American Literature Dickinson, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Ginsberg, Hawthorne

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Writer by Mind Map: Writer

1. Whitman

1.1. Song of Myself

1.1.1. free verse

1.1.2. many references to the 5 senses as well as science lots of rhetorical questions

1.1.3. An epic celebrating himself lots of cataloguing, etc

1.1.4. live in the moment live your own life, nonconformist

1.1.5. very open, anti-repression,"holds nothing back," gives a lot of "extra" information mentions a lot of sex

1.2. "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" (aka "Lilacs")

1.2.1. about Lincolns death Lincoln was seen as a great leader/shepherd during the civil war WW was a civil war nurse, therefore he saw Lincoln as a SAVIOR Lincoln's coffin was carried for quite a distance on a train, which explains WW's description of the US countryside and bustling cities (journey)

1.2.2. chooses a lilac because the are perennial (come back every year) and purple (noble). both lincoln and WW were visionaries of the time Lincoln will live on through song and the lilac bush

1.2.3. ELEGY (a poem of mourning)

1.2.4. lots of confusion about death and how to handle it best

1.2.5. “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” mourns for Lincoln in a way that is all the more profound for seeing the president’s death as only a smaller, albeit highly symbolic, tragedy in the midst of a world of confusion and sadness.

1.3. Out of the cradle

1.3.1. about the birds male and female bird nest, then one day the female leaves and the male cries for him a boy hears the male bird's cry

1.3.2. Only the realization of death can lead to emotional and artistic maturity. Death, for one as interested as Whitman in the place of the individual in the universe, is a means for achieving perspective: while your thoughts may seem profound and unique in the moment, you are a mere speck in existence. understanding death = birth of a poet but also a poem about death, not just the birth of a poet.

1.4. About Whitman

1.4.1. gay

1.4.2. very theatrical, declarative personality

1.4.3. valued expansion, progress, innovation, movement, and power hated hierarchy and tradition

1.4.4. redefining heroic with "divine average" love and appreciation for "ordinary details"

1.4.5. list of America = negroes, Oregon, sex, and cider patriot

1.4.6. very comfortable with mentioning sex, very open

1.4.7. optimist- always positive

1.4.8. anti-duality: soul and body are ONE

2. Dickinson

2.1. Themes in her poems

2.1.1. Nature and its wonders

2.1.2. death the boundary between life and death

2.1.3. immortality

2.1.4. love

2.2. Writing style

2.2.1. lyrical

2.2.2. short and sweet (and dark)

2.2.3. slant rhyme

2.2.4. describes abstract ideas with concrete images

2.2.5. Weird syntax dashes stress, indication, transition capitalization stress, proper noun

2.3. Important info/context

2.3.1. Meets the "love of her life" Charles Wadsworth but he moves to CA a year later and she never sees him again... this makes her very sad (1862 = sad, dark poems)

2.3.2. Home was a place of “infinite power” for Dickinson

2.3.3. liked to read, bake, do stuff at home

2.3.4. Dates: 1830-1886

2.3.5. did NOT fit in, she was very strange and different.

3. Hawthorne

3.1. Scarlet Letter

3.1.1. Main Characters Pearl Demon child non-conformist everything about her is NATURAL Hester represents nature not repentant of her sin... very shameless and independent Dimmesdale represents the heart smart, young, and prestigious Pearl's biological father (had sex in the forest with Hester) Chillingworth represents the mind Physician shoulder deformity Pearl calls him the "black man," temptation

3.1.2. Themes Nature No rules, Romantics (and romantics) loved the forest because of the freedom of society's restrictions. Puritanism Hawthorne was criticizing Puritanism by writing the SL. very strict, rigid Sin The scaffold = public ignominy (shame) Duplicity Things are not always what they seem

3.2. Young Goodman Brown

3.2.1. About Goodman Brown and his wife, Faith

3.2.2. Goodman Brown changes as a result of his journey through the forest and the evil ceremony He doesn’t trust anyone in his village, can’t believe the words of the minister, and doesn’t fully love his wife. He lives the remainder of his life in gloom and fear. Meets the "old man" in the forest who is the devil, the old man sees through the Salem villagers’ charade of Christian piety and prides himself on the godly men he has been able to turn to evil. TEMPTATION! When the devil tells Goodman Brown to use the staff to travel faster, Goodman Brown takes him up on the offer and, like Eve, is ultimately condemned for his weakness by losing his innocence. Meets Goody Cloyse, who is a Christian woman who helps young people learn the Bible, but in secret (forest) she performs magic ceremonies and attends witch meetings in the forest.

3.2.3. Another critique of Puritanism, dual nature of people, power of the forest Hawthorne reveals what he sees as the corruptibility that results from Puritan society’s emphasis on public morality, which often weakens private religious faith.

3.3. The Birthmark

3.3.1. Aylmer = main character, a sophisticated scientist Georgiana = his beautiful wife, but she has a birthmark Most people have told her the mark is a charm Wants to remove the birthmark Georgiana agrees to risk her life to have it removed after Aylmer speaks of removing it in his sleep one night. Uses a potion (alchemy = unnatural) to remove the mark

3.3.2. Themes/motifs Don't strive for society's standard of perfection/beauty (remember the photoshop videos with the weird music?) Everything is flawed in some way Science v Nature Birthmark was natural, and the unnatural ruins it and kills Georgiana.

3.4. General Hawthorne Info

3.4.1. criticized puritanism

3.4.2. duplicity and nature were common themes

3.4.3. redemption, sin

3.4.4. Wrote allegories

3.4.5. Romantic The forest = freedom, truest version of ourselves, etc

4. Ginsberg

4.1. 1926-1997

4.2. Howl

4.2.1. Written in a mental hospital critique of mental institutions/indecencies of society, ruining the genius (like what Kesey thought, madness = genius)

4.2.2. Catalogue of all the "stupid" things people of his generation have done (lots of suicide, drugs, perverts)... just anyone who's different... declares them to be BRILLIANT. Therefore, it's a shame that they are all locked up in mental hospitals to be "corrected" because they will loose their genius.

4.2.3. Political poetry... protest and art.

4.2.4. Anti-patriot, anti-propoganda

4.2.5. Lines of catalogue often begin with "who"... catalogue = a device used in EPICS

4.2.6. Moloch = biblical figure that parents would sacrifice their children to... "devouring youth"

4.3. A Supermarket in California

4.3.1. The speaker imagines himself in a supermarket in CA with Walt Whitman WW is Ginsberg's "favorite celebrity" Ginsberg and WW both gay WW is from the 1850s, Ginsberg is from the 1950s... a lot has changed....

4.3.2. A critique of American culture Everyone goes to the supermarket we are a consumer nation Lots of things available (diversity) It's a system (check out lines, prices, aisles, etc) Did America loose something by becoming a consumer nation? Now everything is the same!

4.4. Look for super long, free-verse lines

5. Emerson

5.1. self reliance

5.1.1. "imitation is suicide"

5.1.2. "No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature" follow your own rules

5.1.3. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" consistency prevents thought and creative solutions.

5.1.4. "The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet" it's all relative... if you keep innovating, you lose other stuff

5.1.5. "Society everywhere is a conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members" (anti-herd, anti-organization. ex- don't vote for the democrat solely because he is a democrat)

5.1.6. "... the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protest it, is the WANT of self reliance." (insurance = you want to rely on yourself, but you need something to help you)

5.1.7. "traveling is a fools paradise" hates travel, "carries ruins to ruins"

5.1.8. "The student will feel a real debt to the teacher" cultivate yourself by going out in nature, not by the school system

5.2. faith in intuition rather than in religion... "trust thyself"

5.2.1. leaves the church after wife dies

5.3. self-culture, individual mind, cultivate yourself, individual mind = divine, nature = spirit, nonconformity, anti-institutionalism

5.3.1. infinite potential, god in every man, soul over matter, live in nature, live in the moment

5.4. Epistemology = how do you know what you know, study of knowledge

5.4.1. revered Plato

5.5. Philanthropy is conformist and other people are relying on you

5.6. ignore authority

5.6.1. don't do things for anyone but yourself (and that includes not doing things for friends/family)

5.7. admires the "spartan" lifestyle... hard work yields results, self-made man

5.8. One should live harmoniously with nature

5.8.1. Writes more about how the self should not conform to society

6. Thoreau

6.1. Civil disobidience

6.1.1. resistance to civil government legality is irrelevant, follow your own thoughts.

6.1.2. prioritize your consciousness over government decrees your first obligation should be to do what YOU believe is right.

6.1.3. Against the idea of "majority rules" He believed that the you should go with the most legitimate viewpoint, not he strongest opinion there is little virtue in the mass of men.

6.1.4. A person is not obligated to devote his life to eliminating evils from the world, but he is obligated NOT to participate in such evils.

6.1.5. The state's very constitution is the evil.

6.1.6. Abolitionism- wanted to abolish slavery slavery is a moral evil that should be eliminated

6.2. Walden

6.2.1. the part we read is "where i lived, and what i lived for" lives near the walden pond in a rudimentary house/hut Emphasizes the importance of living near water because you can see more nature, reflections

6.2.2. "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone" anti-materialism

6.2.3. "As long as possible live free and uncommitted" explore the world for yourself

6.2.4. emphasis on the importance and beauty of the morning everything is simple, fresh peaceful- gives you time to think before the hustle and bustle of the say begins. meditative

6.2.5. Most encouraging fact = every man is asked to make his own life, you can elevate your life through a conscious endeavor.

6.2.6. "We do not ride on the railroad, it rides upon us" Thoreau wants to live without modern "conveniences," including railroad, post office, newspaper, etc.

6.2.7. the thin current of time slides away, but eternity remains

6.2.8. "The intellect is a cleaver"... the intellect complicates things... don't overthink

6.3. Believed that we should live harmoniously with ourselves in nature (vs Emerson who believed we should live harmoniously with nature)

6.3.1. Thoreau took Emerson a step further bc he was Emerson's student

6.3.2. spends more time writing about the "self" than Emerson did

6.3.3. simplify, simplify, simplify (our lives are frittered away by detail)

6.3.4. Embraces music and poetry, creativity and cheerfulness should definitely exist.