Terms in this set (52)

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. 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
of innocence
**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
words-->his head.
-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-
come hers.
-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.
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."
2. Scrivener=Scribe
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. 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
rusty letters
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. 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
4. Curiousity
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.
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. "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-
-meaningful work
-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.