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GIANT REVIEW! Feraco American Literature 10 December 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "GIANT REVIEW! Feraco American Literature 10 December 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 GIANT REVIEW! Feraco American Literature 10 December 2007

2 Let’s Take a Look At… Nathaniel Hawthorne  …was an unusually handsome man (or so we’re told!)…  …wrote “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” in his Twice-Told Tales in 1837…  …went to Bowdoin College, but wasn’t a good student – he avoided intellectual company, choosing instead to pursue pleasure…

3 Let’s Take a Look At… Edgar Allan Poe  …was abandoned by his father before losing his mother at the age of three…  …racked up large debts as a gambler, which caused his stepfather to pull him out of college – opening a wide rift between the men…  …entered the Military Academy at West Point after fleeing to Boston, writing a poorly-selling collection of poetry, and enlisting in the military…

4 Let’s Take a Look At… Washington Irving  …used comic narrators such as Jonathan Oldstyle and Diedrich Knickerbocker to lend a distinctive voice to his stories…  …established himself as New York’s foremost satirist, and one of America’s first unique literary voices…  …was influenced while overseas by the British Romantics, including Sir Walter Scott…

5 Let’s Take a Look At… Herman Melville  …spent the last third of his life poor and (usually) inebriated, convinced he had failed as an author…  …experienced a great deal of success as a young writer composing semi- autobiographical adventure stories, but found the going much harder when he turned to more serious works…  …was born into a rich family, only to watch his father go bankrupt and soon pass away; as an adult, he would lose a son to suicide, and another died young while wandering aimlessly in San Francisco…

6 Let’s Take a Look At… Henry David Thoreau  …retreated for three years following a string of misfortunes, including a rejected marriage proposal, a series of tepidly reviewed public lectures, and the end of his schoolteaching job after only two weeks (he had refused to whip a disobedient child)…  …Nathaniel Hawthorne once described him as “tedious, tiresome, and intolerable…yet [with] great qualities of intellect and character”…  …counted Ralph Waldo Emerson among his closest friends…

7 Let’s Take a Look At… Ralph Waldo Emerson  …was possibly the first great American writer, and considered the most famous Transcendentalist in our history…  …lost his father at a young age, and was raised by a strict aunt who drove her young nephews to achieve greatness…  …saw the world through a largely optimistic lens; believed God could be seen in just about everything, and placed a high value on intuition…

8 Let’s Take a Look At… Romanticism!  …arose in response to rationalism, the schools of thought that prized the advance of civilization and the power of logic above all else…  …generally refers to schools of thought that value feeling and intuition over reason…  …saw poetry as the highest expression of art and the imagination, and found inspiration in myth, legend, and folk culture…

9 Let’s Take a Look At… the New England Renaissance!  …Marked a time when the literary and cultural landscapes were developing apart from traditional European models…  …a period that featured an emphasis on self-improvement and intellectual inquiry; as a result, the lyceum movement sought to better educate American adults through lectures, meetings, classes, debates, and performances…  …featured a strong popular desire for a utopian state, which deeply influenced the literature, art, and architecture of the time…

10 Let’s Take Another Look At… Nathaniel Hawthorne!  …lived in “the dismal chamber,” the third floor of his family’s home, for twelve years until he taught himself to write fiction well…  …was a contemporary of Emerson and Thoreau, but was not their friend – and wasn’t positively influenced by them…  …wrote his masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, after losing his mother and his job…

11 Let’s Take Another Look At… Edgar Allan Poe!  …moved in with his aunt and married her daughter – his thirteen-year-old cousin!...  … wanted to move beyond the sunny world of the optimists and the ordered world of the rationalists in order to explore a greater truth…  …drank constantly in order to escape a disturbing, tormented world; his last words before dying were “Lord help my poor soul.”…

12 Let’s Take Another Look At… Washington Irving!  …adapted European literary traditions and gave them a new spin, thus establishing himself as one of the leading literary figures for our new nation…  …wrote “The Sketch Book,” a collection of stories which contained his most famous works – “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”…  …became America’s first literary celebrity…

13 Let’s Take Another Look At… Herman Melville!  …spent five years as a young adult on a variety of sea-faring voyages, travels which would deeply influence his later writings…  …became close friends with Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the two helped drive each other to continue writing at a high level…  …his final masterpiece, “Billy Budd,” was published thirty-three years after his death; a note by the unfinished manuscript read, “Keep true to the dreams of thy youth”…

14 Let’s Take Another Look At… Henry David Thoreau!  …attended Harvard, and became extremely familiar with the writers and German philosophers whose principles would fuel Transcendentalism while there – although he never ranked anywhere above the middle of his class…  …left society for three years in order to “meet the vital facts of life...which are the phenomena or actualit[ies] the gods meant to show us”…  …became quite active politically, and helped escaped slaves travel to Canada…

15 Let’s Take Another Look At… Ralph Waldo Emerson!  …his young wife’s death, coupled with his own spiritual misgivings, led to his decision to resign his post as a minister…  …his influence as a speaker on philosophical and spiritual issues drove many young people to flock to Concord, Massachusetts…  …lost his young son to scarlet fever, shrank into an emotional shell, and developed severe memory loss that persisted until death…

16 Let’s Take Another Look At… Romanticism!  …Beauty/truth can also be found in the spiritual realm and the world of the imagination…  …Individual freedom is the greatest pursuit of man, and the individual is more valuable than the larger society…  …Feeling and intuition are greater than reason and logic, and youthful innocence and wonder are greater than educated sophistication…

17 Let’s Take a Look At… Transcendentalism!  …could be defined as the search for the ultimate reality of God, the universe, the self, and other important matters; one needed to transcend, or go beyond, everyday human experience in the physical world in order to find this ultimate truth…  …a philosophical descendent of idealism, this movement’s proponents believed in human perfectibility as an achievable goal - and worked to achieve it…  …everything in the world, including human beings, reflects the Divine Soul; moreover, the physical facts of the natural world are a doorway to the spiritual (or ideal) world, which holds important truths…

18 Which Am I?  This period was characterized by a desire to form new American traditions that were separate and distinct from their European counterparts.  What is the New England Renaissance?  His writing was often optimistic, curious, and intelligent; his voice and style has deeply influenced American writers since his initial publication runs.  Who is Ralph Waldo Emerson?

19 Which Am I?  His writings were characterized by a deep fascination with guilt and sin, placing him in the Dark Romantic camp  Who was Nathaniel Hawthorne?  His writing was often quiet and contemplative; he used nature as his model, rather than drawing from the traditional style of the Europeans or his contemporaries  Who was Henry David Thoreau?

20 Which Am I?  This movement was characterized by an emphasis on intuition, a personal relationship with the supernatural, and a generally optimistic worldview.  What was Transcendentalism?  His writing was characterized by droll comic narrators, figures whose voices could shift from self-effacing to over-inflated in an instant.  Who was Washington Irving?  His writing was big, bold, adventurous, and often dark; although his style was wordy, the narrative thrust of his stories makes them “page-turners”  Who was Herman Melville?

21 Which Am I?  His prose is often tense, simultaneously breathless, strangled, and claustrophobic – and his works often deal with death and darkness!  Who was Edgar Allan Poe?  This movement was characterized by a departure from civilization and progress; its proponents sought to return to a simpler, quieter time  What was Romanticism?

22 That Does It For Today!  You should also review the texts before the test  However, I’m more comfortable with the idea that you “get” those works  Let me know if you have any questions tonight!  The study group will be up and running at the blog from 5 to 8pm!


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