The second major influence on scholars, Emerson claims, is the past. The history of ideas, the development of science, the influence of philosophy -- these are the forces that shape one's thinking about thought. However, Emerson claims there is a difference between thinking, and reading with a mind to accept someone else's thought at full value. In the essay "Self-Reliance" he clarifies this thought when he writes that "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, -- that is genius" (Essays, 31) . This idea is closely linked to the earlier discussion of nature, in that the past serves to inform, but nature itself serves to inspire. hy should Americans take their thought second-hand from the European continent or elsewhere, when they have as ready access to the stuff of nature as any other people, Emerson…… [Read More]
Consistent with Emerson and Fuller's beliefs regarding transcendentalism, Justice Holmes' emphasis was on the achievement of a higher level of knowledge, wherein he explicated on the importance of transcendentalist belief when interpreting and understanding the rudiments of law. In "Common Law," he argued that understanding the law would entail the avoidance of "two errors" by the "writer and reader" (of law): "One is that of supposing, because an idea seems very familiar and natural to us, that it has always been so...The other mistake is the opposite one of asking too much of history." This wisdom in the practice of law and its interpretation, Holmes was able to impart how, through the years, transcendentalism has remained true in its stance of achieving non-conformist, higher level of knowledge for human society, encompassing all the differences humanity may have with each other as individuals.
Emerson, R.W. (1841). E-text of "Self-reliance." Available…… [Read More]
aking Up to Life and Living Deliberately:
A Close Reading of "here I Lived and hat I Lived for" in Thoreau's alden
During the 1830's in Concord, Massachusetts, a group of literary men and women set out to redefine the common philosophy of American culture. The reigning philosophy was based on the traditions of John Locke and his "materialists." However, for Henry David Thoreau and the others who were a part of this literary group, a new way of thinking was in order. hile Lockean theory held that everyone was a blank slate -- tabula rasa, and that men were made up of their outside experiences and education (Geldard 10), there was another idea -- that each person had the inherent capability of answering life's most metaphysical questions; the only thing a person has to do is tap into them. Transcendentalism was thus born from this form of thought…… [Read More]
Transcendentalism in Henry David Thoreau's works, especially "Walden." In particular, it will discuss how Thoreau's "Walden" fits and does not fit the definition of Transcendentalism, and how he viewed the Brook Farm Experiment.
TANSCENDENTALISM AND THOEAU
The fact is I am a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot," Henry David Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau seemed destined to spend time on Walden Pond and write his most famous book, "Walden." A young college graduate of twenty-eight, he taught school for a while, worked with alph Waldo Emerson, and suffered mightily over the death of his brother. A friend suggested he spend some time at Walden to discover himself, and on Independence Day, 1845, he moved in to a small hut on the shores of the pond (Thoreau xiii). "Watching and listening, studying, thinking, dreaming, attending to the varying moods of the pond, writing in his journals, trying the…… [Read More]
The Perversion of the American Dream
The oracle of transcendentalism, Ralph aldo Emerson, and his acetic companion and one-time roommate Henry David Thoreau (that's correct, when Thoreau got tired of sleeping in the forest, he moved in with Emerson and his family for a few weeks) both had a lot to say about man, nature, the nature of man, and the communion between nature and man, which if properly exploited can lead to great personal gain.
Emerson and Thoreau were great thinkers, philosophers, and purveyors of the English language and their work, although long-winded and at times tortuous, helped to define and shape the American dream. However, in recent years, their instructive thoughts and musings on certain tenets of the American dream, i.e. self-reliance, self-reflection, and critical thinking, have been subverted by 21st century avarice and greed. It is the purpose of this paper to investigate how many of…… [Read More]
35). The suggestion implicit in the confession is that the Minister is no different from anyone except that he is showing in an exterior way the inward disposition of his soul: it is stained with sin and is in need of saving. "This veil is a type and a symbol, and I am bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes" (par. 31).
The veil also gives the Minister a priestly aspect that transforms him into a "better clergyman" -- just as the priests of Christendom wore their own especial garb -- which differentiated them from the laity whom they served. Indeed, he becomes known as Father Hooper in the Puritan village -- a title that would have been given to a Catholic priest in medieval times: the black veil becomes a symbol of death to the world. It is…… [Read More]
This gave everyone motivation to let themselves be heard and say whatever it was that was on their mind. This was what American life at the time was all about, and it was through American Literature that they were able to do so. Transcendentalism brought upon a literary era that encouraged the succeeding eras of literature to define American Literature.
ealism was a literary period in American history that came after the Civil War era. With individuals trying to recover from a very dark period where the reconstruction of lives, families, and states were underway, writers, educators, and poets contributed to this period by providing realistic representations of what was occurring around them. From 1865-1900, ealism was a popular genre in America, as it was trying to recover from internal damage, from which came individuals who were willing to share their stories. Although it might be thought as boring and…… [Read More]
Thoreau advocated an end to formal law and government, as America's original founders advocated freedom. Thoreau refused to pay his taxes to what he saw as an evil government -- just as the Puritans were also willing to be jailed, and eventually fled England in pursuit of what they felt was the truth.
Anne Bradstreet, contemplating a terrible event like Thoreau contemplated the awfulness of the Mexican-American War, wrote "Verses on the Burning of her House, July 18, 1666" to explain her beliefs as a Puritan. Unlike Thoreau, Bradstreet in this example wrote about a personal, rather than a national tragedy, which may affect the phrasing of her work. But the poem also underlines the lack of resistance in the face of the divine will that characterized Puritanism and stands in contrast to Transcendentalism. Although Puritans might have resisted earthly government when it threatened the free practice of their faith,…… [Read More]
eserver.org/walden02.html).This, he implies is impossible in society. Thoreau stresses that although he is alone, he is never lonely. In fact, it is society and living away from nature that creates a sense of loneliness and hatred for one's own species: "I experienced sometimes that the most sweet and tender, the most innocent and encouraging society may be found in any natural object, even for the poor misanthrope and most melancholy man. There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still" (Thoreau, Chapter 5, Paragraph 4, (http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden02.html).People only long for what they do not have, when they can see other people who seem to be having a better life, alone and in nature, longing for material goods and a superficially large circle of friends goes away. The presence of nature alone quiets the senses, and the innocent and natural…… [Read More]
" The narrator of the film asks: "hat's this war in the heart of nature? hy does nature vie with itself, the land contend with the sea? Is there an avenging power in nature?" Because it is a war film set during the Battle of Guadalcanal, the film explores the meaning of death and acts as a meditation on death much in the same way Christian eschatology contemplates the Four Last Things. In this sense, Malick's Thin Red Line explores themes similar to those explored by hitman and recognizes the need for spiritual transcendence in a world obsessed with death.
Likewise, just as Emily Dickinson represents the force and power of eternity in "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," so too does Malick in the Tree of Life. Dickinson writes in her poem of her understanding of immortality: "Since then -- 'tis Centuries -- and yet / Feels shorter…… [Read More]
American Cultural History And Cult of Matthias
There had been many changes occurs in terms of the progress of the economy, population and intellectual abilities during the 18th century and these could be considered as the possible reasons for the evolution of a fresh thinking in all the various spheres of life, and this pertains to religion as well. This was in complete a need for change and a great desire for bring about changes. To a certain extent, this was considered to bring about the end of earlier concepts of religion of pertaining to the thought that it can be handled only by the privileged classes also ended. This led to the emergence of certain new religious thinkers and practical leaders like that of Mathias as leaders like him could not have become popular religious figures in the previous era. The line of thinking of Matthias was very much…… [Read More]
Emerson, he believed resistance to conformity and exploration of self, led to a kind of self-reliance that permeated the inner workings and imaginings of the human soul. What began as a simple analysis of self-explored concepts, took on the form of universal philosophy. This essay will examine Emerson's work, "Self-eliance" in a way that will not only analyze themes, but also provide a closer look into the context surrounding Emerson at the time as well as possible meanings behind the text.
alph Waldo Emerson wrote an 1841 essay titled "Self-eliance". An American essayist and transcendentalist philosopher, Emerson provides his most thorough statement of one of his ongoing themes: the avoidance of false consistency and conformity. Meaning, Emerson preached for people to follow their own ideas and instincts instead of relying on society's imposed rules and standards. His famous quote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by…… [Read More]
Mr. Hooper states that he is no better or worse than the other members of his community, who he believes also harbor secret sins, even though they act as though they do not. The anti-Transcendentalist concept, like Transcendentalism, suggests that society harbors a false surface, but it believes this is due to an innate sinfulness of humankind, not because human beings outside of society are better.
Anti-transcendentalists believed that humans are hypocrites, and removing social constrictions will not heal the sins of humanity. Mr. Hooper, unlike Emerson's joyful sense of solitude in nature also experiences his isolation as a penance. He chooses to punish himself, not to gain a more positive sense of his inner self, but to fully understand and apprehend its sinfulness. Another key concept of Transcendentalism is the idea that a person's inner life is more important than their social, outer life. However, in Mr. Hooper's estimation,…… [Read More]
Self-Reliance and the Road Not Taken
American Transcendentalism: Emerson and Frost
There are several qualities that are inherent in American literature that help to set it apart from English literature. Among the earliest themes explored in American literature was the concept of self-reliance and individuality. These concepts are prevalent of writers and advocates of Transcendentalism, a subset of American Romanticism. Ralph aldo Emerson explored the concept of individuality in his essay, "Self-Reliance," and also aimed to define how self-worth is measured. Likewise, Robert Frost embraces the concepts of individuality and self-worth as defined by Emerson. Emerson's influence on Frost can be seen in the theme and narrative of Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." Both Emerson and Frost comment on the importance of the self and the impact that individuality has on a person.
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement that aimed to bring an individual to…… [Read More]
As William Henry Davies would have averred, "… we have no time to stand and stare…" Frost describes, at length, how a young boy might have enjoyed himself swinging along the boughs. Certainly, one boy might have not been able to have bent several boughs. Frost does realize the cause of the bending of the boughs. It is the weight of the ice that collects on the boughs that causes them to bend. But a man can wish, can't he?
In "Mending Walls," Frost celebrates the notion of solitude. He twice mentions, "fences make good neighbors;" this is despite what one hears very often in modern parlance that, one should build bridges, not fences." The poem is interplay between two individuals or two opposing concepts. One is about the protection of one's privacy and the celebration of solitude. The opposing view supports the notion of community living and the need…… [Read More]
What makes the 18th century such a vast plethora of diverse opinions, creations and philosophies is the fact that the world was changing in a variety of ways. The Industrial Revolution and rationalism were having profound effects upon previously held religious and esthetic ideals. While some passionately pursued new directions of thought, science and art, others held desperately to old philosophies. Furthermore the different countries of the globe expressed their views and philosophies in different ways in reaction to the changes occurring within their borders.
Philosophers such as the German, Immanuel Kant for example applied universal, reasonable rules to all science, morality and art. According to Kant, these rules were to be followed by all rational beings (rehier 67). John Locke followed the same philosophy, finding that all understanding needs to be based upon the use of the senses. In a more esthetic sense, this English philosopher also…… [Read More]
Ralph aldo Emerson's Influence on the Poetry of . hitman and E. Dickinson
During 19th century American literature, orthodox teachings and values are evident in most literary works, which is an evidence of the strong influence religion has over the American society. It is noted that during this period, a new form of religion is emerging as one of the dominant religious organizations in the est, particularly the Protestant religion. Ralph aldo Emerson is one example of a 19th century literary poet that influenced his contemporaries with his highly influential works that illustrate his religious background and belief.
Emerson's distinct character of showing his personal religious beliefs in his poem will be discussed in this paper. In line with this discussion, an analysis of two poets will also be discussed in order to show how Emerson's influence has affected each poet's style and theme of poetry. Two poets that have…… [Read More]
Transcendentalism emerged in early 19th century. It is believed that Ralph Waldo Emerson who denied that he was a transcendentalist started transcendentalism. Amongst his peers, he was seen as the pioneer of American transcendentalism. Emerson has criticized various things in his essay especially regarding the Unitarian church. Other key transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Parker, Amos Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, James Freeman Clark, and Mary Moody Emerson. Ralph Emerson urged Americans to be themselves and searching for inspiration from Europe. He aimed at encouraging people to think openly and search for answers from nature and art. Emerson held on to the belief that people were naturally good, and they all had limitless potential. Emerson was totally against slavery, but was unwilling to speak up about it initially. Eventually in 1844, he began taking an active role in slavery opposition.
Thoreau pushed for simple living and encouraged people to…… [Read More]
I know that the case you cite, of Dr. Drake, has been a common one. The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconceivable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce its Founder an impostor. Had there never been a commentator, there never would have been an infidel.... I have little doubt that the whole of our country will soon be rallied to the unity of the Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also (Jefferson, 1854).
American Transcendentalism -- the transcendentalist movement was a group of new ideas in religion, literature, culture and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to middle 19th century as a generalized protest against the general state of intellectualism and…… [Read More]
In much the same way, environmentalists call forth this shared earth attitude to persuade against water pollution. They advocate against dumping water into oceans, lakes, and streams, suggesting that the corporations who do this do not own the bodies of water or the wildlife that calls the water home. In addition, modern environmentalists ask boat motorists to consider this attitude, as well as visitors to bodies of water who dispose of trash in the water.
Thus, modern environmentalists draw liberally on the shared earth attitude to convince others to take responsible action regarding two of the world's most serious environmental issues. Clearly, this attitude is Emerson's. Emerson stated that, while he can walk by each farm, identifying its owner, he cannot truly say that any one specific person owns the land. Instead, the land is not something that can be transferred simply through deed. Because it is not something that…… [Read More]
Purple is the color of dusk and twilight, a time in-between day and night, night and day. As such, purple symbolizes transition and transformation. Color is often a mystical symbol for Dickinson in her poetry. Silver and gold make frequent appearances; Dickinson writes about "An everywhere of silver," whereas gold is used in relation to sunlight in "Nature, the gentlest mother." In "Nature rarer uses yellow," Dickinson admires the sparing use of the hue in the natural world. For Dickinson, each color conveys a mood or meaning; its appearance in nature is never arbitrary. Her liberal use of color imagery suggests a deep contemplation of color as an interface between the mundane and mystical worlds.
Spiritual themes in the poetry of Emily Dickinson usually centers on religious awakenings, revivalism, and on personal relationships with God. In "ill there really be a morning?" The narrator is a "little pilgrim" crying out…… [Read More]
nature in American literature, from earliest writings to the Civil War period. It is my purpose to outline the connection between spirituality, freedom and nature and explain how American writers have chosen to reflect and interpret these themes in relation to their historical realities.
At the beginning of the colonization process there were two congruent depictions of nature. Initially, the tribes comprising The Iroquois League lived in close contact with nature and believed in the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship with it. In this respect, the Iroquois Constitution imposes a devout display of gratitude to all by-human elements of the world before the opening of any council. On the other hand, the early explorers and founders of the United States perceived an immense natural potential in the country. In this sense, Thomas Hariot describes the New World as a land of wealth, his words and images aimed both at…… [Read More]
The Evolution of American Identity Through Literature
The diversity within the American experience, and as well within the canon of American literature, precludes the possibility of singling out two or even ten of the novels, poems, or short stories that best encapsulate what it means to be American. From the colonial and early national era and the fledgling formation of national identity through the struggles of emancipation from slavery and transcendentalism, onwards to the industrial and capitalist eras, American literature has provided an accurate reflection of the lives of individuals and communities that comprise life in different regions of the country. Geographic and cultural differentiations also help to expand what it means to be American, taking into account race, class, gender, and generation. Threads that tie together Americans throughout time and in spite of radical differences in worldview include staunch independence and self-reliance, coupled with a profound optimism. Trust in…… [Read More]
The poet is in turmoil and he turns from his love in order to prevent tarnishing or "spoil" (Pound 2) her because she is surrounded by a "new lightness" (3). This poem reflects upon the importance of experience. Like the poets mentioned before, this poet wants us to consider every aspect of our actions. e should not only think of what we want to do but also how that desire and acting upon it will alter our lives. Robert Frost is focused upon the experience of nature. In "Dust of Snow," the poet brings poetry to life as if it were music. hen we read:
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree (Frost 1-4)
Here the poet wants to explore rather than embark on some discovery. These writers are different in their individuals styles but they each desire to connect with…… [Read More]
Since the valuation of a God had been essentially devaluated, what was to be the source of revaluation in the modern world? No answer could satisfy Ives, for his society saw no return to the societal standards and beliefs of the age of Bach, which gave explicit valuation to all things, especially music -- as seen in Bach's mastering of counterpoint. Schoenberg's inverted counterpoint is the antithesis of that old world Germanic culture -- and it is no surprise that Schoenberg settled in America -- all things being equal, and, in a sense, equally meaningless.
In conclusion, what was once considered light and understood, orthodox, hierarchical, and whole -- in terms of both estern culture and estern classical music in the time of Bach -- had, by the time of Ives and Schoenberg, drifted into a kind of relativistic self-importance/self-worthlessness that had no moorings whatsoever. Notes and attitudes shifted without…… [Read More]
This view corresponds roughly with Freud's analysis of the soul, which consists of the unconscious id, dark and ugly, needing to be molded by the ego, which balances needs and maintains order, both sitting under the super-ego, which represents the wisdom of social convention and knowledge. Plato believes that in constructing the soul in this way he is able to define morality as those actions which tend to bring the soul into balance, just as by defining society in the way he does he thinks he can define justice. The key to both morality and justice, according to Plato, is order.
Although Plato's view of the soul is robust and illuminating, there are some possibilities which it does not account for, corresponding with the same notions which have been used to criticize Freud. Specifically, he doesn't seem to be able to account for the possibility of a spiritual component to…… [Read More]
As we have already mentioned, the mood and tone for moral corruption in New York City was prime in the 1920s and while it may seem there are the rich and the poor, class distinction among the rich plays an important role in the novel. Gatsby's success will only carry him so far because of a dividing line that exists between the new wealth and the old wealth. This is best depicted with the est and East Egg sections that divide individuals according to their wealth. Gatsby, regardless of how much money he makes, cannot hold a candle to the old wealth of the community in which Tom and Daisy live. Tom comes from an "enormously wealthy" (6) family and when he moved to the rich East Egg, he "brought down a string of ponies from Lake Forest" (6). The Buchanan's home is "more elaborate" (7) than what our narrator…… [Read More]
This is perhaps most evident in the case of Mark Rothko.
The romantics," wrote Rothko early in his career, were prompted to seek exotic subjects and to travel to far off places. They failed to realise that, though the transcendental must involve the strange and unfamiliar, not everything strange or unfamiliar is transcendental (Rothko 84).
The key then, for Rothko, was to develop a form of "transcendentalism" involved locating the strange and unfamiliar in every day life. Eventually, this led Rothko into his signature style - that of the "multiforms," two to three blocks of contrasting colors set on a large canvas. The overall effect is one that enraptures the viewer, thus giving rise to a spiritual experience. hat was important for Rothko and his followers was to create a form of art that would transcend the aesthetic realm that had limited art for centuries. They wanted art to extend…… [Read More]
The only material similarity between Prynne's scarlet "badge" and Faith's pink ribbons is that both are made of cloth and adorn some type of clothing, i.e., Faith's ribbons are part of her cap while Prynne's "badge" is sewn into her dress as needlework.
The reader is first introduced to Prynne's "badge" in Chapter Two of the Scarlet Letter when she emerges from jail -- "On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter a." Upon being led to her "place of punishment" for committing adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale, all eyes are immediately drawn to the scarlet "A" which "had the effect of a spell, taking (Hester) out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself" (ell, 163-164). Obviously, this scarlet emblem upon Hester's dress seems to emit a life…… [Read More]
Like Emerson, hitman found beauty symbols of American future progress, even in industrial America and standardized and homogenized modern progress like the "Locomotive in inter": "For once come serve the Muse and merge in verse, even as here I see thee," cries hitman, celebrating the terrible, beautiful, awesome power of the moving train cars. hitman finds inspiration in the man-made device, as well as terror. He optimistic, like Emerson, in this poem about the possibility of progress to create something exciting, but hitman is more tolerant of ambivalence. Emerson says he is willing to contradict himself, but hitman actually does in spirit, loving the terror of the locomotive, even while he is wary of it, and what it represents.
As a poet, hitman was always aware that paradox is part of human life. Not even nature was perfect. Nature could be terrible, wild, and wonderful, unlike the natural and quieter…… [Read More]
hen Edith harton tells us that "it was the background that she [Lily] required," we understand that both Emma Bovary and Lily have a very important thing in common. They are first of all women in the nineteenth century society, fettered by social conventions to fulfill any kind of aspirations or ideals. A woman, as it is clearly stated in both novels, had no other means of being having a place in society than by acquiring respectability and money through a good marriage. To marry was the only vocation of a woman, as harton tells us.
Of course, there interferes a great difference between the two heroines here, because Madame Bovary, as her very title proves it, is already a married woman, while Lily in harton's book is in constant pursue of a redeeming marriage. But, essentially the frustration of the two heroines is the same, as Emma is as…… [Read More]
As is often the case, these good times could not last forever. Just like our modern day governmental debt being financed by foreign investment, Andrew Jackson and the nation faced reality when in 1837 foreign investors came to banks to collect. The speculative bubble of 1837 burst in what historians accurately termed the Panic of 1837. English and other European bankers called in the many outstanding loans the states had out as well as many private investors. Paying back these loans instantly crushed the nation's gold supplies which created a ripple affect where many local and state banks could not pay their debts, investors or the governmental reserves. These events lead to many forced bank failures and a national recession ensued.
The Missouri Compromise
In hindsight, we as a nation know now that the southern states who were in favor of slavery were prepared to defend their right to own…… [Read More]
One of his major works was a long poem written in three cantos about the horrors he experienced while being held prisoner on a ritish prison. ship. There we see a much edgier, angry Freneau who is willing to write about real life in real terms:
Here, generous ritain, generous, as you say,
To my parch'd tongue one cooling drop convey;
Hell has no mischief like a thirsty throat,
Nor one tormentor like your David Sproat."
All of these influences eventually came together, resulting later in the 19th century in Transcendentalism. This time when American writers reached to the past, they combined the best higher ideals of both the Puritans and the Enlightenment, and the love of nature from neoclassicism, and produced bodies of work that transcended all its previous influences. The roots for the literary movement that would bring us "Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry…… [Read More]
American Enduring Vision
American History 1820-1840 Enduring Vision
How did the changes experienced by Americans after 1820 incorporate elements of the 'Enduring Vision' to preserve a common national identity?
During this early period of American identity formation between 1820-1830, one of the most profound developments was the removal of Indian peoples from their native territories. Increasingly, the common American, the common American White man sought political enfranchisement and territory to farm on his own. These two desires, of political power and land, conjoined to make Indian removal politically popular and expedient for those in authority.
During this time, the ideal of the genteel American farmer in government began to recede. The Jeffersonian ideal was replaced by what became the Jacksonian ideal of the common man voicing his will in politics. Andrew Jackson was elected President in 1828 on a promise of full enfranchisement for all men, without former…… [Read More]
As a teacher of the very young therefore, idealism in the sense of the attainment of higher values and aims has a special and positive significance in my profession and personal life. Dealing with very young minds places a particularly heavy burden on the teacher. The teacher has a responsibility to shape these minds. It is a truism but also a reality that the early years of education are often the most important, as it is at this age that young minds are shaped for there future. As an elementary school teacher I therefore feel from a profession standpoint that idealism and higher education ideals are essential to adhere to; especially in the early stages of educative development.
The view of idealism that seems to be the most fitting in terms of my role as an educator can be seen in the following quotation." Idealism in life is the characteristic…… [Read More]
Song of Myself" response
I think your insight that Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" is not about egotism is very apt. In fact, Whitman's poem is the very opposite of egotism. You write: "Song of Myself" seems "to focus specifically on himself, as Whitman begins by declaring, 'I celebrate myself, and sing myself' but America for Whitman is about more than simply the glorification of the individual. He also understands the significance of the nation's history as he explains, 'My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same.'" Whitman believes that America is a nation which frees individuals to express themselves, and celebrating himself is, by extension, celebrating America.
Whitman also seems to celebrate the universal 'Self' (with a large S), rather than the personalized, isolated self. The poem is not…… [Read More]
Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God"- write about your response to Edward's sermon as a member of his congregation.
Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is fascinating from a historical perspective but absolutely frightening from the perspective of someone who might have been listening to the sermon when it was delivered in 1741. The "fire and brimstone" approach to religious teachings is unpalatable. Religion should engender love and trust in humanity, not fear, anger, and near hatred. Edward seems angry, and is trying to encourage the congregation to join him by cultivating a sense of fear and self-loathing. However, I am reacting with my modern sensibilities. If I were a member of a New England congregation, I might actually be as mad as Edwards was, and receptive to his ideas. I might have come from a religious background that fomented fear of…… [Read More]
Thoreau's Resistance To Civil Government
This is a paper discussing the Henry David Thoreau's essay 'Resistance to Civil Government' and arguing that his ideas represent the extreme individualism and anarchist ideology.
The renowned American author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau is considered to be one of the most influential minds in the American thought and literature. Thoreau had not only great influence on American thought but also on the politics of the world, some of his ideas and concepts that he developed were the most original political doctrines devised by American thinker. We appreciate this more, considering the fact that he was an unconventional thinker. At the heart of Thoreau political philosophy was the concept of individualism, he was a supreme individualist and championed the human spirit against materialism and social conformity. His most famous book, "Walden" 1854 is an eloquent account of his experiment in near solitary living in…… [Read More]
American Dream" in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" with References to Mark Twain and Henry Thoreau
Arthur Miller's play entitled "Death of a Salesman" is a story about a man who has created a conflict with his family because of his great belief in the American Dream. Willy Loman, the main character in the story, makes a living by being a salesman, and the story revolves around his frustrations in life, particularly the strain in his relationship with his eldest son, iff Loman. Willy's frustrations stems from the fact that iff was not able to have a permanent and stable job, and is often fired from work because of some petty offense or misconduct on his son's part. Willy always insist that his son iff must develop relations with other people, and he must also have charisma and the ability to interact with them in order to achieve prosperity…… [Read More]
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott's defining work, which brought her much fame in her time, is a biographical account of her family. In the book, her father Amos ronson is Mr. March and her mother Abigail May is Marmee, while her older sister Anna is Meg and younger sisters Lizzie and May are eth and Amy, respectively. And Louisa May is the lead character, Josephine or Jo March, the second daughter. The novel, published in 1868-1869, made Alcott a major author of her era.
The March family is poor all throughout, and the women are always doing routine housework, which bores and frustrates them. Mr. March serves as a Union chaplain in the Civil War, which then rages, and he writes his family to inspire them to be more tolerant of their poverty and hardships. The girls wake up on Christmas morning to find copies of books under their pillows,…… [Read More]
Plato and Kant
Plato's life span was between 427 BC and 347 BC. As a youth Plato possessed political visions, but he turned out disenchanted by the political authority of the city of Athens. He slowly turned out a follower of Socrates, adhering to his fundamental theory and conversational pattern of argument: the pursuance of virtue through inspection, results and additional inspection. The self-explanatory custom is one-minded in its inspection that Plato undertook many attires of poetry as a youth, only in the later point of life resorting to philosophy. Plato's chief donation was to philosophy, mathematics and science. Anyhow, it is not as yielding as one might anticipate envisaging Plato's philosophical visions. The cause for this is that Plato penned down no meticulous treatise providing his visions, rather he penned down innumerous conversations which are written in the form of debates. Plato enhanced his visions from within and implemented…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an Eighteenth Century American author who through his works explored the subject of human sin, punishment and guilt. In fact, themes of pride, guilt, sin, punishment and evil is evident in all of his works, and the wrongs committed by his ancestors played a particular dominant force in Hawthorne's literary career, such as his most famous piece, "The Scarlet Letter" (Nathaniel Pp). Hawthorne and other writers of the time, Ralph aldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville, looked to the Puritan origins of American history and Puritan styles of rhetoric to create a distinctive American literary voice (Nathaniel Pp).
Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1803. His father, who died when Nathaniel was four years old, was a sea captain and direct descendent of John Hathorne, one of the judges in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 (Nathaniel Pp). Growing up in seclusion with his…… [Read More]
Following the onset of the Great Depression, America’s leaders tried to find ways to get the country going again, to stimulate the economy, put Americans back to work, and recreate the prosperous good times of the 1920s. Franklin Roosevelt called for action.1 Hoover before him called for the government to resist intervention.2 Two decades earlier Teddy Roosevelt called for intervention in the regulation of labor.3 Henry Ford called for self-help—not intervention—but independence.4 Based on these four perspectives, this paper argues that government intervention leads to a culture of dependency, which does not facilitate growth or positive and innovative solutions to real problems; therefore, government should not seek to intervene in the economy but rather allow the bad blood to work its way out, as painful as that may be.
Teddy Roosevelt felt that in order for America to have equitability, the government should get involved. He argued that “the right…… [Read More]
Power, Inequality and Conflict
The two theorists used in this paper to explore the theme of “power, inequality and conflict” are W. E. B. Du Bois and Patricia Hill Collins. The theme is one that gets to the heart of the struggle within the American Experience. The great attraction of the American Dream has always been that people are created equal and are endowed with a natural right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. For many minorities and marginalized persons in America, however, the Dream has a way of turning into a nightmare. Whether because of segregation, Jim Crow laws, gender pay gaps, or all manner of harassment (both sexual and racial), the theme of “power, inequality and conflict” has been a constant one throughout American history. While Du Bois explores this theme in “The Conversation of Races,” it is Patricia Hill Collins who is most helpful in providing understanding…… [Read More]
Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point-of-view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul." (36)
Travel is too often used as an escape and reflects deep spiritual discontent. "The soul is no traveller; the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still." (39)
Acting independently requires a great degree of courage, as individualism is not rewarded in a society that champions conformity. "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." (9)
Society never changes, only individuals have the power to…… [Read More]
quintessential elements of grotesque and the burlesque in Edgar Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. The author opens the story with the description of a dreary environment. "DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens"(1846). This introduction is reason enough for an instinctive reader to pre-empt the nature of things to unfold. He goes further to explain the landscape, the haunted house, "….upon the bleak walls - upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees…"( 1846). Moreover, there are many other indicators of grotesque elements including the author's description of Roderick and his sister's health conditions. He goes into detail on Madeline telling of the feelings she evokes on him. Nonetheless, the vagueness in the story is also…… [Read More]
But this experience does allow him to make the case that all men should at least seek themselves, however the shape of their respective lives allow this. This is the universality that permeates the transcendental movement and touches on the romanticism of poet alt hitman. Like Emerson, his work would reflect a distinctly American mode of individualism. It would be from this spirit that he would draw on his own experiences as having some meaning beyond his own identity. e find immediately that hitman's work as deeply progressive for its time. From a literary and philosophical perspective, its willingness to reflect on the soul with abstraction and metaphor would show hitman's work to be bold in its expressive liberties. A 'problem' to be construed by the individual reader emerges from this liberty with respect to traditional definitions of the 'soul' in western literature and hitman's more elaborate understanding of the…… [Read More]
Thoreau argues that his solitude does not equal loneliness. First, Thoreau describes the brilliance of his relationship with plants, animals, and the elements. Second, Thoreau comments on the connections he maintains with the world outside of Walden Pond, as visitors frequent the house to leave cards, flowers, and gifts in support of his endeavor. Finally, Thoreau feels paradoxically less lonely when he is alone: "I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude."
In the opening chapter of Thoreau's conclusion to Walden Pond, the author notes, "The universe is wider than our views of it." One of the reasons Thoreau leaves Walden is because the experiment has increased his appreciation for the vastness and the beauty of the world. He leaves because Walden Pond has inspired him to go out into the world and apply what he learned during the experiment. He explicitly states…… [Read More]
psychological trauma, and how does she relate it to repression? What evidence does she supply in support of her claim? Do you agree with her stance on this basic issue?
Slater, in her usual creative style, believes the current methods of dealing with psychological trauma to be ineffective in regards to the identifying a root cause. In fact, Slater believes the act of talking about a traumatic occurrence in an individual's life actually exacerbates the problem. Recollecting past events through constant conversation, Slater believes, does nothing to address the root cause of the problem. Further, by talking incessantly about this traumatic experience, patients may actually become more ill than they otherwise were. This is particularly important when patient are asks to revisit controversial areas in their lives in order to rid themselves of the traumatic event altogether. Slater is very quick to point out that conversation actually, emblazon fear within…… [Read More]
American Social hought on Women's Rights
his paper compares and contrasts the arguments in favor of women's rights made by three pioneering American feminists: Judith Sargent Murray, Sarah Grimke, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. his analysis reveals the centrality of religious argumentation to the feminism of all three. Murray and Grimke were both converts to varieties of evangelical Protestantism who drew considerable intellectual and emotional nourishment from strands of Christianity, which encouraged, or at least did not discourage, their personal development. Unlike Murray and Grimke, however, Stanton did not convert to evangelicalism. Instead, she launched upon a secularizing trajectory that took her beyond Christianity to Comtean Positivism and rationalism. Unlike Murray and Grimke, moreover, she acknowledged the problems inherent in any attempt to square Christianity with feminism. However, she never rejected the Bible completely, and she is appropriately viewed with respect today as a pioneer of feminist biblical criticism. he paper…… [Read More]
Faulkner's attitude on race relations at the outset of the civil rights movement in the south is best expressed in one of his lesser works, Intruder in the Dust. The main theme in this book is a simple one: an old black man, Lucas Beauchamp, known for his temper is accused of murdering a white man by the name of Vinson Gowrie in the outh, and his friends must prove his innocence against the backdrop of a society who sees his race as proof of his guilt. Moreover, it is the story of a white teenager, Chick Mallison, who must come to terms with the absurdity of racism in the context of a racist society that has taught him to embrace it. Chick is saved from drowning by Lucas, who pulls him out of an icy stream and refuses to take money from Chick as repayment for his heroic deed.…… [Read More]