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March 7th and 9th

by: Callisa Ruschmeyer

March 7th and 9th ENGL 2250 - 001

Callisa Ruschmeyer
GPA 4.0

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Hey! Due to my Spring Break plans, I am uploaded just two days worth of notes. Friday, Mach 11th's notes will be included with the next set of notes. March 7th: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Relia...
American Literature before 1865
Julia Tigner
Class Notes
Tigner, Auburn University, american literature, Self-Reliance, Emerson, The Birth-Mark, Hawthorne
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Callisa Ruschmeyer on Wednesday March 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 2250 - 001 at Auburn University taught by Julia Tigner in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see American Literature before 1865 in Foreign Language at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 03/09/16
March 7-11 Emerson, "Self-Reliance" 1. Paragraph 1- definition of individualism o Anyone who follows his own views is "genius" o Coming up with your own thoughts o Believe in yourself and your ideas- do not take shame in your own opinions 2. Paragraph 7 (643-644)- advice on how to life a self-reliant life o Most well developed o Only paragraph where he interacts with other people o Live life to your natural instinct o Three individuals mentioned- their behaviors are?  Valued advisor- indifferent; advisor toward religion; beliefs are bared on tradition; "valued" has a sarcastic tone- breaks away from church, but the church is still the most highly valued institution  Angry bigot- talking about abolition in Barbados, but we can assume he is a hypocrite and owns slaves; be more honest than loving; the bigot is hostile and that causes him to be more radical; very hateful; emotional and irrational rather than rational  Foolish philanthropist- assumes obligations for everyone; too giving (but that's what he thinks he is supposed to do...and if I give, I will be seen as a good person); philanthropist's motives are foolish 3. Emerson's diagnosis of American society in 1841 o Society chooses personal decisions that we should be making on our own o "strength is born from faith"- beauty if individual destiny o America is indecisive, and therefore weak o Society cannot be great if we continue this way 4. Paragraph 35 (654-655) o People complain about their failures o A sturdy man's job ranges over many occupations- from school teacher to congressman o A study man who may fail is still better off than "a hundred city dolls" 5. Paragraph 36 (655) o Not just rely on prayer and God's Will o "Self-helping" man o Individuals in society should be less reliant on God- in all aspects of life (from work to family) o New vigor o Institutions will change o Self-reliant leader will bring about social change  Successes: nonconformity allows for more mobility in society- everyone grows and has their own individual successes  Failures: humanity does not have the natural instinct to push themselves out of their comfort zones; if all society was good, Emerson's ideas would work…but society is flawed Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Birth-Mark (690-703)  Georgiana might be the cause of her own demise o She knows she is going to die- the odds of her surviving is very low o Not to blame- she was pressured into feeling like she had to change o Initially, she did not feel like her birth-mark was an issue; some people though it was mystical and almost charming o Her self-conscience made her change  Descriptions provided in the text about each of the following. Consider his/her/its function. What does __________represent/symbolized? o Alymer  Confident in himself  Science experiments show evidence on what he wishes he could do  He demonstrates how nothing you do can make something perfect  Very readable  Bright and loves science-but somewhat of a failure  "pale"- 700,701; he is very black/white - he is very bland, things are the way they are  "pale, anxious, absorbed"- 700 --> although he is compliment, he is getting nervous and physically loses his colors  "pale" on 701- Alymer knows what he is doing- he is about to complete the experiment; the anxiety has shifted to what the result will be, not how to perform the experiment  *What he represents- the human mind trying to be perfect, but sometimes its drive hazes morality o Georgiana  "a beautiful woman"  "so perfect"  "whitest marble" complexion  Intelligent- reads philosophy and scientific literature  Submissive to husband  Too beautiful to have such an ugly blemish on her face  She functions as the "what could have been" to Alymer  Aylmer idolizes her, but only when he ignores the Crimson Hand- Georgiana idolizes him except for the fact that he wants to change her  Starts off very naïve, but then finds his book of past failed experiments  She chooses to be ignorant to the fact that his experiment on the birthmark may not work  Page 701- she accepts and is devoted to whatever her husband says; she does not question it- but she dies because of him; therefore, is self-sacrificing  She is willing to sacrifice her life (due to knowing his past failures) for the happiness of her husband ("you rejected the best the world could offer")  Parallels to Romeo and Juliet  Marriage during this time period- a woman relies so much on her husband, she must please him to continue living the life she currently has  She is morally supposed to do what her husband says  *What she represents- how a woman should be pure and submissive; or the pursuit of perfection; or the world's humanity- and how you should not give up your humanity and morals to reach perfection o The Birthmark  Shape of the hand  Not superficial, but goes to the soul- it becomes her  A fairy touched her cheek- it’s a charm (so starts off as magical and mystical, not necessarily a flaw)  Characteristic of who she is; just a feature  The mark is looked at in different ways by all the different types of people  Mark is crimson red  In contrast to Aylmer’s paleness, the red is very intense (which added to Aylmer’s angriness toward it)  Red = humanity of life; Aylmer is pale, so basically just a simple machine and lifeless  Pale = purity; red = sin  *What it represents- the mark itself embodies imperfection of society o Aminadab  *What he represents-  What message would the story be conveying to the reader? o Negative self-image is detrimental o Believe your own opinions regarding your appearance- it shouldn't matter what other people think  How would you apply the message(s) to the contemporary world we live in? o Social media is centered around the images of people- real and fake o Marketing products to make your appearance artificially more attractive o Heavy influence on being able to alter anything you with regarding personal appearance


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