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AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURAL HISTORY

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Title: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURAL HISTORY


1
AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURAL HISTORY
  • SEMINAR ONE

2
WHAT IS LITERATURE?
  • works of the creative imagination, including
    works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction
  • represents a language or a people culture and
    tradition
  • we may even grow and evolve through our literary
    journey with books
  • we may discover meaning in literature by looking
    at what the author says and how he/she says it
  • Do you read?, Did you have a formative reading
    experience?
  • How about reading a book and seeing its film
    version after?

3
APPROACHES TO LITERATURE
  • What is the message?
  • What do we learn from the work?
  • How is the life of the author reflected in the
    given work?
  • What historical, social, or political background
    is reflected in the given work?
  • What is the structure of the given work
    introduction, exposition, conflict, resolution

4
PURPOSES OF LITERARY CRITICISM
  • Resolving a question or problem concerning a
    reading
  • Deciding between conflicting readings
  • Helps to make informed judgments about literature

5
LITERARY CRITICISM
  • Skylar Hamilton Burris
  • Work itself formalist, deconstructionist
  • Authors world, authors life historical
    biographical, psychological (psychoanalytic)
  • Audience reader response
  • Other literature intertextual
  • Real world feminist, mimetic, minority reading
  • Beyond the world symbolic, archetypal

6
MORAL, INTELLECTUAL
  • Concerned with the content and values of the work
  • What is the message?
  • How can the reader apply it to his or her life?
  • How can the reader make his life better by the
    message?

7
FORMALIST APPROACH
  • emphasizes the form of a literary work to
    determine its meaning, focusing on literary
    elements and how they work to create meaning
  • Examines a text as independent from its time
    period, social setting, and authors background.
    A text is an independent entity
  • Focuses on close readings of texts and the
    analysis of the effects of literary elements and
    techniques

8
STRUCTURALIST APPROACH
  • Attempts to discover forms unifying all
    literature
  • Protagonist
  • -active, submissive
  • -fail, pass code
  • -fail, pass encounter
  • Language Saussurian linguistics langue deep
    structure, a basic systematic structure of
    language, parole surface

9
PSYCHOANALYTICAL APPROACH
  • Psychoanalytical Criticism views a text as a
    revelation of its authors mind and personality.
    It is based on the work of Sigmund Freud.
  • Also focuses on the hidden motivations of
    literary characters
  • Looks at literary characters as a reflection of
    the writer

10
PSYCHOANALYTICAL APPROACH
  • Repressed sexual drives in the subconscious
    influence the conscious
  • Oedipus/Electra complex
  • Sexuality vs. Ambiguity
  • Revealing the textual unconscious
  • Treating the text, or the author as a patient
  • Exploring childhood traumas

11
SOCIOLOGICAL
  • Sociological criticism argues that social
    contexts (the social environment) must be
    considered when analyzing a text.
  • Focuses on the values of a society and how those
    views are reflected in a text
  • Emphasizes the economic, political, and cultural
    issues within literary texts
  • Core Belief Literature is a reflection of its
    society

12
FEMINIST
  • Feminist Criticism is concerned with the role,
    position, and influence of women in a literary
    text.
  • Asserts that most literature throughout time
    has been written by men, for men.
  • Examines the way that the female consciousness is
    depicted by both male and female writers.

13
  • 1) Feminine Stage - involves "imitation of the
    prevailing modes of the dominant tradition" and
    "internalization of its standards."(2) Feminist
    Stage - involves "protest against these standards
    and values and advocacy of minority
    rights...."(3) Female Stage - this is the "phase
    of self-discovery, a turning inwards freed from
    some of the dependency of opposition, a search
    for identity."
  • Elaine Showalter

14
  • 4 Basic Principles of Feminist Criticism
  • Western civilization is patriarchal.
  • The concepts of gender are mainly cultural ideas
    created by patriarchal societies.
  • Patriarchal ideals pervade literature.
  • Most literature through time has been
    gender-biased.

15
FEMINIST APPROACH
  • Fighting against stereotypical descriptions
  • Promotion of essentialism
  • Ecriture feminine v . Male writing
  • Expansion of the canon
  • Female archetypal patterns Magna Mater (Ma Joad,
    Mrs. Baradlay) Virgin ( virtuous woman),
    Repulsive Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Temptress
    (Eve, Catherine Trask)

16
HISTORICAL-BIOGRAPHICAL
  • The work is a reflection of an authors life and
    times
  • The political, economical, and sociological
    aspects of the authors life must be understood
    in order to fully appreciate the given work
  • Danger intentional fallacy, the reduction of a
    given work to a manifestation of autobiography

17
ARECHETYPAL, MYTH CRITICAL
  • Archetypes located in the collective unconscious
    (Jung)
  • Critic searches for archetypal patterns, Northrop
    Frye Master archetype, master story The Bible
    (Anatomy of Criticism, The Great Code)
  • water - creation, birth-death-resurrection,
    purification, redemption, fertility, growth
  • garden - paradise (Eden), innocence, fertility
  • desert - spiritual emptiness, death, hopelessness
  • red - blood, sacrifice, passion, disorder
  • serpent - evil, sensuality, mystery, wisdom,
    destruction
  • hero archetype -  The hero is involved in a quest
    (in which he overcomes obstacles). He experiences
    initiation (involving a separation,
    transformation, and return), and finally he
    serves as a scapegoat, that is, he dies to atone.
    Joseph Campbell, The Hero with the Thousand
    Faces)

18
DECONSTRUCTIONISM
  • Language does not refer to any external reality.
  • There are several contradictory interpretations
    of a given text.
  • Each text contains the exact opposite of its
    professed meaning Jacques Derrida
  • Dismantling the ground, the text stands on
  • Due to a continuing interplay between text and
    meaning, one can never fully understand a text

19
NARRATOLOGY (A. Julien Greimas)
  • The novel as a narrative J.R. R. Tolkien The
    Lord of the Rings
  • Main motif transfer of an object of value from
    one actant to another
  • Actant (aspects of narrative)
  • Subject-Object project (Frodo wants to return
    the Ring)
  • Sender-Receiver. Communication (Saruman to Orks)
  • Helper-Opponent conflict (Gandalf, Smeagol)

20
ACTANT interaction
  • Performative test, struggle
  • Contractual honoring or dishonoring a contract
    or agreement
  • Discjuctional departure, return

21
LITERATURE AND THE AMERICAN DREAM
  • A city upon a hill
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • America as cornucopea
  • Freedom, equality, opportunity,
  • Success
  • Making it

22
SEMINAR TWO
  • John Smith (1580-631) Biographical information
  • Grew up in Lincolnshire, shopkeepers apprentice,
    mercenary from 1601-1605
  • Captured, sold into slavery, returns to London
  • 1606 The London Trading Company receives a
    patent (charter) from the Crown
  • Sails to Virginia, aboard 144 people, 39 die
  • Charged with mutiny, excluded from government
    until 1607
  • Main issues at the colony health, dealing with
    the economic crisis, survival

23
JOHN SMITH
  • Main activities exploring the territory
  • Captured by Powhatan
  • Pocahontas episode appears in The General History
    (1624)
  • Redemption of a captive by a child of nature
  • 1608 elected as governor
  • 1609 returns to England after a gunpowder
    explosion
  • 1614 returns to the coast of Maine, Names the
    area New England
  • 1620 rejected by Pilgrims but they use his map
    of New England

24
THE GENERAL HISTORY.
  • Nothing is more honorable than the discovery of
    things unknown, creating towns, peopling
    countries, informing the ignorant, reforming
    things unjust, teaching virtue and making a gain
    to our mother country (A Description of New
    England 1616)
  • History, Relations, Relaciónmostly a report, a
    journal, not a professional history writer

25
GENERAL QUESTIONS
  • What were the circumstances of the journey to
    America?
  • Were the colonists given clear instructions from
    the beginning of the expedition?
  • Was the trip an uninterrupted one?
  • How does he describe America, especially the
    Caribbean region?
  • Can you find any elements in the text referring
    to Puritan values?
  • What happened to the settlers upon arrival?
  • Why was Smith not included among the potential
    leaders or members of the council?
  • What difficulties did the colonists face?
  • Describe his meeting with Openchancanaugh
  • How does he describe Powhatan?

26
THE POCAHONTAS EPISODE
  • What happened to John Smith in Powhatans camp?
  • Why was he sentenced to death and how did he
    escape?
  • How could the episode be interpreted?
  • Nature v. culture
  • Male v. female
  • Self v. other

27
THE POCAHONTAS EPISODE (group work)
  • Find archetypal elements in the story
  • How could you give a feminist interpretation of
    the story?
  • How could you apply the psychoanalytic method
  • How could you apply the sociological method?

28
INTERPRETING CRUCIAL LINES
  • the company was not a little discomforted seeing
    the mariners had three days passed their
    reckoning and found no land
  • That night was the box opened and the orders read
  • Now falleth ever man to work
  • The Presidents overweening jealousy
  • The new President committed the managing of all
    things abroad to Captain Smith

29
INTERPRETING CRUCIAL LINES
  • When no entreaty could prevail
  • Powhatan, having disguised himself in the most
    fearfulest manner he could
  • To have him put to death by Levitical law

30
CULTURAL TERMS
  • Patent
  • Hull
  • Sail unfurled
  • Council
  • Overweening jealousy
  • Palisade
  • Pinnace
  • Commonwealth
  • Shallop
  • Tuftaffety humorists
  • Culverine
  • Levitical law

31
IMAGE OF POCAHONTAS
  • Paula Gunn Allen medicine woman, spy,
    entrepreneur, diplomat
  • Charles Larson Every Indian, the archetypal
    Noble Savage
  • First Lady of Virginia
  • The Virgin Queen of the West
  • The Indian Ceres
  • Our Lady of the James

32
THE MYTH AND ITS FUNCTION
  • Myth self-justifying intellectual construct
    fusing falsehood with reality
  • Projection
  • Rationalization
  • Justification
  • Creation myth
  • Leslie Fiedler Symbol of the White Mans
    reconciliation with our land and its first
    inhabitants

33
THE BAPTISM OF POCAHONTAS
34
POCAHONTAS MATOAKA REBECCA
  • Pocahontas naughty one, spoiled child
  • 1612 taken prisoner by the English
  • 1614 In return for her freedom she married John
    Rolfe
  • Used in a propaganda campaign to popularize the
    Virginia Colony
  • Rebecca captivating, wife of Isaac, son of
    Abraham, mother of the Israelites through her son
    Jacog, and the Edomites, through Esau

35
PRACTICE EXERCISES
  • Write an SMS for John Smith
  • --captured by Indians (to a friend)
  • --rescued by Pocahontas (to the governor of
    Jamestown)
  • --refused to be taken to New England by the
    Pilgrims (to William Bradford)

36
SEMINAR THREE JOHN WINTHROP (1588-1649)
  • Raised on an estate (Groton, England) purchased
    from Henry VIII
  • Studied at Cambridge University
  • Married at age 17
  • Practiced law
  • Congregationalist, wants to reform the church
    from within
  • 1620 Severe economic depression

37
  • Company of Mass. Bay in N. England receives a
    charter
  • Winthrop is chosen for governor
  • Aboard Arbella delivers his sermon
  • A Model of Christian Charity

38
A MODEL OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY
  • The formation of a Christian community
  • Mission concept
  • General model of society some must be poor, some
    must be rich
  • Features of an ideal Christian community
  • --keep the common good at the front
  • --preservation and good of the whole
  • --glorify God, moderate and restrain the wicked
  • --social harmony rich should not eat up the
    poor, poor should not eat up the rich

39
WHAT RULES SHOULD ONE ABIDE BY
  • Build bonds of brotherly affection
  • Justice and mercy
  • Obey the moral law Love thy neighbor as thyself
  • Be like the two angels, the old man from Gibbeah
    offering shelter to a travelling priest

40
HOW DOES THE COVENANT WORK?
  • We live according to the teaching of God
  • The Lord expects strict performance of the terms
  • What to do to avoid the Lords wrath
  • --not to prosecute carnal intentions
  • --not to be selfish
  • --follow the counsel of Micah do justly, love
    mercy, walk humbly

41
A CITY UPON THE HILL
  • Matthew 514 For wee must Consider that wee shall
    be as a Citty upon a Hill
  • A city that is set on the hill cannot be hid.
    Neither do men light a candle and put it under a
    bushel, but on a candlestick.
  • What happens if we do not follow Gods teachings?
  • Typology, the pattern of Moses

42
  • A foundational document
  • Compact made among Americans
  • Covenant with the Supreme Being
  • A community united in charity

43
THE AMERICAN JEREMIAD
  • Sacwan Bercowitch a sermon creating tension
    between ideal social life and reality
  • --provide a biblical or spiritual standard for
    individual activity or public life
  • --describe how people fail to meet this standard
  • --describe and ideal public life following a
    return to religious standards
  • Hope v. fear, ideal v. real
  • Reagans city upon a hill

44
PRACTICE EXERCISES
  • How does the speech of Winthrop make you feel?
  • Does society meet his standards? Provide concrete
    examples
  • Do you do to others as you would to yourself?
  • Provide examples when America or Americans acted
    according to an inhabitant of a city upon a hill
  • How is the tension between hope and fear,
    individual and community manifested in the text?
  • Put Winthrops message into modern terms
  • Is Hungary meeting Winthrops criteria?

45
REVIEW
  • What is the significance of Winthrops text?
  • What ideas does he express?
  • How does he describe the ideal society?
  • What are the main elements of the jeremiad?

46
INTERPRETING THE JEREMIAD
  • Possible scenario Group work
  • You lent money to a friend, he did not pay it
    back
  • Although you saw a man lying on the ground, you
    walked by
  • Your friend is cheated on by her partner
  • Make a sermon
  • Biblical quote, doctrine, explaining the doctrine
    application, show examples, you can use fictional
    examples

47
SEMINAR FOURCAPTIVITY NARRATIVES
  • Historical background
  • The worsening of settler-Indian relations
  • Aggressive expansion of whites
  • Undermining Indian spirituality
  • Aggressive expansion of Christianity
  • Encroachment on Indian land

48
CAPTIVITY NARRATIVES
  • Indian wars
  • 1622-1632 Powhatan war
  • 1637 Pequot war
  • 1675-76 King Philips (Metacomet) War

49
CAPTIVITY NARRATIVES
  • Conflicts at the Frontiercontact zone
  • Captives are taken for making them work as slaves
  • For ransom
  • For making up a loss in the family
  • For being sold to other tribes

50
THE INDIAN CAPTIVITY NARRATIVE
  • 1528-1903
  • Basic theme separation, transformation, return
    (staying with Indians)
  • Narratives of confinement Barbary coast
    captivity, slave narrative, convent captivity
    narratives, captured by UFO narratives
  • Indian captivity narrative forerunner of the
    American novel

51
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE INDIAN CAPTIVITY NARRATIVE
  • Roy Harvey Pearce
  • Religious confessional
  • Propaganda (Indian, or French as the archenemy)
  • Penny dreadfuldime novels
  • Self-fashioning (Ogushi) establishment of
    identity

52
MARY ROWLANDSON (1682)
  • Attack on Lancaster, Mass. 1675, February 10
  • Captured with injured six year old daughter,
    Sarah
  • Self-fashioning, rebuilding identity
  • Motherhood-loses Sarah, yet figurative mother to
    Indian children
  • Sewing clothes
  • Biblical patterns, typology, Loths wife, Job

53
HANNAH DUSTAN
  • 1657-post 1700
  • 1697 March 15-April 29
  • Convalescing with child
  • Indian attack, captured with nurse, newborn is
    killed
  • Violent self-liberation, scalps captors for proof
  • Transformation turns into Indianization
  • Female violenceself fashioning (Ogushi)

54
HANNAH DUSTAN
  • -Passive witness lain in about a week, attended
    by nurse
  • -Husband hastened from his Employments abroad,
    saves children, gives up on wife
  • -Jael upon Sisera-typology
  • -Murders are motivated by fear of the gauntlet,
    death of child, she thought she was not
    Forbidden by any Law
  • -female variant of spiritual autobiography as
    observed by Patricia Spacks commemorates a
    spiritual call to an achievement and
    accomplishment in no other way excusable in a
    female self

55
SEMINAR FIVEBENJAMIN FRANKLIN
  • Review
  • What factors made the captivity narrative
    possible?
  • What are the main sections of the plot?
  • What is the significance of Rowlandsons
    Narrative?
  • How typology and the concept of the covenant are
    represented in the text?
  • What is the reason behind the popularity of
    captivity narratives?

56
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
  • Father Josiah, tallow chandler, soap maker
  • Mother. Abiah Folger (her father teacher of
    Indians)
  • Left school early, but loved books and reading
  • First essay written under the name Silence
    Dogood
  • 1723 breaks out of being a printers apprentice,
    becomes well-versed in the printing trade

57
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
  • Success in business owner of a printing shop by
    age 24, editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette
  • 1732-1758 Poor Richards Almanack
  • Inventions Franklin stove, lighting rod, bifocal
    glasses
  • 1751 Publishes his research on electricity in
    London
  • Political and public career
  • Diplomat, statesman

58
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
  • Represents the colonies in England
  • Serves in the Continental Congress
  • Serves on a committee drafting the Declaration of
    Independence
  • Promotes the Franco-American Alliance
  • A signer of the Treaty of Paris
  • Represents Pennsylvania at the Constitutional
    Convention
  • One of the most loved people of his age, at his
    funeral 20,000 mourners attend

59
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
  • Franklin and the Internet?
  • The inventor of the hoax
  • 1761 England settling prisoners on the colonies,
    he offers sending snakes to the king in return
  • 1790 speaks up against slavery through an
    imagined North African prince
  • The ancestor of the gadgeteer (fin, french fries)

60
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1706-1790)
  • Main views Man is naturally innocent, education
    can transform lives by liberating the individual
    from the tyranny of the church and the monarch
  • I should have no objection to a repetition of the
    same life from its beginning only asking the
    Advantage Authors have in a second edition to
    correct some Faults of the first

61
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN GENERAL
  • Early examples St. Augustine, Rousseau
  • The term is first is used by Robert Southey
  • Before that self-biography, self-character
  • George Gusdorf what are the foundations of the
    rise of autobiography?
  • the elimination of the mythical perspective
  • Man finds pleasure in describing his own portrait
  • Writers believing that their life experience is
    worth publishing

62
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN GENERAL
  • Requirements the presence of three selves
  • Author, narrator, and the narrated self
  • Philippe LeJeune Autobiographical pact
  • Author, narrator, narrated self are identical
  • Thomas Couser the degradation of the
    autobiographical self
  • I, eye, one
  • Susanna Egan Autobiographies contain four basic
    elements innocent childhood (gaining
    experience), youth (journey) maturity (adult
    crises) old age (confession)

63
THE LITERARY SIGNIFICANCE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
  • The first writer to break from the colonial
    Puritan ideology, promotes the values of the
    middle class
  • Did not produce literary works
  • Writings serve didactic purposes
  • Poor Richards Almanack most popular book of his
    age, published in 10,000 copies
  • Contents calendars, time of low tide, high tide
    , agricultural advice, astrology, aphorisms,
    general wisdom
  • 1757 The Way to Wealth collection of aphorisms,
    promoting middle class values industry, thrift,
    independence

64
THE LITERARY SIGNIFICANCE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
  • The Autobiography (1791)
  • Early model of the self-made man, rejection of
    predestination, he achieved success and fame
    through hard work and virtue
  • Not a spiritual journal
  • Man is not a sinner, can be improved via
    education (forerrunner of Transcendentalists)
  • Wrote mock captivity narratives, and heavily
    criticized the slave trade
  • Influenced by Swift (criticism is based on a
    pretended identification with the given position,
    and then taken to the extreme to demonstrate the
    ill effects) Defoe, Addison.
  • Style simple, clear, easily understandable
    language
  • A secular version of the Puritan spiritual
    narrative
  • A parallel between Franklin and the young
    republic (rebellion against brother, my first
    errata)

65
  • The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the
    cover an old book, its contents worn out and
    stript of its lettering and gilding) lies here,
    food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be
    lost, for it will, as he believed, appear once
    more. In a new and more beautiful edition,
    corrected and amended by its Author

66
SEMINAR SIX WASHINGTON IRVING
  • 1783-1859
  • An American with a feather in his hand, and not
    on his head
  • The first American literary figure with
    international reputation and acceptance
  • Widely read during his youth, influences
    Shakespeare, Oliver Goldsmith, Laurence Sterne
  • 1804 two year trip to Europe
  • 1807 Salmagundi, a satirical magazine,
  • Persona Mustapha Rub a Dub Keli khan captain
    from Tripoli, offers a criticism of American
    society, of Jefferson
  • 1809 The History of New York by Diedrich
    Knickerbocker
  • 1815-1832 lives in Europe
  • 1819 The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon (short
    story collection)

67
WASHINGTON IRVING
  • Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • 1828 Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus
  • Later turns to American topics Astoria,
  • 1855 The Life of George Washington

68
WASHINGTON IRVING
  • Not a writer of classic or traditional fiction
  • Limited social criticism
  • Does not describe the tragic aspects of society
  • Main genre short story
  • Describes everyday events
  • Uses elegant language
  • Satirist, humorist, influenced Dickens

69
RIP VAN WINKLE
  • Reference to Diedrich Knickerbocker
  • Story takes place at the Catskills
  • Rip simple, good-natured fellow, ancestors
    fought in a war against the Swedes, he is not a
    fighter
  • Obedient, hen-pecked husband
  • Popular in the village
  • Ready to attend anybodys business, but his own
  • Rather starve on penny, than work for a pound

70
RIP VAN WINKLE
  • His house is in the worst condition in the
    neighborhood
  • Termagant wife, virago
  • Escapes into nature, goes squirrel shooting
  • Encounter with a supernatural being, falls asleep
    for 20 years
  • Sleeps through the American Revolution
  • Achieves independence from petticoat government

71
DAME VAN WINKLE
  • Fiery furnace of domestic tribulation
  • A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows
    sharper with constant use
  • The character is Irvings invention
  • Stereotypical image of women

72
THE CHARACTER OF RIP
  • Underdog, a loser we want to see win
  • A negation of the Puritan work ethic
  • An opposite of Franklins self-made man
  • Parallel with America upon return from woods he
    is uncertain, confused, he earns his respected
    place in society
  • Personal identity is fused with national identity
  • A unique version of the American dream a
    peaceful living in the lap of nature (Thoreau
    Walden)

73
  • An escapist fantasy
  • Ineffectual male hero, does not face problems
  • An American anti-hero
  • Failed as a husband, father, breadwinner
  • Moral teaching, didactic value husbands should
    be more industrious and attentive, wives less
    antagonistic, more accepting

74
MAJOR THEMES
  • Imagination v reality
  • Individual v. community
  • Personal history v. national history
  • Supernatural elements ghosts, dream potion,
    sleeping 20 years
  • Romantic element glorifying rural setting
    compared to city life

75
LITERARY CRITICISM
  • Is there a theme of rejection of women,
    domesticity, domestication?
  • Is the portrayal of Dame Van Winkle fair?
  • Is he a mythological hero (Campbell)?
  • Prototype of Natty Bumppo, Tom Sawyer
  • The frontier in literature

76
SEMINAR SEVEN FREDERICK DOUGLASS
  • 1818-1895
  • Born a slave in Maryland, escaped to
    Massachussetts, disguised himself a sailor
  • A noted newspaper editor, abolitionists, diplomat
  • The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American
    Slave (1845)
  • 1855 Revised, edited version My Bondage, My
    Freedom
  • 1881 The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
  • A champion of human rights fought against
    slavery, for womens suffrage

77
THE SLAVE NARRATIVE
  • Part of the myth of origination of American
    culture
  • Slavery as a test for the chosen people of God
    The Almighty seizes upon superior nations and by
    mingled chastisement and blessing, gradually
    leads them to greatness Alexander Crummell
  • The slave thrown into Heideggerian nothingness
    (Houston Baker) and natal alienation (Orlando
    Patterson) writes himself into being
  • Apart from captivity narrative the most important
    aspect of autobiographical literature (John
    Barbour)
  • Role of religion, race, individuality, and
    healing
  • Via writing the slave establishes his identity, a
    quest for being, description of the life of
    Africans in an alien world

78
THE SLAVE NARRATIVE
  • Vivid description of suffering, slave as Christ
  • Connections to sentimental literature, luxury of
    sorrow
  • Briton Hammon (describes Indian captivity)
  • Olaudah Equiano, James Albert Gronniosaw.
    Educated black
  • Noble Afric
  • An authentic description of the slavery experience

79
THE SLAVE NARRATIVE
  • An effort to refute and destroy stereotypical
    images of blacks
  • Exotic primitive
  • Brutal savage
  • Natural slave
  • Wreched freeman
  • Tragic mulatto
  • Autobiographical acts transfer from object to
    literate subject (Elizabeth Bruss)
  • Ownership, control of the slavery experience via
    writing

80
THE SLAVE NARRATIVE
  • Olaudah EquianoO, ye nominal Christians! might
    not an African ask youLearned you this from your
    God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you
    would men should do unto you? (318). Harriet
    Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
    (1861) A human being sold in the free city of
    New York! The bill of sale is on record, and
    future generations will learn from it that women
    were articles of traffic in New York, late in the
    nineteenth century of the Christian religion
    (1748).

81
THE NARRATIVE
  • THE NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERIC DOUGLASS,
    AN AMERICAN SLAVE

82
CHAPTER ONE
  • It is the wish of masters to keep their slaves
    ignorant
  • Not able to tell his birthday
  • Mother Harriet Bailey darker complexion
  • Father white man, miscegenation
  • Refuting the Hamian curse
  • Description of the whipping of Aunt Hester

83
  • 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,
    and it is the wish of most masters within my
    knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant. I
    do not remember to have ever met a slave who
    could tell 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
    white 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
    enquiries of my master con- cerning it. He deemed
    all such enquiries on the part of a slave
    improper and impertinent, and evidence of a
    restless spirit.

84
  • Every year brings with it multitudes of this
    class of slaves. It was doubtless in consequence
    of a know- ledge of this fact, that one great
    statesman of the south predicted the downfall of
    slavery by the inevitable laws of population.
    Whether this prophecy is ever fulfilled or not,
    it is nevertheless plain that a very different-
    looking class of people are springing up at the
    south, and are now held in slavery, from those
    originally brought to this country from Africa
    and if their in- crease will do no other good, it
    will do away the force of the argument that God
    cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is
    right. If the lineal descendants of Ham are alone
    to be scripturally enslaved, it is certain that
    slavery at the south must soon become unscrip-
    tural for thousands are ushered into the world,
    annu- ally, who, like myself, owe their existence
    to white fathers, and those fathers most
    frequently their own masters.

85
After crossing her hands, he tied them with a
strong rope, and led her to a stool under a large
hook in the joist, put in for the purpose. He
made her get upon the stool, and tied her hands
to ihe Hook. She now stood fair for his infernal
purpose. Her arms were stretched up at their full
length, so that she stood upon the ends of her
toes. He then said to her, Ci Now, you d d b h,
I'll learn you how to disobey my orders !" and
after rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay
on the heavy cowskin, and soon the warm, red
blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from her, and
horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the
floor. I was so terrified and horror-stricken at
the sight, that I hid myself in a closet, and
dared not venture out till long after the bloody
transaction was over.
  • After crossing her hands, he tied them with a
    strong rope, and led her to a stool under a large
    hook in the joist, put in for the purpose. He
    made her get upon the stool, and tied her hands
    to the Hook. She now stood fair for his infernal
    purpose. Her arms were stretched up at their full
    length, so that she stood upon the ends of her
    toes. He then said to her, Ci Now, you d d b h,
    I'll learn you how to disobey my orders !" and
    after rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay
    on the heavy cowskin, and soon the warm, red
    blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from her, and
    horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the
    floor. I was so terrified and horror-stricken at
    the sight, that I hid myself in a closet, and
    dared not venture out till long after the bloody
    transaction was over.

86
CHAPTER 6
  • The dehumanizing impact of slavery
  • The fatal poison of irresponsible power was
    already in her hands, and gradually commenced its
    infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the
    influence of slavery, eventually became red with
    rage that voice made all cf sweet accord,
    changed to one of harsh and horrid discord and
    that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.
    Thus is slavery the enemy of both the slave and
    the slaveholder.

87
  • Very soon after I went to live with Mr. and 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, and 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. To use
    his own words, further, he said, " If you give a
    nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger
    should know nothing but to obey his master to do
    as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the
    best nigger in the world. Now/' said he, " if you
    teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to
    read, there would be no keeping him. It would
    forever unfit him to be a slave, He would at once
    become unmanageable, and 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 and unhappy."

88
CHAPTER SEVEN
  • I LIVED in Master Hugh's family about seven
    years. During this time, I succeeded in learning
    to read and write. In accomplishing this, I was
    compelled to resort to various stratagems. I had
    no regular teacher. My mistress, who had kindly
    commenced to instruct me, had, in compliance with
    the advice and direction of her husband, not only
    ceased to instruct, but had set her face against
    my being instructed by any one else. It is due,
    however, to my mistress to say of her, that she
    did not adopt this course of treatment
    immediately. She at first lacked the depravity
    indispensible to shutting me up in mental
    darkness.

89
  • In the same book, (The Columbian Orator) I met
    with one of Sheridan's mighty speeches on and in
    behalf of Catholic eman- cipation. These were
    choice documents to me. I read them over and over
    again with unabated interest. They gave tongue to
    interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had
    frequently flashed through my mind, and died away
    for want of utterance. The moral of AMERICAN
    SLAVERY. which I gained from the dialogue was the
    power of truth over the conscience of even a
    slaveholder. What I got from Sheridan was a bold
    denunciation of slavery, and a powerful
    vindication of human rights.

90
  • Symbolic death I often found myself regretting
    my own existence, and wished myself dead and but
    for the hope of being free, I have no doubt but
    that I should have killed myself, or done
    something for which I should have been killed.
  • The desire to learn During this time my
    copy-book was the board fence, brick wall, and
    pavement my pen and ink was a lump of chalk.
    With these, I learned mainly how to write. I then
    commenced and continued copying the italics in
    Webster's Spelling Book, until I could make them
    all without looking on the book.

91
CHAPTER NINE
  • Religious sanction for crueltyIn August, 1832,
    my master attended a Methodist camp-meeting, held
    in the Bay-side, Talbot county, and there
    experienced religion. I indulged a faint hope
    that his conversion would lead him to emancipate
    his slaves, and that if he did not do this, it
    would, at any rate, make him more kind and
    humane, I was disappointed in both these
    respects. It neither made him to be humane to his
    slaves, nor to emancipate them. If it had any
    effect on his character, it made him more cruel
    and hateful in all his ways for I believe him
    to have been a much worse man after his
    conversion

92
CHAPTER TEN
  • I lived with Mr. Covey one year. During the first
    six months of that year, scarce a week passed
    without his whipping me
  • You are loosed from your moorings and are free, I
    am fast in my chains and am a slave! You move
    merrily before the gentle gale and I sadly before
    the bloody whip! You are freedoms swift winged
    angels, that fly round the world, I am confined
    in bands of iron!
  • You have seen how a man was made a slave you
    shall see how a slave was made a man
  • This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point
    in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few
    expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me
    a sense of my own manhood. My long crushed spirit
    rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its
    place and I now, resolved that, however long I
    might remain a slave in form, the day had passed
    forever when I could be a slave in fact

93
  • Chiasmic statements verbal pattern in which the
    second half of an expression is balanced against
    the first with the parts reversed (antithesis)
  • Individual, personal declaration of independence
  • Conativity belief in the power of the written
    word to change reality, willing a new world into
    being

94
SEMINAR EIGHT NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)
  • Born on Independence Day, Salem Mass.
  • Descendant of Puritan immigrants
  • One ancestor was judge in Salem witch trials
  • Father died early
  • Influences Henry Fielding, Sir Walter Scott,
    friendship with Franklin Pierce (president of
    U.S.)
  • Studies at Bowdoin College

95
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)
  • 1837 Twice-Told Tales Shakespeare, King John
    Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing
    the dull eare of a drowsie man
  • Psychological themes, guilt, selfishness, pride
  • The impact of the Puritan past on the present
  • 1839-40 Works at Boston Custom House as a salt
    and coal measurer
  • 1846 Mosses from an Old Manse

96
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)
  • 1850 The Scarlet Letter
  • 1852 Supports Pierces campaign
  • 1853-1857 American consul in Liverpool, travels
    in Italy
  • 1860 The Marble Faun

97
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN
  • Young Mr. Anybody
  • Wife Faith, pink ribbon
  • Leaves wife for the first time in three months
    after wedding
  • Errand in the wilderness
  • Wife blessed angel on earth
  • He had an evil purpose, he had to take the dreary
    road darkened by the gloomiest trees of the
    forest
  • A devilish Indian behind every tree

98
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN
  • Meets the devil
  • They might have been father and son
  • The stranger carried a snake-like staff
  • Having kept covenant made a deal with the devil
  • Past guilt lashing a Quaker woman, setting fire
    at an Indian village

99
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN
  • In the forest he sees everyone without a mask
  • Goodwife Cloyse, devil worshiper witch
  • Heathen wilderness
  • Sees all his towns people at a black mass
  • Forced with Faith into a communion with the Devil
  • Unhallowed altar
  • Evil nature of mankind
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vvBecM3CQVD8

100
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN
  • The weakness of public morality
  • Faith is based on other peoples faith, he is
    religious, because those around him are also
    religious
  • The loss of innocence, Browns own Fall
  • The dark side of ones self
  • The fear of the wilderness
  • Female purity pink ribbon v. snake headed staff

101
SEMINAR NINE TRANSCENDENTALISM
  • Romantic reaction to rationalism and materialism
  • A newer form of old Puritan perspectives
  • Establishment of a new world of truth, intuition
    against the real world
  • Mind over matter, extremes are close to mysticism

102
TRANSCENDENTALISM
  • Background Jacksonian democracy
  • Unitarianism the oneness and benevolence of God
  • The inherent goodness of mankind
  • Man can be improved with education
  • Humans are not depraved and all are eligible for
    salvation
  • A rational religion
  • Leading figures William E. Channing, Ralph Waldo
    Emerson

103
TRANSCENDENTALISM
  • Philosophical, literary, social movement
  • Emphasizing the importance of nature
  • Basis Kant, Swedenborgs philosophy
  • A philosophy and religion
  • Belief in the Oversoul
  • Leading figures Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau
  • Margaret Fuller The Dial

104
REFORM MOVEMENTS
  • Amos Bronson Alcott Fruitland (1842-43)
  • Brook Farm against profit-orientedness,
    promoting plain living, high thinking
  • Dietary reform
  • Prison reform

105
RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882)
  • A respectable, conventional life, a solid citizen
  • Unitarian family background, father is a minister
  • Father leaves the family in poverty
  • Aunt Mary Moody Emerson deprivation as an
    ecstatic self-denial
  • Ralph studies at Harvard, becomes a Unitarian
    minister, later resigns from the Church

106
RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882)
  • Major influence European trip, meeting with the
    Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle
  • Upon return moves to Concord
  • Participates in the Lyceum movement, popularizes
    literature, culture, science
  • Seeks a balance between religious mysticism and
    modern natural science
  • Absolute supporter of individualism
  • Hitch your wagon to a star

107
MAIN WORKS
  • 1836 Nature (looking at nature with a spiritual
    eye)
  • Nature is the embodiment of a divine principle,
    the manifestation of the Oversoul
  • 1837 The American Scholar ( we have listened too
    long to the courtly muses of Europe)
  • 1841 Essays
  • 1850s supporter of abolitionism

108
SELF-RELIANCE
  • Importance of self-reliance
  • Self-reliance of the individual
  • Sel-reliance and society
  • Promotion of individual experience over knowledge
    gained from books or formal education
  • Expression of individualism, trust thyself
  • Do not imitate

109
SELF-RELIANCE
  • Be a non-conformist, reject the pressures from
    society
  • A true man is a non-conformist, marches to his
    own drummer
  • Live life to the fullest
  • Do not worry about what people think
  • The price of non-conformity is condemnation
  • Dont be consistent, dare to be misunderstood

110
SELF-RELIANCE
  • A true man is close to nature
  • An institution is a lengthened shadow of man
  • God is in nature
  • Nature is self-reliance
  • Man-centered, Anglo-Saxon superiority
  • Our age yields no great and perfect persons
  • Travel is a fools paradise
  • Man must go back to basics, a romantic rejection
    of civilization

111
SEMINAR TEN WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
112
WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
  • Born in Long Island (May 31, 1819)
  • Father Democrat, carpenter
  • Mother Quaker
  • Second of nine children (other brothers
    Washington, Jefferson, Jackson)
  • Self-educated
  • Family tragedies, (death of one brother, other
    brother mentally handicapped, one sister marries
    and alcoholic ship builder, oldest son,

113
WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
  • Influences
  • -working class America
  • -a distant, alcoholic father
  • -a fear of becoming a father
  • A lifelong bachelor
  • Jobs held journeyman printer, school teacher,
    newspaperman

114
WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
  • Founder of Long Islander, editor of New York
    Aurora
  • 1848 embarks upon a poetic career
  • 1855 Leaves of Grass
  • Preface past beliefs should be incorporated into
    newer ones
  • American geography, occupation, people are
    incorporated into a transcendental unit
  • 1855-59 Raises his voice in editorials in the
    slavery crisis

115
WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
  • 1859 Calamus, Children of Adamaccused of
    obscenity
  • 1860 family tragedies, realization of homo-
    erotic tendencies
  • Civil War activities
  • 1862wound dresser
  • 1865 Drum Taps, When Lilacs in the Dooryard Last
    Bloomed

116
WALT WHITMAN 1819-1892
  • 1870 Democratic Vistas-re-enforced commitment to
    democracy
  • 1873 Suffers a stroke, moves to Camden
  • Discovered by the British
  • March 26, 1892 death

117
SONG OF MYSELF
  • Main themes
  • Body, soul
  • Americana
  • Individualism
  • Optimism
  • Celebration of the self
  • Self/external world
  • Physical aspects of love
  • Hair, beard, grass
  • Homoeroticism
  • County, city life

118
SONG OF MYSELF
  • Expression of the American Ideal
  • Myself Author, America, God, Oversoul
  • The Greatest American Poet
  • Innovator free verse, flows like the ocean, or
    an operatic aria

119
SONG OF MYSELF
  • Expression of collective beginning
  • Transcending the body, becoming one with God
  • Free verseirregular rhythm, no conventional use
    of meter, written in paragraphs
  • Conventional unit is foot or line, in free verse
    it is the paragraph
  • Projection of the self
  • The projective verse
  • American culture and literature reaches adulthood
  • A lyrical autobiography, the discovery of the
    self
  • The first true American poet
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