Cordiality/ But n ever met this Fellow/ Attended or alone/ Without a tighter Breathing/ & Zero at the Bone.” o “Success is counted sweetest” § “Success is counted sweetest/ By those who ne’er succeed./ To comprehend a nectar/ Requires sorest need./ Not one of all the purple Host/ Who took the Flag today/ Can tell the definition/ So clear of Victory/ As he d– dying -/ On whose forbidden ear/ The distant strains of triumph/ Burst agonized & clear!” • Someone in war understands when he hears the other side cheering § Success can only be appreciated by those who are not always successful • The 2 greatest poets of the 19Century: Whitman & Dickinson – complete opposites o Whitman: free verse, promoted himself, “poet of America” o Dickinson: recluse, did not publish, hymn meter • Comprehensive o Framed Writing § Ben Franklin: Framed Writing – story within a story • Examples: The Princess Bride, Canterbury Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights • Richard Saunders (author) à Father Abraham (Quotes Poor Richard) à Poor Richard • Biblical reference – Father Abraham – makes him seem wise § Washington Irving • Sleepy Hollow is from the Sketch book collection – framed writing o Irving à Crayon à Knickerbocker à Brom o Brom tells the story, Knickerbocker hears it, Crayon gets the story from Knickerbocker, & Irvingthe real writer o Captivity Narrative & Slave Narrative § Genre – Captivity Narrative (testimony, historical document, memoir) • Popular in her day – specifically European women captured by natives • Could be considered travel literature b/c the Natives are nomadic • 1) Women outside normal roles – separated from husband & children o Not treated the way women are to be treated o Some women become violent to survive • 2) Differences between natives & settlers o Stereotyped the natives – think they’re all evil o “Last of the Mohicans” – influences by Mary o Religious Differences § P.257 – she does not try to convert the natives ; About God’s goodness & salvation • James Fenimore Cooper o Influenced a lot by: Captivity Narratives (Mary Rowlandson), Sentimental/love stories , historical novels (Sir Walter Scott), & theory § Theory of Social Evolution –people & communities changed based on how they subsisted • 1) Hunting/gathering; 2) herding (animals for food); 3) agriculture; 4) modern • Takes progressively less land as time goe s on • Cooper felt like people were happier living simple like hunters/gathers (Natives) o Gives Natty Bumppo this mindset § Slave Narrative – true story that recounts the experiences of slaves pre -civil war who escape & make their way North • Like Captivity Narrative (Mary Rowlandson) o Both show people who have been taken away from home & family o Both have to exist in unfamiliar society o Both victims struggle with feelings of freedom & dangers of escape o Both grow spiritually (Mary Rowlandson) & morally (Frederic k Douglass) o Uncle Tom’s Cabin vs. Frederick Douglass o Uncle Tom’s Cabin o Uncle Tom’s Cabin § Most influential novel written in Antebellum period (pre civil war) § Context • Religious book – if everyone was a Christian then we wouldn’t have slavery, Calvinist, equals o Phillis Wheatley’s poem about religious equals • Political Aspect – 1830s Abolitionist movement o William Loyd Garrison – newspaper editor (The Liberator), stir people up § Felt North wasn’t moral & should secede from the South § Allowed escapee slaves to put their stories in his paper (Frederick Douglas) § Tries to break stereotypes o “The Compromise of 1850” § California wants to be a free state, North gives concessions to South § 1) California becomes free state § 2) Utah & New Mexico become territory – 1 step to be a state • Allowed to choose between free state or slave state § 3) Pass New Fugitive Slave Law • Old law – Northerners had to return slaves • New – Northerners have to hunt slaves & return them § Uncle Tom’s Cabin – written in Protest – especially to #3 § 1 published in cereal form – once a week in newspaper for 1 year § Later published in book form – sold 350,000 copies, translated into 22 languages, civil war 3 mil copies § Stowe called trouble maker by abolitionists. South said it was pro -slavery • Aunt Phillis’s Cabin – written by southerner, slaves set free but ask to come back • Lincoln called her Little Lady who started a big war § Uncle Tom – Christian, martyr, courage, firm in his beliefs, tries not to sin § Senator Bird – New Fugitive Slave Law, illegal to h elp slaves;Mrs. Bird didn’t think Christian men pass • Law – Mrs. Bird says Bible says to help & Bible > law • Stowe getting rid of idea that Bible says slavery is OK o Politicians are acting wrong - Wrong is wrong o Makes Bird for the law, but later he can’t fol low it & helps Eliza § Popular b/c evoked emotion – Sentimental Power – appeals to mothers & families • Narrator to reader – how far could you run to save your baby • Make readers feel for Eliza, stir emotion, appeal to motherhood • Eliza to Mrs. Bird – appeal to motherhood & family • Stowe pleading with readers to protect bond with mother, children, & family o Slavery breaks up families – real evil • Cassy’s story o Ch. Called “The Quadroon Story”; Quadroon = person who is ¼ black, labeled black § Why Cassy is a slave o Children sold to cover gambling debts – children with white men often sold o Cassy kills baby with laudanum b/c slavery is worse than death § Laudanum – Opium dissolved in alcohol, dangerous o Slavery destroys black & white families – selling children, black mistresses o Sentimental power to change hearts § Most slaves are Christian or become Christian § Claim that Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a racist book • “As she was also so white as not the be known of colored lineage, without a critical survey, & her child was white also, it was much easier for her to pass on unsuspected.” o Racist – Eliza is part white o All of the characters look white o Stowe is Northern white woman writing for Northern white women – makes them sympathetic, influence husbands, husbands makes laws o Mrs. Bird impacts Senator Bird § Stowe doesn’t try to make the South look bad • Legree is Northerner who came to the South • Shelby’s son went to buy Tom, found him dying, then set all of his slaves free o Transcendentalism § Ralph Waldo Emerson st • 1 book – Nature – published anonymously o Ideas of Transcendentalism – go beyond § Idealism based on understanding of world through reason rather than sensory perception • 4 things about Transcendentalism: o Nature is expression/part of God – can be found in nature o Find God in nature = find God in self o Individual experiences > traditions; trust yourself o Feeling & imagination > thought; Romantic, trust your heart • Transcendental clubs – followers; lectures recorded, included in his essays o Learn from others but do not imitate – be different o Douglass comparable to Ben Franklin § Franklin – leading Deist; Jonathan Edwards – leading Theist • Scientist, printer, diplomat, humanist (liberal), humanitarian, rational/logical (logic has all the answers) • Embraced & demonstrated Neoclassical qua lities • Believed in reality of world as experienced through senses (Deist) • Believed in progress through education & humanitarianism • Unique life – long life, 1 of 15 children, self taught o Father was a soap & candle maker o Father wanted to give him to the ch urch as a preacher (needed college for that) o Great swimmer – taught lessons – swam across a river o Apprenticed with his brother as a printer • At the Print Shop o Wrote essays & slid them under the door at night & used pen name “Silence Dogood” o Brother goes to jail for offending the local authorities & Ben runs shop § Brothers have falling out, B en leaves & ends up in Philadelphia • Most significant figure of the American Revolution o Signed Declaration of Independence, constructed & signed Constitution, wrote & sign ed Treaty of Paris • Other inventions: Franklin stove, bifocals, lightning roFire Department, 1 circulating library, & researched whirlwinds (tornadoes) • Franklin is good at promoting himself • Autobiography o Business Lit – rags to riches - Hard work is key o Light, personal, entertaining o Didactic tone – educate – make book educational th o 3 parts – 4 part was never finished o Prosperity & economic growth are important ; Earthly rewards – success in this world o Believed in being moral & ethical – not for Biblical reasons; o Believed people were born good (Deist) o Supported & donated to churches – some people need church o Believed in God – but not Jesus as divine o Raised Presbyterian o Doubts that Jesus reveals himself outside Bible o Became Deist by reading books against Deism § Most well known representative of Deism § No personal prayers, God is clockmaker § More important to be a good person than to be in church § Did not believe in Elect o Typology § Mary Rowlandson • Compares Bible to her situation • Antitype – herself & Puritans; type – Joseph & brothers o Brothers cast Joseph out - sinners • “But what shall I say . . . marvelous in our eyes.” – p.283 #1 o Comparison, God’s decision to punish them but also offer salvation • “Now the heathen . . . He hath as many to destroy them.” – p.284 #5 o God waits until people say they have no hope but God steps in & punishes heathens § Edward Taylor st • Metaphysical Poetry – 1 of the 1 American o More Scholarly, fancy way of writing o Spiritual conceit o Metaphors & figure s of speech o Analyzes people o He wrote “meditations” on his perspective on Bible verses - starting on p.291 § Puritan meditation – putting love/emotion in words § Uses typology § Jonathan Edwards – “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” • Compares to Israelites § Nathaniel Hawthorne – “The Minister’s Black Veil”
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