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CALPOLY / Engineering / engl 252 / augustine confessions summary book 2

augustine confessions summary book 2

augustine confessions summary book 2


School: California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Department: Engineering
Course: Great Books II: Medieval to Enlightenment Literature
Professor: Paul dustin stegner
Term: Winter 2017
Tags: St. Augustine, Confessions, qoutes, english, and 252
Cost: 50
Name: Engl 252 Midterm 1 Study Guide
Description: An in-depth study guide of Saint Augustine Confessions. I have included book summaries and the important quotes from each chapter.
Uploaded: 01/29/2017
7 Pages 215 Views 0 Unlocks

Here was the slave who ran away from his master and chased a shadow instead! What an abomination! What a parody of life! What abysmal death! Could I enjoy doing wrong for no other reason than that it was wrong?

- “Since I had no real power to break his law, was it that I enjoyed at least the pretense of doing so, like a prisoner who creates for himself the illusion of liberty by doing something wrong, when he has no fear of punishment, under a feeble hallucination of power?

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English 252 Great Books II: Medieval to  Enlightenment Literature  (Professor Stegner) Midterm 1 Study Guide  St. Augustine Confessions Background  - Spiritual Autobiography - Takes place at the end of the 4th century A.D - Not a total account of Augustine’s life, just the spiritual aspects - “I” is not necessarily Augustine, “I” is a certain spiritual persona - Confession (2 parts) - To praise God - Admit fault to God - Providence = divine design - Things happen for a reason - Teleology (telos) implies having a goal - The purpose is to seek God - Conversion Experience  - Turning toward God - Sin is Augustine’s main obstacle  - Original Sin comes from the book of Genesis and the fall of Adam and Eve - Concupiscence = the inclination to sin - Baptism gives the possibility to be saved and is a Holy sacrament - Atones (pays back) for the original sin of Adam and Eve - Faculty psychology 3 parts - Memory ???? stores information - Understanding ???? reason - Will to act - Divine illumination ???? God imprints knowledge and therefore it is part of human nature to seek  God even from birth - Todays view of infants ???? Tabula Rasa, or blank slate - Aenied ???? famous book of poetry at the time - About an epic hero - Augustine is a Christian epic hero Book I - Summary - He goes to school in Thagaste and later in Madaura- He has be educated in religion but even when Augustine gets really sick, he is not  baptized  - Known for being a sinner - Augustine begins this book praying to God - Augustine questions many things but in the end decides that anyone searching for God  will find him and praise him - It would not be possible to reject God - He also concludes that in order for people to look for God, they have to hear about Him  first - Augustine asks God to “come into” him - “all things find in you their origin, their impulse, the centre of their being.” - Augustine questions the substance of God and how much of the world he fills - He wants God to give him the words to explain His importance - He learns to speak and how language works - Augustine reveals he was beaten by his schoolmasters and how it made him afraid of learning - Augustine’s sins - Being distracted by theatre and sports (“delusions”) - Envying other students for their intelligence - Lying, stealing food, cheating - Catechumen - Someone converting to Christianity but hasn’t been baptized yet - He gets really sick but doesn’t get baptized - His mother, Monica, is a Christian and wants him to be baptized before he dies - Augustine doesn’t want people telling him what to learn - The value of his learning came from God, not from his teachers - Most people saw education as a way to become rich and powerful - Augustine thinks God uses education to convert people - He didn’t see the point in learning Greek - He is obsessed with the Aeneid and cries over Dido’s death - He talks about how he blames the educators for teaching kids about the Roman gods like Jupiter  because they are inappropriate and put sex into the minds of children  - Augustine recited Juno’s speech for a class competition and wins - He compares his experience to being a rotten fruit that birds peck at and to offerings  made by fallen angles - Augustine becomes a rhetorician and struggles with the morality behind his arguments - He feels bad about searching for truth elsewhere than God Book I Important Quotes - “Can any man say enough when he speaks of you? Yet woe betide those who are silent about  you! For even those who are most gifted with speech cannot find words to describe you.” (I.4) - “These questions I must put to you, for I have no one else to answer them.” (I.6) - Augustine is talking to God - He believes that everything has an explanation that just needs to be reveled by God - “Need it concern me if some people cannot understand this? Let them ask what it means, and be  glad to ask: but they may content themselves with the questions alone. For it is better for them to  find you and leave the question unanswered than to find the answer without finding you.” (I.6)- Augustine thinks it is more important to believe in God than to understand the specifics of  who he is - This is a problem Augustine struggles with - “Who can recall to me the sins I committed as a baby? For in your sight no man is free from sin,  not even a child who has lived only one day on earth.” (I.7) - Augustine is saying that no human can be sinless, and therefore everyone needs to know  God’s mercy - “I was obliged to memorize the wanderings of a hero names Aeneas, while in the meantime I  failed to remember my own erratic ways. I learned to lament the death of Dido, who killed herself  for love, while all the time, in the midst of these things, I was dying, separated from you, my God  and my Life, and I shed no tears for my own plight. (I.13) - Augustine is talking about the Aeneid, by Roman poet Virgil - Taught to every student of Latin.  - Augustine thinks literature is a distraction to true emotion and God - “I learned it without being forced by threats of punishment, because it was my own wish to be  able to give expression to my thoughts.” (I.14) - People are more willing to learn when they are not afraid - “But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in him but in myself and his  other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.” (I.20) - Augustine is saying that he sins because he cares too much about himself instead of God Book 2 - Summary  - One year at home before going to Carthage to study - Lust of adolescence - Steals pears from a pear tree Book 2 Important Quotes - “Bodily desire, like a morass, and adolescent sex welling up within me exuded mists which  clouded over and obscured my heart, so that I could not distinguish the clear light of true love  from the murk of lust.” (II.2) - “This was the age at which the frenzy gripped me and I surrendered myself entirely to lust, which  your law forbids but human hearts are not ashamed to sanction.” (II.2) - “Grief eats away its heart for the loss of things which it took pleasure in desiring, because it wants  to be like you, from whom nothing can be taken away. “(II.6) - Augustine thinks that loving things that are not God is the root of all pain and suffering - “Let my heart now tell you what prompted me to do wrong for no purpose, and why it was only my  own love of mischief that made me do it.” (II.4) - Augustine cannot come up with a good explanation for why he sins  - People do horrible things for no reason without God to show them the way - “All these things, and their like can be occasions of sin because, good though they are, they are  of the lowest order of good, and if we are too much tempted by them we abandon those higher  and better things, your truth, your law, and you yourself, O Lord our God. (II.5) - Augustine is saying that there are high and low orders of good and earthly things  shouldn’t be more good or important than God - There are also “occasions of sin” where you don’t necessarily have to sin, but you are  putting yourself in the position to sin - “Since I had no real power to break his law, was it that I enjoyed at least the pretense of doing so,  like a prisoner who creates for himself the illusion of liberty by doing something wrong, when he  has no fear of punishment, under a feeble hallucination of power? Here was the slave who ran  away from his master and chased a shadow instead! What an abomination! What a parody of life!  What abysmal death! Could I enjoy doing wrong for no other reason than that it was wrong?” (II.6) - Augustine uses the slave and prisoner metaphors to explain that when people break the  rules of someone more powerful then them, there is not really a point. They still do not  have power and they are just fooling themselves. - “In my youth I wandered away, too far from your sustaining hand, and created of myself a barren  waste.” (II.10) - Augustine is comparing the essence of his being to waste and only God can change that  Book 3 - Summary  - Augustine goes to Carthage  - Falls in love with philosophy after reading Cicero’s Hortensius - Joins the Manicheans - Monica is devastated but receives a vision and is consoled Book 3 Important Quotes - “I went to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lust.” (III.1) - “I was much attracted by the theatre, because the plays reflected my own unhappy plight and  were tinder to my fire.” (III.2) - Augustine struggles with the fake emotions that the theatre and literature arouse  - “All my empty dreams suddenly lost their charm and my heart began to throb with a bewildering  passion for the wisdom of eternal truth.” (III.4) - “To me [Bible] seemed quite unworthy of comparison with the stately prose of Cicero, because I  had too much conceit to accept their simplicity and not enough insight to penetrate their depths.”  (III.5) - Augustine thinks the Bible is poorly written and uninspiring  - He later decides to read the bible figuratively, not literally after meeting Ambrose Book 4 - Summary  - Augustine goes to Thagaste  - He becomes teacher and has a mistress - Briefly becomes interested in astrology - A close friend dies and he grieves in Carthage - Writes the book Beauty and Proportion Book 4 Important Quotes - “On the one hand we would hunt for worthless popular distinctions, the applause of an audience,  prizes for poetry, or quickly fading wreaths won in competition. We loved the idle pastimes of the  stage and in self-indulgence we were unrestrained. On the other hand we aspired to be purged of  these lowly pleasures” (IV.1) - “Tears alone were sweet to me, for in my heart's desire they had taken the place of my friend.”  (IV.4.3)- Augustine is grieving and questions what is the purpose  - “I lived in misery, like every man whose soul is tethered by the love of things that cannot last and  then is agonized to lose them.” (IV.6) - Augustine is saying that it is bad to love anything that isn’t God because they are just  temporary and distract from Him - “We can see from this that the soul is weak and helpless unless it clings to the firm rock of truth.  Men give voice to their opinions, but they are only opinions, like so many puffs of wind that waft  the soul hither and tither and make it veer and turn.” (IV.14) - The truth is firm and opinions are fleating Book 5 - Summary  - Faustus (bishop of Manichees), comes to Carthage  - Looses faith in Manichean doctrine and leaves Rome for Milan - Reads Neo-Platonist teachings and finally rejects Manichean doctrine - Teacher of Rhetoric in Milan and listens to Saint Ambrose sermons Book 5 Important Quotes - “The truth, of course, was that it was all my own self, and my own impiety had divided me against  myself. My sin was all the more incurable because I did not think myself a sinner” (V.10) - The Manicheans believe that everything that has substance is either good or bad and  Augustine externalizes his willpower by not taking responsibility - “You were there before my eyes, but I had deserted even my own self. I could not find myself,  much less find you.” (V.2) - Augustine is isolated from God and himself and he doesn’t know how to figure out what  he wants - “God, you had already taught me that a statement is not necessarily true because it is wrapped in  fine language or false because it is awkwardly expressed.” (V.6) - Augustine is learning that the Truth is the Truth, no matter how simply or elegantly  expressed it is - This is a problem with the Bible that he struggles with throughout his story - “O Lord my God, is this not the truth as I remember it?” (V.6) - “Life at Carthage was a real misery and I loathed it: but the happiness I hoped to find at Rome  was not real happiness.” (V.8) - Augustine is looking for a way to be happy, but he is looking to external aspects of his life - He needs to examine his soul to determine what is causing his pain - “For although I did not trouble to take what Ambrose said to heart, but only to listen to the manner  in which he said it-this being the only paltry interest that remained to me now that I had lost hope  that man could find the path that led to you-nevertheless his meaning, which I tried to ignore,  found its way into my mind together with his words, which I admired so much.” (V.14) - Ambrose is more educated and interested in finding Truth, while Faustus is the more  charismatic speaker Book 6 - Summary  - Monica comes to Milan- Augustine learns from Saint Ambrose that Scripture is not always supposed to be  understood literally - He struggles with chastity and ambition but dumps his mistress and gets married Book 6 Important Quotes - “Although I could form not the vaguest idea, even with the help of allegory, of how there could be  substance that was spiritual, nevertheless I was glad that all this time I had been howling my  complaints not against the Catholic faith but against something quite imaginary which I had  thought up in my own head.” (VI.3) - “His celibacy seemed to me the only hardship which he had to bear.” (VI.3) - He is talking about Ambrose - “I refused to allow myself to accept any of it in my heart, because I was afraid of a headlong fall,  but I was hanging in suspense which was more likely to be fatal than a fall.” (VI.4) - Augustine meets Ambrose and questions Manichean doctrine that he was so invested in - “But we did not relinquish out worldly aims, because we could not see the light of any truth that  we might grasp in place of them.” (VI.10) - “Alypius could not understand how it was that I, of whom he thought so highly, could be so firmly  caught in the toils of sexual pleasure as to assert, whenever we discussed the subject, that I  could not possibly endure the life of a celibate. When I saw that he was puzzled by my words, I  used to defend them by saying that there was a great difference between his own hasty, furtive  experience and my enjoyment of a settled way of life.” (VI.12) - “I was impatient at the delay of two years which had to pass before the girl whom I had asked to  marry became my wife, and because I was more a slave to lust than a true lover of marriage, I  took another mistress, without the sanction of wedlock. (VI.15) Book 7 - Summary  - Augustine still struggles with seeing God as a spiritual being and explaining evil - Through Platonist teachings, he concludes “that evil is a perversion of the will, not a  substance like the Manicheans claimed - Reads the Epistles of Saint Paul Book 7 Important Quotes - “Everywhere I looked they loomed before my eyes in swarms and clusters, and when I set myself  to thinking and tried to escape from them, images of these selfsame things blocked my way, as  though they were asking where I meant to go, unclean and undeserving as I was.” (VII.7) - “All who know the truth know this Light, and all who know this Light know eternity.” (VII.10) - “Falsehood is nothing but the supposed existence of something which has no being.” (VII.15) Book 8 - Summary  - Conversation of Victorinus, the translator of Plotinius - Still struggles with ambition and chastity  - Augustine hears how two officers of the Emperor’s court were converted by reading the  story of Antony (Egyptian monk) - He goes to the garden and hears a child’s voice which he perceives as a divine message  - Augustine finally converts and Monica is happyBook 8 Important Quotes - “For my will was perverse and lust had grown from it, and when I gave in to lust habit was born,  and when I did not resist the habit it became a necessity.” (VIII.5) - “So these two wills within me, one old, one new, one the servant of the flesh, the other of the  spirit, were in conflict and between them they tore my soul apart.” (VIII.5) - “It remained silent and afraid, for as much as the loss of life itself it feared the stanching of the  flow of habit, by which it was wasting away to death.” (VIII.7) - “My inner self was a house divided against itself.” (VIII.8) - Augustine again personifies his emotions in separate entities  Book 9 - Summary  - Augustine quits his job and goes to Cassiciacum - The next Easter he returns to Milan to get baptized  - He is going to go back to Africa with Monica  - While waiting for the ship at Ostia, Augustine and Monica talk about the life of saints in  heaven  - Monica dies and the story ends in a prayer for her and her afterlife Book 9 Important Quotes - “Who am I? What kind of man am I? What evil have I not done?” (IX.1) - “Tremble and sin no more, and this moved me deeply, my God,because now I had learnt to  tremble for my past, so that in future I might sin no more.” (IX.4) - “And while we spoke of the eternal Wisdom, longing for it and straining for it with all the strength  of our hearts, for one fleeting instant we reached out and touched it.” (IX.10)

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