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Málstofa A: Assignment 2 A Presentation An Outline for an MA Theses Henry David Thoreau An Article on Transcendentalism Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir.

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Presentation on theme: "Málstofa A: Assignment 2 A Presentation An Outline for an MA Theses Henry David Thoreau An Article on Transcendentalism Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir."— Presentation transcript:

1 Málstofa A: Assignment 2 A Presentation An Outline for an MA Theses Henry David Thoreau An Article on Transcendentalism Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

2 Henry David Thoreau Thoreau can be labelled with many titles. an author - an essayist a poet - a surveyor a naturalist a businessman – a tax resister – an abolitionist a philosopher – a transcendentalist A man of many faces... Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

3 Henry David Thoreau Life Thoreau was born in Concord Massachusetts on the 12 th of July in1817 He died there on the 6 th of May in 1862 Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

4 Henry David Thoreau Education Concord Academy Harvard University Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

5 Henry David Thoreau Life and Work A teacher A poet – an author - an essayist – a surveyor - a philosopher and a transcendentalist A naturalist A tax resister An abolitionist A businessman Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

6 Literary Works BooksEssays Walden- Thoreau's 1845 experiment in living well The Maine Woods – Three excursions to Maine in the 1840's and 50's Cape Cod- trips to the Cape from 1849 to 1857 are narrated as a single visit A Yankee in Canada- An 1850 visit to Canada Civil Disobedience - Thoreau's influential 1849 essay on following your own conscience. Life without Principles - In 1854, Thoreau railed against a culture whose primary focus is financial. Slavery in Massachusetts - Also in 1854, Thoreau attacked the support of slavery in his home state. A Plea for Captain John Brown - Brown tried to ignite a slave rebellion; Thoreau responded in Succession of Forest Trees : "Convince me that you have a seed... I am prepared to expect wonders." Walking : Thoreau describes "wildness" as a treasure to be preserved, rather than plundered.

7 Henry David Thoreau The Book Thoreau’s retreat into a simple life in solitude in a small cabin at Walden Pond in his research on man’s life in close connection with nature built on Thoreau’s journals an environmental philosophy - a research on sustainable life ideas that have attracted many people and still do Walden Pond – The Cabin Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir Thoreau's sister, Sophia, drew this of his one room cabin at Walden Pond. Walden is a book about...

8 Henry David Thoreau The Essay Civil Disobedience Thoreau's influential 1849 essay on following your own conscience written after Thoreau’s imprisonment after refusing to pay taxes a protest against slavery and the Mexican- American War Civil Disobedience Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir nonviolent resistance civil resistance respectful disagreement

9 Under the Influence of Civil Disobedience Mahatma Gandhi Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir Martin Luther King

10 Under the Influence of Civil Disobedience The Hippies of the Sixties Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

11 The American Transcendentalists The Contemporaries in Concord R.W. Emerson N. Hawthorne B. Alcott L. M. Alcott H.D. Thoreau M. Fuller Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

12 A Quote from Susan Cheever’s book The American Bloomsbury “What was it about the time and place- the mid nineteenth century in a landlocked town west of Boston – that caused this sudden outbreak of genius? Was it a political climate so heated that 80% of the electorate turned out to vote? Was it that most of these people drank little, ate scant vegetarian diet, and were always terribly worried about money? Was it their devotion to family? Or was it just something in the air?” Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

13 A Quote from Susan Cheever’s book The American Bloomsbury Another quote from the same book where Dr. William Foege is cited : “Genius clusters may not be a random as genius may attract genius”. Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

14 American Transcendentalism An American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson A movement stimulated by German and English Romanticism Operating with the sense that a new era was at hand Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

15 American Transcendentalism Background German philosophy English Romanticism Theological debates Social criticism Existential questions on: man (women) nature (earth) God (universe) Famous Philosophers: Schleiermacher Herder Hume Kant Famous English Romantics S.T. Coleridge T. Carlyle W. Wordsworth Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

16 Ireland – Thoreau 1870 – 1930 Thoreau may have caught the interest of the Irish people because of their struggle to separate themselves from England, both politically and nationally. Thoreau’s presentation of simplicity and freedom may have appealed to the Irish in their fight against the imperial and industrial England Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

17 Ireland - Thoreau William Butler Yeats Under the Influence of Thoreau familiar with Walden The Lake Isle of Innisfree 1888 a reflection of childhood residence in Sligo has a direct reference to Walden Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

18 Iceland - Thoreau Influence from Thoreau is to be seen in Iceland as well as worldwide It is to be seen in: the arts in the environmental movements in the crave for sustainability in political protests – the fight for social justice Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

19 Icelandic Artists Under the Influence of Thoreau? an Icelandic eccentric an example of civil protest an example of a retreat into solitude and simple life lived in the mountains in Hellisheiði an example of a self-made artist a weaver Óskar Magnússon Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

20 Icelandic Artists Under the Influence of Thoreau? an educated artist a weaver active in the sixties active in the movement for women’s rights retreated from the city a gardener a journal writer a true Thoreau candidate? Hildur Hákonardóttir Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir

21 The End Something to think about Can the influence of Thoreau be seen in today’s people and places? Are we are still asking the same questions as the Transcendentalists of the 19 th century? What is: man – nature – God? man – earth – universe? How does this all make a sense? Has man become the master of it all? Þorgerður Ásdís Jóhannsdóttir


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