1. he text begins with an introduction (paragraphs 1-7) in which Emerson explains that his intent is to explore the scholar as one function of the whole human being: The scholar is "Man Thinking." The remainder of the essay is organized into four sections, the first three discussing the influence of nature (paragraphs 8 and 9), the influence of the past and books (paragraphs 10-20), and the influence of action (paragraphs 21-30) on the education of the thinking man. In the last section (paragraphs 31-45), Emerson considers the duties of the scholar and then discusses his views of America in his own time.
2. Theme is the notion of an independent American intelligentsia that will no longer depend for authority on its European past.
3. According to an ancient fable, there was once only "One Man," who then was divided into many men so that society could work more efficiently. Ideally, society labors together — each person doing his or her task — so that it can function properly. However, society has now subdivided to so great an extent that it no longer serves the good of its citizens. And the scholar, being a part of society, has degenerated also. Formerly a "Man Thinking," the scholar is now "a mere thinker."
4. The mind and nature are parallel structures that mirror each other. Nature can educate the scholar. Relates the circular (cyclical) power and the order of nature to the education of the scholar: "whose beginning, whose ending he never can find — so entire, so boundless..."
5. "Know thyself..." and "Know nature..." are the same thing.
6. Action, while secondary to thought, is still necessary: "Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential." Furthermore, not to act — declining to put principle into practice — is cowardly.
7. The ideal life has "undulation" — a rhythm that balances, or alternates, thought and action, labor and contemplation: "A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think."
8. "He is the world's eye. He is the world's heart."
9. Although he appears to lead a reclusive and benign life, the scholar must be brave because he deals in ideas, a dangerous currency. Self-trust is the source of courage and can be traced to the transcendental conviction that the true thinker sees all thought as one; universal truth is present in all people, although not all people are aware of it.
10. Instead of thinking individually, we live vicariously through our heroes; we seek self-worth through others when we should search for it in ourselves.
11. We must refuse to be mere purveyors of the past's wisdom: ". . . this confidence in the unsearched might of man, belongs by all motives, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American Scholar," who will create a native, truly American culture.
1. Unfortunate life (abandonment by father, death of mother, taken in by a hardnosed business man who didn't understand him. Poor, impoverished, and sick a lot of his life.
1.5 A year of college then the military, then tried to be a successful writer
2. Married his cousin Virginia (child bride) though probably never had sex with her or anyone else)
3. Not an alcoholic or drug addict, though a common misconception. He couldn't really tolerate alcohol and would only drink when he was depressed, self-destructive- Poe had a hard life, maybe he wanted out.
4. Gentleman in dress and action when sober, which was usually.
5. Idealized women, but may have died a virgin, physically squeamish.
6. Poe has a frequent fixation with the Romantic image of a beautiful woman who has died too suddenly in the flush of youth
7. Poe felt a midnight feeling all of his life, his stories were always at night and indoors; claustrophobic, isolated, and scary
8. Common emphasis on terror, how scary it is, how little we know, what we are capable of, etc. Not necessarily to convey a message.
9. Poe died in a gutter in Baltimore and no one really knows how or why. He wasn't wearing his own clothes, delirious, calling the name Reynolds, then died shortly after.
1. "Broken is the golden bowl.. the spirit flown forever" -alliteration and assonance (oh sound)
2. loved for her wealth, hated for her pride, said by Guy de Vere, man of truth, speaker within quotations. (accusatory, false friends, glad she's dead)
3. They are saying formulaic things at her funeral, not sincere. (first speaker is the crowd, broken is the golden bowl)
4, "doubly dead in that she died so young" (alliteration)
5. "Life upon her hair, but not upon her eyes.." - she has gone to a better place than keeping company with these false friends.
6. Lenore: As in a number of his other poems, such as "Ulalume" and "Annabel Lee," the dead beloved is seen through the eyes of her male living lover and consequently comes to embody the pinnacle of beauty and perfection in her death.
1. The speaker turns the raven in to a symbol of mournful and never-ending remembrance. (self-torture, meaning imposed on the bird calculated to torment him)
2. The raven: comical, admirable, wretch, or prophet?
3. Trocaic foot (AFter- stress, unstressed)
4. Iambic foot (toDAY- unstressed, stress)
5. This poem is trochaic octameter (8 trochaic feet per line, long lines)
6. Monotonous beat, persistent
9. Frequent use of internal rhyme, the trochaic octameter and the refrain of "nothing more" and "nevermore" give the poem a musical lilt when read aloud.
9. the repetition of "nevermore" gives a circular sense to the poem and contributes to what Poe termed the unity of effect, where each word and line adds to the larger meaning of the poem.
1. "back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:"
2. Raven walks in... "saintlier days of yore" (Ravens fed the profits Elijah)
3. Bird looks rough, weathered, but dignified: "thought the crest be shorn and shaven"
4. The raven "spoke only one word through which he pored his soul.
5. Quoth the raven, nevermore.
6. The raven: comical, admirable, wretch, or prophet? "Is there balm in Gilead (to soothe his pain), quoth the raven, nevermore"
7. Tells the raven to go, though he know he won't, and the speaker doesn't really want him to. "Take your beak from out my heart.
8. Monomaniacal, character is going crazy thinking about this one thing, his lost love Lenore (reflected in monotonous beat)
9. Due to the late hour of the poem's setting and to the narrator's mental turmoil, the poem calls the narrator's reliability into question.
1. "It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know- By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought- Than to love and be loved by me."
2. "But we loved with a love that was more than love"
3. "A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling my beautiful Annabel Lee"
4. "But our love it was stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we- of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul, of the beautiful Annabel Lee."
5. He lays by her tomb, always by the sea. Some ties can't be broken, it is better to mourn forever than be with someone new, according to Poe.
6. Poe had a hard life, maybe he wanted out.
1. No subplot, direct, everything matters (even the creaky latch has meaning- had to stand in the door for an hour motionless while the old man sat up in bed)
2. Short story- can be read in one setting
3. Doubling, analagous relationship between the narrator and the old man
4. one of his shortest stories, a tale of paranoia and mental deterioration, Poe strips the story of excess detail as a way to heighten the murderer's obsession with specific things: the old man's eye, the heartbeat, and his own claim to sanity
5. articulates his self-defense against madness in terms of heightened sensory capacity
6. views his hypersensitivity as proof of his sanity, not a symptom of madness
7. Poe explores here a psychological mystery—that people sometimes harm those whom they love or need in their lives long before Freud. The narrator sees the eye as completely separate from the man, and as a result, he is capable of murdering him while maintaining that he loves him.
8. Self vs. Alter Ego
9. Poe's characters often wage internal conflicts by creating imaginary alter egos or assuming alternate and opposite personalities
10. The Power of the Dead over the Living
1. Tale of horror, a tortured soul, murder of a man (probably his landlord)
2. Kills landlord because of his eye, calls it a vulture eye (cataracts), reminds him of death
3. "You call me a madman?" (tone of urgency, insistence- trying to convince us that he isn't)
4. "I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever."
5. "I was never kinder to the man than the week before I killed him"
6. Would poke his head in the door, every day at midnight and watch the old man sleep, for a week. Uses this to describe his cleverness in an attempt to convince us that he isn't crazy. The latch creaks, the old man wakes. He stands motionless for an hour while the old man stands up in bed. The old man eventually groans out in terror.
7. "I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me."
8. He hears a heartbeat that he believes to be the old man's getting louder and louder, it drives him to kill the man. (it's really his own heart)
8. Fears overcome you despite efforts to comfort yourself. He is projecting his own fear of his mortality and death (a terrible limitation) on to the old man's eye.
9. Everything brings you closer to death, maybe this could be stopped by killing the old man's eye, it could give him power, autonomy, freedom from death.
9.5. Because of his warped sense of reality, he obsesses over the low beats of the man's heart yet shows little concern about the man's shrieks, which are loud enough both to attract a neighbor's attention and to draw the police to the scene of the crime
10. In another attempt to convince us that he isn't insane, he describes how he dismembered the body and put it under the floorboards, so cleverly.
11. Cops came by because of noise complaint from a neighbor, tells them it was a nightmare and that the old man is out of town. They stayed longer than normal, probably suspected something because of his erratic behavior.
12. The heartbeat comes back, his, but he believes it is the old man's heart under the floor boards.
13. He panics, believing that the policemen must also hear the sound and know his guilt. Driven mad by the idea that they are mocking his agony with their pleasant chatter, he confesses to the crime and shrieks at the men to rip up the floorboards.
1. 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, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country ; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was - but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
1.5. Goes to visit his friend with a mental condition, extremely heightened senses, tormented by sensitivity to sound and light.
2. Usher (his friend) is the last of a long line of family. His sister has just died, supposedly, making him the last. This has happened with every generation- the family tree is a straight line, close line- possible inbreeding
3.5. When sister dies they decide to bury her in the tomb in the house, perhaps to avoid grave robbers (she had a rare disease, doctors often did this for specimens)
3. His friend is deteriorating after his sister died (his twin) and appears manic and nervous. His friend reads him a story to calm him. A sound mentioned in the story (scraping sound) is heard by the narrator. The timing here is important.
"Not hear it ? - yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long - long - long - many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it - yet I dared not - oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am ! - I dared not - I dared not speak ! We have put her living in the tomb ! Said I not that my senses were acute ? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin. I heard them - many, many days ago - yet I dared not - I dared not speak !"
4. "It was the work of the rushing gust - but then without those doors there did stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher. There was blood upon her white robes, and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame. For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon the threshold - then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated."
**she collapses on him and he dies under her
**White shroud (virginal) flecked with blood (loss
**He dies when she falls on him, perhaps he had
incestual feelings for her, unbearable, wanted
to keep her in the tomb.
The house implodes, collapses at the end. Symbolic of the collapse of the family of Usher.
1. The quintessential -features of the Gothic tale: a haunted house, dreary landscape, mysterious sickness, and doubled personality, though more ambiguous/vague
1.5. What question should we be asking ourselves?
-Why didn't he let her out if he heard her so
many days before? Troubled person, troubled
mind (Roderick) and body, writes a poem "The
Haunted Mansion" and there is a picture in the
-Because the physical aspects of his illness are
tied to this: morbidly acute senses. Odors,
fabrics, lights, and sound hurt him.
-Trying to suppress that which tortures him
2. Being buried alive was a huge fear of Poe's maybe Usher killed her, or buried her prematurely
-Death couldn't be as accurately determined
back then as it can be now.
-People at this time were so concerned about
this that some rigged up a bell attached to a
pole that could be rang from inside the coffin
in the case of an accidental live burial.
3. Poe may also have felt like he was buried prematurely in this world, this world was his coffin.
4. Allegorical overtones-
-Mind/Spiritual trying to overcome physicality
-Twins, mind/spirit (Madeline is the earthy,
physical aspect, his is spirit, trying to over-
-House (2 meanings)-> family vs. the building
*atmosphere of decay and corruption
*creates confusion between the living things
and inanimate objects by doubling the
physical house of Usher with the genetic
family line of the Usher family, which he
refers to as the house of Usher.Poe employs
the word "house" metaphorically, but he also
describes a real house.
5. White shroud (virginal) flecked with blood (loss of innocence
6. He dies when she falls on him, perhaps he had incestual feelings for her, unbearable, wanted to keep her in the tomb. When she falls on him and they are both dead, entangled in each other, what he fears most has happened- his mental/spiritual self had tried to overcome his physical urges, but failed.
7. The house implodes, collapses at the end. Symbolic of the collapse of the family of Usher.
In the greenest of our valleys,
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace -
Radiant palace - reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominion -
It stood there !
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair.
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow;
(This - all this - was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.
Wanderers in that happy valley
Through two luminous windows saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute's well-tunéd law,
Round about a throne, where sitting
In state his glory well befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate ;
(Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him, desolate !)
And, round about his home, the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travellers now within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows, see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody ;
While, like a rapid ghastly river,
Through the pale door,
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh - but smile no more.
1. Story begins years before, when the narrator is known for an honorable character, a great love for cats and dogs, (believed that animals could respect the fidelity of friendship, unlike fellow men).
2. The narrator marries at a young age and introduces his wife to the domestic joys of owning pets. (birds, goldfish, a dog, rabbits, and a monkey, and a cat named Pluto)- wife would mildly superstitious and would comment about the bad luck of black cats.
3. Begins to suffer from violent mood swings, predominantly due to the influence of alcohol, I think he was just a budding psychopath.
4. He begins to drink more and he begins to abuse his wife and the animals, sparing only Pluto, his favorite cat, until a drunken stupor falls over him and he grabs the cat, who scratches him out of instinct. "The fury of a demon falls over him and he gouges the cats eye out.
5. Pluto avoids him now (obviously) which just pisses him off more, and he eventually hangs him from a tree.
6. That night, their house burns down and a ghostly image of a cat hanging by a noose has appeared on the surface of a still standing wall.
7. He is tormented by this for a while, until he comes across another black cat, looks like pluto but with a white splotch on his chest in the shape of the hangman's gallows ("image of a ghastly thing.. the gallows!) and also missing an eye.
8. eventually this cat begins to torment him also (this dread was not a dread of physical evil, but he was a little afraid of the cat) and when hes following his wife down into the basement, the cat follows nearly tripping him. He goes into a rage and kills his wife with an axe. The cat disappears he thinks, out of fear. He buries her in the wall.
9. The cops come, he taps the cane on the wall in the spot where the corpse is, there is a long moaning cry, cops dig out the body and the cat is on her head, also dead.
1. The narrator is is the Lawyer, who runs a law practice on Wall Street in New York. The Lawyer begins by noting that he is an "elderly man," and that his profession has brought him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men the law-copyists, or scriveners."
3. Bartleby is his favorite scrivener, but he tells us of others.
4. Turkey, a man who is about the same age as the Lawyer, good scribe in the morning, makes errors towards afternoon and gets cranky.
5. Nippers, who is much younger and more ambitious than Turkey, and a comical opposite. Has trouble working in the morning due to an upset stomach and constantly adjusts his chair until the afternoon when he settles down and works more consistently.
6. Ginger Nut, an errand boy. His nickname comes from the fact that Turkey and Nippers often send him to pick up ginger nut cakes for them.
7. At first, Bartleby seems to be an excellent worker. He writes day and night, often by no more than candlelight. His output is enormous, and he greatly pleases the Lawyer.
8. One day he asks Bartleby to look at a small document and Bartleby says he'd rather not.
9. The lawyer has a "natural expectancy of instant compliance." He is so taken aback by Bartleby's response and the casual way he says it that he doesn't even scold him but asks Nippers to do it instead.
10. A few days later the lawyer has a large document and wants all hands on deck. Bartleby agains says that he'd rather not. The lawyer presses him for info. but he just says that he'd rather not.
11. Something about Bartleby disarmed the lawyer and makes him question himself. "It is not seldom the case that, when a man is browbeaten in some unprecedented and violently unreasonable way, he begins...to vaguely surmise that, wonderful as it may be, all the justice and all the reason is on the other side."
12. Never sees Bartleby come or go from the office. "nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance"
13. Bartleby continues not to examine his papers, and Turkey becomes enraged by it, threatening to beat Bartleby up.
14. The Lawyer tries another tact, asking Bartleby to run down to the post office for him, but again: "I would prefer not to."
15. The result is that Bartleby continues on at the chambers for some time doing nothing but copying, while the Lawyer pays Nippers and Turkey to examine his work.
16. Lawyer shows up to work and Bartleby is clearly living in the office and he feels pity for the guy.
17. Bartleby tells the lawyer that he will do no more writing and only sits in his office staring out the window.
18. The Lawyer believes he is doing a good, Christian thing by allowing Bartleby to continue existing in his office.
19. Bartleby's presence soon begins to draw the notice of some of the Lawyer's clientele, and he decides that Bartleby is bad for business. Knowing Bartleby will never leave, the Layer decides to simply move his offices to another building.
20. A few days after moving, the new tenant, another lawyer, confronts the Lawyer and asks him to take care of Bartleby, who know just sits on the stars and sleeps in the entry way. The lawyer finally agrees to talk to him.
21. Bartelby refuses to leave against the lawyer's best efforts. He is eventually arrested and thrown in jail.
22. Lawyer sends him food in prison but hears he isn't eating, goes to see him. Thinks he has fallen asleep under a tree, but upon approach, realizes he's dead.
23. The late scrivener once worked at the Dead Letter office, and was fired after the administration changed hands. The Lawyer wonders whether it was this job, sad and depressing as it is, that drove Bartleby to his strange madness.
1. Melville had a unique gift for description and contemplation in his writing, and his short stories (and many of his novels) unfold very slowly and thoughtfully.
2. Bartleby's initial response of "I would prefer not to," seems innocent at first, but soon it becomes a mantra, a slogan that is an essential part of Bartleby's character. It is, as the Lawyer points out, a form of "passive resistance."
3. Bartleby's stubborn refusal to do what is asked of him amounts to a kind of heroic opposition to economic control. (a critique of the growing materialism of American culture at this time.)
4. Rise of middle-class job dissatisfaction and depression,(Lawyer's office is on Wall Street)
5. One important theme in "Bartleby" is that of charity.
6. His stories are generally paced very slowly, though they often have one or two scenes of intense action (the rapid imprisonment, decline and death of Bartleby, all in the space of about three pages)
7. We must ask, in the end, does he do well by Bartleby, or does he contribute to the man's ruin?
1. Narrator is Amasa Delano, the captain of a Massachusetts whaling ship.
2. Anchored offshore, they see another tattered ship coming towards them, weather-beaten and decrepit. The ship is covered by canvas, but chalked underneath are the words (in Spanish), "follow your leader."
3. Delano becomes fascinated with ship, boards it, and is accosted by black slaves asking for water and supplies.
4. He meets the ship's captain, Benito Cereno. Cereno seems a strange man, very nervous and strangely aloof. Cereno is constantly attended by Babo, his young black servant.
6. Delano agrees to help the slaves, give them supplies, but has a nagging feeling that something is wrong.
-Cereno then rather rudely begins whispering
with his servant.
-a Spanish sailor, wearing the usual clothing of
a sailor but with a shirt of the finest linen
-sees another sailor brandishing something
shiny before vanishing into the ship's hold
-two blacks push a sailor and then throw him
to the ground
-he thinks he sees the Spanish sailors giving
him meaningful glances
7. He is beginning to suspect that Benito Cereno may have plans to attack him and capture his own ship.
8. Delano then inquires as to the owner of the slaves and discovers they belong to Alexander Aranda, a friend of Cereno's who died of the fever. Delano suspects that Aranda's body is still on board, judging from Cereno's reaction to discussing the man.
9. Delano questions Cereno further and, when he mentions Cape Horn, Cereno seems very upset.
10. Babo shaves Cereno and cuts him, Cereno looks terrified at the sight of blood. When Babo shows Cereno the bloody razor, the reader understands his terror—Babo is threatening him.
11. Babo attempts to kill Cereno and take Delano's ship, but Delano's men stop him and Delano realizes what happens.
12. Then the Cereno's court deposition gives us the true story of the slaves on the ship.
13. The slaves revolted, led by Babo and the giant Atufal, killing much of the Spanish crew and taking control of the ship. They then forced Cereno to sail toward Senegal, where they were to be released. But before they could make such a trip, it would require supplies. Babo would not let Cereno come to a port that would put the ship in view of people, so he chose to sail to the island of Santa Maria. He told Babo he was planning on getting supplies, but in actuality he hoped a passing vessel would save them. In the meantime, the slaves killed their owner and master, Alexandro Aranda, and hung his skeleton on the figurehead to serve as a warning to the other sailors.
14. Babo portrayed himself as Cereno's servant to keep an eye on him, they needed a captain to sail the ship.
15. Cereno struggled between wanting to tell Delano the truth and the constant threat of Babo. Finally, he leapt overboard into Delano's boat, thus ending the charade.
16. At the end of the trial, Babo is executed and his head placed on a pole. Cereno falls into a deep misery, and a few months later he dies—he did indeed "follow his leader."
1. One could argue that Melville's attitude is forgiving, patronizing, or contemptuous of blacks and/or slavery.
2. The slaves, who are portrayed as both brutal and cunning, revolt against their masters and are thwarted by the efforts of well-armed white men. (Like Speilberg's Amistad, movie- brutality, fight ensues, slaves lose)
3. Melville's brutally cunning slaves may have been somewhat inspired by his experiences living amongst cannibals.
4. Melville was also a product of New England, of Massachusetts and of the Transcendentalist movement—he was in the center of abolitionist activity, and he was never known to trouble his literary friends by expressing pro-slavery attitudes.
5. Babo shaving Cereno- Saw negros as natural servants, butlers, hair dressers, etc.
-Babo uses the Spanish flag as a shaving cloth
6. Saw negros as having a limited mind and as being docile, non-aggressive, "The unaspiring contentment of a limited mind.."
7. The protagonist is Cereno himself, who falls under "the shadow of the Negro" in the course of the tale, eventually leading to his death.
8. Irony- when Babo cuts Cereno while he's shaving him- actually a threat, hand lingers by his neck.
9. Why does he go through the elaborate shaving process? To trick Deleno by showing he is submissive, reinforces Deleno's power, or to mock him.
9. Irony- Melville's opinion is articulating the consensus at the time, not necesarrily Deleno's opinion though they may have been similar.
10. Deleno is a racist, Melville is being ironic, making a statement.
11. Pseudoscience at the time provided faulty evidence for racial differences, if you weren't a racist, you were deemed ignorant.
12. Threat, slave rebellion
13. Melville believed that humans have the right to use whatever means necessary to gain freedom.
14. Intelligence AND evil cut across racial lines. Babo is evil because evil is evil, human nature, not because he's black.
15. Mood set in the beginning, morning, calm, mute, grey
16. Shadows present foreshadowing of deeper shadows to come.
17. Babo's ability to subvert the dominance of white power structures, even momentarily, questions the foundations of power, race and identity that white society is built upon.
18. Babo's shadow of doubt is made concrete by his gaze over the city and Cereno's grave once his head is placed on a spike that both overlooks, and is looked upon by, the people and society that judged him criminal.
1. The ship that approaches is decrepid with an air of corruption.
1.5. "The unaspiring contentment of a limited mind.." --> Saw negros as having a limited mind.
2. When Babo cuts Cereno while he's shaving him- actually a threat (Irony)
3. Babo took extra time to search for the sharpest razor. Hand lingers by his neck.
4. "Master always shakes, though I've not yet drawn blood."
5. "See master, you shook, so here is Babo's first blood."
6. Threat, slave rebellion
7. Melville believed that humans have the right to use whatever means necessary to gain freedom.
8. When Babo takes control, he becomes sadistic. He takes white people and throws them overboard, he's brutal and tyrannical (does things he doesn't have to do, for fun maybe).
9. Deleno is so naive, he has no clue, he thinks negros are docile and harmless.
10. Ship with no colors, didn't concern Deleno despite the lawlessness of the area.
-shrouded in fog, rotting, decay, corruption
-sees monks tied to inquisition he thinks, turns
out to be negro slaves.
-Name, San Dominic, is written in corroded
11. Deleno is a singularly, not distrustful, good-natured American: he is a cheerful, upbeat, pleasant racist. (ignorant optimism keeps him in the dark)
12. "All is owing to providence, only at the end did my suspicions grow..."
13. Cereno (Capt of slave ship)- "with me all day, and your last act was to clutch at me like a monster. You were forced to it, yet you were undeceived..." -->said to Babo?
14. "You generalize Don Benito (Cereno), the past is the past, why moralize?" (fresh start, America)
15. "Younder bright sun (and other natural elements) have forgotten it. Cereno says this is because "they have no memory."
16. Testimony of sailors written in flat language, seemingly factual, but no context or tone of how sinister and evil things really were. This is the story that white folks have chosen to tell themselves. (inadequacy of religion)
17. Deleno: "What has cast such a shadow upon
Cereno: "The Negro"
*the grimness, darkness, how black things can
be, darkness of human nature is not racial.
18. As for the black, whose brain, not body, schemed and led the rebellion with a plot (slight small man)
19. Cereno is terrified of Babo who is taken to jail, condemned, hung, beheaded, and his body was burned.
20. "head, that hive of subtlety, fixed on a pole...met unabashed, the gazes of the whites"
21. Babo's head is placed on a spike that both overlooks, and is looked upon by, the people and society that judged him criminal. It also overlooks the monastery where Cereno lay dying, he "followed his leader."
1. Colonel William Bartlett, age 20-22, left harvard and joined the army. Lost his leg, disabled, served in hellish Richmond, returns home a hero and the town celebrates (he feels aloof from the town, no longer at home there).
2. "He rides at their head, a crutch in his saddle"
3. "Brings regimen home"
4. "like castaways stunned by the sea's loud roar"
-compares returning from war to surviving a
-(Rhythm-->intensity and then clamps down
on it: rattered, tattered, and worn)
5. "Steel rigidity, aloofness on his brow"
6. "It is not that a leg is lost, that his arm is mamed" --> he no longer thinks of himself
7. Mentions the battles of: 7 days, Wilderness, and Petersburg.
8. "glimpses of a grim truth" (seen in war, gruesome) and is forever changed.
9. like one of melville's characters who is so withdrawn he starves himself?? (Bartleby)
1. Quaker upbringing
2. Highly influenced by Emerson--> God is in all of us and in everything, everyone deserves compassion.
3. Wrote some civil war poems, brother was wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg
4. Whitman confronts grimness and evil of life and still keeps the faith.
5. Dysfunctional family, brothers were problematic with grand names.
6. Sublimates his problems in to America, we are all a big family, to compensate for his own crappy family.
7. Homosexual, took a while to accept, deeply troubled at first, channels this into comradeship, sublimation/compensation.
8. Whitman was frank about sexuality, celebrates it, believes it is necessary to fully know yourself.
9. Against promiscuity, but also against repression.
10. Controversial, informal.
11. Leaves of Grass- instead of blades, pages in a book, the beautiful uncut hair of graves...
1. "THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became; And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years."
2. The early lilacs, apple trees, wood berries, drunkard stumbling home, school mistress, barefoot negro boy and girl, mother at home (wholesome odor coming from her clothes), the father (mean), furniture, the doubts of daytime, the weather---->ALL BECAME PART OF CHILD
3. "The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will always go forth every day."
4. Referring to the amazed child-like response to things, calls us to maintain a childlike sense of wonder.
5. We are all connected by experience.
6. Speaker doesn't discriminate between the bad and the good (apple blossoms) (common weeds by the side of the road) (good boys, quarrelsome boys)(the drunkard)
7. Childlike, democratic, American poem
8. No sense of hierarchy or judgement (child like)
9. Egalitarian- equality for all
1. Highly influenced by Emerson--> God is in all of us and in everything, everyone deserves compassion.
2. Childlike, democratic, American poem
3. Paratactic (balanced) phrasing, lists things with equal weight
4. Captures the child-like way of thinking
5. Common speech, not very elevated
6. Uses simple diction to reach everyday Americans.
7. Fresh, energetic writer.
8. All things, good and bad, are a part of him and he of them.
9. All of us are capable of anything and we are all connected by experience.
10. Free verse
11. Sense of expansion--> kids start small and grow, horizon, etc.
12. Quaker upbringing, wanted poem tied to cycle of the year (4th month, instead of April)
"WHEN I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars."
1. conveyed moral, go out and experience things for yourself, not from a book or TV.
2. Science can only go so far, you need to acknowledge mystery and wonder.
3. Individualism, apart from the crowd and the norm.
5. Emphasizes self-reliance, limits of rationality
6. Rhythm of inventory, monotonous list, choppy when describing the astronomers charts and diagrams.
7. Tone improves at the end to give being outside a better sound, more melodious (till rising and glinding out into the mystical, moist night air)
8. Assonance- repetition of an internal vowel
9. Alliteration- "S" sound
10. Longest word in poem, surrounded by small words: "unaccountable, I became tired and sick.."
11. This portrays the astronomer, accounting for everything in the universe (trying to), but can't account for the mystery and beauty of the universe.
12. Suggests that we should realize we don't know everything.
13. Unaccountable: VERY IMPORTANT WORD.
"SKIRTING the river road, (my forenoon walk, my rest,)
Skyward in air a sudden muffled sound, the dalliance of the eagles,
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,
The clinching interlocking claws, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel,
Four beating wings, two beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling,
In tumbling turning clustering loops, straight downward falling,
Till o'er the river pois'd, the twain yet one, a moment's lull,
A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,
Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,
She hers, he his, pursuing."
"I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high,
Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes dingily seen,
The numerous camp-fires scatter'd near and far, some away up on the
The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized, flickering,
And over all the sky--the sky! far, far out of reach, studded,
breaking out, the eternal stars."
1. 1/2 hour from sundown, ferry actually means the ferry landing, not the boat.
2. People going home, crossing the east river.
3. "Flood tide below me, I watch you face to face."
-confronting things on your own, immediately
5. Who is the you? The reader. Whitman is talking to me.
6. "I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence." "I have considered you long before you were born..."-->Literally, I am thinking of you sitting in front of your computer, all the way back here in 1865, more than you know.
7. "You that shall cross from shore to shore years hence.."
8. Ferry crossing river is metaphor for life and death.
-get on the ferry= being born
-getting off the ferry= death
9. Egalitarian- we're all in this together, brothers and sisters, not just with others on the ferry with us, but all who have ever or ever will ride it.
10. Whitman draws closer and closer to the reader through shared experience. "Closer yet, I approach you.."
11. We are all connected through experience, same physical world and same emotions.
-"It's not upon you alone the dark patches fall."
They've fallen on me to....
-"What is it between us?"
-"Brooklyn of ample hills was mine."
-Questions of life, "they come upon me"
12. Others--> not us, we'll be gone, repeated in poem for emphasis.
13. USES PARALLEL PHRASING, ASSONANCE, ALLITERATION, REPETITION--> ALL TO ESTABLISH RHYTHM.
14. "one of a crowd" --> emphasized community
15. Attempts to reconcile a commitment to self vs. community
16. Whitman believes we can do both, a healthy self reliant person will naturally invest in community.
17. Leaning against the rail--> in life, time passes no matter what, we are getting closer and closer to getting off the ferry. The ferry is always moving with the rushing current even though we are standing still at the rail.
18. Sees reflection in water, halo effect, we are all divine.
19. "Of my body, float forever, held in solution
-pool of souls beyond this world, a ladle
scoops us out when we're born and puts us
in our bodies. When we die, pieces of us go
into others just as other went in to us. We all
come from the same source.
20. We've all been evil/malignant. "I was one with the rest.."
21. Not tied to organized religion, "What Gods can exceed these, which clasp me by my hand?"
22. " I am he who knew what it was to be evil;
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd, 75
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant;
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me,
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,
Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting." (PARALLEL PHRASING- LIST, EQUAL WEIGHT)
23. "Do we not" "Are we not" "Is it not"
-CEZURAS- serenity, union, summary
1. An outlier, outsider
2. Doesn't accept calvanist/congregationalist doctrine but also doesn't buy the Emersonian idea of finding God in nature and in yourself.
3. Skeptical about organized religion, Emersonian romanticism, or that human nature could improve on its own.
4. Wrote 1785-1789 poems, not entirely consistent.
5. On the whole, she leaned toward skepticism, cynicism, pessimism, doubt, etc.
6. May have been bipolar/manic, troubled, moody
7. Form of poems modeled after old protestant hymns (stanzas)
8. had unfortunate love affairs, though not sexual
-the one that marked her the most was with a
married minister, the year he moved away,
she wrote more poems than ever.
-then a friend of her fathers, also married, Otis
Lord, 18-20 years her senior
9. Only published 10 poems in her lifetime, usually without her permission, she just wrote for herself. She tried to get a poem into the Atlantic Monthly, got a male, sexist, patronizing response. They rewrote it for her and it was terrible so she gave up on publishing.
10. Better accepted in the 19th century, we are better equipped to hear the grimness and cynicism.
-Stanzaic form of protestant hymns, irony
(she doesn't agree with religion)
-No titles, maybe more to say, transient
-No narratives, no stories
-dashes: maybe a strong pause, groping for
next word, writing in a hurry, dramatic
pause, or to represent her emptiness- it
depends on the poem.
-No rhyme or reason to use of capitalization
"THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.
The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound."
**God is a human conception, we invented him and we tailor him to our own needs, should you trust your mind or is this too frightening?
Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -
Untouched by Morning -
and untouched by noon -
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection,
Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone -
Grand go the Years,
In the Crescent above them -
Worlds scoop their Arcs -
and Firmaments - row -
Diadems - drop -
And Doges surrender -
Soundless as Dots,
On a Disk of Snow."
**Alabaster (pure white stone): a tomb
**safe untouched by morning, not the safe we
**Rafter of satin: coffin lid
**"meek members of the ressurection"->died in
faith, sarcasm of the aliteration (meek
**Overwhelming implied question: will they be
resurrected? No, you get the feeling they will
be there forever.
**"Soundless as Dots on a disk of snow"-> govt,
space, revolutions, planets, it all goes on
**We are left with a silent, white, cold, void is
what we are left with (snow)
**D's, alliteration, emphatically drives the point
**Doesn't buy into Christianity, resurrection, etc.
**A very grim poem.
1. "The stillness in the air between the heaves of the storm"--> thunder followed by silence, you know something's coming
2. "Their eyes around had run them dry" -> cried themselves out.
3. You'd like to believe that a person's passing means something, here it just seems trivial, no king, just a fly (associated with decay)
4. Touches on the 19th century notion of a good death (at home, surrounded by friends and family, at peace)
5. Synesthesia- senses blur together, referring to the fly: "blue buzz"--> buzz doesn't have a color, but we know what she means.
6. Lots of slant rhymes (storm and room, bee and fly)
7. Exact rhyme at the end, clench of the argument
8. Death can be utterly bleak, trivial, irrelevant
"A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home
Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim. "
**You can't get close to nature
**describing her own conception of the bird, not the bird as it actually is.
**Tries to give him human traits--> stepping sideways to let a beetle pass, describes him as fearful and cautious
**She tries to commune, but can't--> she offers him a crumb but he flies away
**There is a barrier between us and nature, we can only sentimentalize it.
"I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth - the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a-night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names. "
**alluding to Keats
**died for truth and beauty, but didn't accomlish anything, the moss covered up their names, they will be forgotten.
**this alludes to arrogant nobility, symbolism of covering up their names, it is silly to live for a grand absolute.
**No matter what you accomplish, you are driven by ego, and you will be forgotten eventually.
**Doesn't show faith in religion, nature, or human nature.
"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church -
I keep it, staying at Home -
With a Bobolink for a Chorister -
And an Orchard, for a Dome -
Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice -
I, just wear my Wings -
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton - sings.
God preaches, a noted Clergyman -
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last -
I'm going, all along."
**One of her more positive poems, faith
**Now she CAN get close to God through nature
**Tone is smug "I'll just wear my wings..."
1. Mexican War- a land grab, he disagreed
2. Against slavery
3. Didn't pay poll taxes, went to jail
4. If the government is unjust, we're obligated to take a stand
5. Voting and lobbying, it takes too long.
6. We end up being complicit by allowing the majority to decide things for us.
7. Myopic withdrawal from the realities of life.
8. We'd all like to think so, but do we really have the courage to take a stand?
9. Wash your hands of injustice, set an example.
10. We are all morally obligated to take action when we believe that there is real injustice going on.
11. The danger of this logic is that we all think that we are right, Tim McVeigh, Bradley Manning both felt justified.
12. Level of individual will vs. government: your sense of right and wrong, should not be offended by the government and they should ensure that it doesn't happen.
13. "A man is a man with a backbone you cannot pass your hand through"
14. "I was not born to be forced."
15. If an unjust law exists, should we passively obey or break the law in protest? If the law makes you cause injustice to another, break it.
16. "If the injustice is a part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, just let it go, it'll work itself out."
17. Why does the gov't always crucify christ, excommunicate copernicus, and ____ Luther."
18. Don't be part of the machine.
19. Profit=more money=less virtue
20. If our gov't is committing evil, because we are citizens, they are doing it in our names.
1. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."
2. "It is characteristic of wisdom not to be desperate."-->entertainment is even desperate, we are desperately trying to escape reality.
3. Thoreau goes to Walden (Emerson's property) for 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days. He crushed the book into the cycle of one year.
4. Experiment to see how much a man needs to live, not much.
5. We are following an economic principle of more, more, more... this is unhealthy.
6. We don't own our possessions, they own us.
7. Thoreau was against consumerism, but if we stop buying things the entire economy would collapse like a house of cards.
8. "A man is rich in proportion to the amount of things you can let alone."
9. Thoreau believed in minimalism. Brilliant Harvard grad., Greek and Latin scholar.
10. Very good with his hands (fixing things, building things, dads pencil factory example)
11. Came up with a better way to make pencils, chose not to patent the idea, would have made a fortune. Freedom mattered more to him than money or success.
12. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
13. Why should we be in such a hurry to succeed?
14. "However mean your life is, met it and live it."
15. The sun sets just the same for the rich and the poor. We can be just as happy in the poor house as we can be in the mansion.
16. "If we do not get out sleepers,(20) and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us."
-Pun? Sound rails?--> elaborate and ingenious
17. Fruits of life-
-enjoying what you do, do what you love
-freedom to define a meaningful life for our
18. Undervalues the damage of dire poverty and the sometimes need for government intervention.
19. Ends on a note of hope, "The sun is but a morning star."
20. Alertness, don't be a follower.
21. Short, striking statements like Emerson, followed by an explanation-->"Shall we live meanly, like ants, though the fable tells us we were changed to men?" "We do not ride on the railroads, the railroads ride upon us."
22. Emerson theorizes, Thoreau puts into action.