Presentation on theme: "Anti-Transcendentalism"— Presentation transcript:
1 Anti-Transcendentalism Herman MelvilleNathaniel Hawthorne
2 Reasons / CausesOpposed the optimism and naïve idealism of the transcendentalistsDwelt on guilt and remorse over past sinsDiscontented with current circumstances in America
3 Key ideas / Philosophies Belief in the potential destructiveness of the human spiritBelief in individual truths, but no universal truths, and the truths of existence are deceitful and disturbingHuman nature is inherently sinful (original sin) and evil is an active force in the universeFocus on the man’s uncertainty and limitations in the universe
4 View of NatureNature is vast and incomprehensible, a reflection of the struggle between good and evilNature is the creation and possession of God and it cannot be understood by human beings
5 Writing Style Man vs. Nature conflicts bring out the evil in humanity Raw and morbid dictionFocus on the protagonist’s inner strugglesTypical protagonists are haunted outsiders who are alienated from societyPrevalent use of symbolism
6 Shiloh: a Requiem Herman Melville Title Connotation/DenotationInitial ResponseVocabularyParaphraseSpeakerToneTechniques (3)/Meaning/SignificanceTheme/Thesis SentenceHow does Melville’s poem reflect anti-transcendental ideas?
7 Melville, cont.Using profits from first three novels, buys a farm called “Arrowhead” near Pittsfield, MA.Nathaniel Hawthorne lived near by and the two became close friendsWith encouragement from Hawthorne and a renewed study of Shakespeare, Melville begins work on his life’s work—Moby DickWhen first published, it was a flop and caused Melville to drop into a deep depressiond. 1891, both unappreciated and unnoticed7
8 Nathaniel Hawthorneb in Salem, MA, a descendent of a prominent Puritan familyOne of his ancestors was a prominent judge in the Salem Witch TrialsHis personal character and writing were shaped by a sense of inherited guiltHe was haunted by the intolerance and cruelty of his ancestors
9 Shiloh: a Requiem Herman Melville Title Connotation/DenotationInitial ResponseVocabularyParaphraseTechniquesThemeHow does Melville’ poem reflect anti-transcendental ideas?
10 Hawthorne, cont.Moved onto Brook Farm and became a part of the Transcendentalist SocietyBecame friends with Emerson and Thoreau, but their vastly different spiritual philosophies kept disallowed deeper friendshipPublished his most famous work, The Scarlet Letter, in 1850 and it was an instant classicHis college friend, Franklin Pierce, was elected President and appointed him as American consul at Liverpool, England.d in his sleep
11 Herman Melville b.1819 in NYC; father was a wealthy merchant Father died when he was 2 years oldUltimately forced to quit school and worked as a clerk, farmhand, and teacher to support familyAt 19 became a sailor and worked on whaling ships exploring the South Pacific for many yearsBegan writing soon after this
12 Melville, cont.Using profits from first three novels, buys a farm called “Arrowhead” near Pittsfield, MA.Nathaniel Hawthorne lived near by and the two became close friendsWith encouragement from Hawthorne and a renewed study of Shakespeare, Melville begins work on his life’s work—Moby DickWhen first published, it was a flop and caused Melville to drop into a deep depressiond. 1891, both unappreciated and unnoticed
13 Melville, cont.Melville harshly criticized capitalism, slavery, war and imperialism, but he showed passionate empathy for “classes of men who bear the same relation to society at large that the wheels do to a coach.”