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climbing over the limitations of everyday life by depending on one's intuition -> 1803 - 82

transparent eyeball

Emerson's way of saying that he has become part of everything


a comparison of two unlike things without using the words "like" or "as."

extended metaphor

a metaphor which extends over several lines or an entire poem


a comparison using "like" or "as"


a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work


restate an author's words in your own words and about the same length as original


condense the information, includes only the most important details


the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form


a reference to another work of literature, person, or event


repetition of vowel sounds


repetition of initial consonant sounds


the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words


sound or rhythm of words; long, easy sweep of sound


list of things, people, or events related in some way


words whose sound echoes their meaning

parallel structure

repetition of words, phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure

slant rhyme

things that rhyme but not perfectly


contrast between what is expected and what happens


people from the united states but live in Europe


experimentation in style and form; rejection of traditional themes and subjects; sense of disillusionment and lost faith in American dream; interest in inner workings of human mind


founded by Ezra Pound in the 20th century movement in European and American poetry, which advocated the creation of hard, clear images concisely written in everyday speech

stream of consciousness

writer imitates natural flow of thoughts; logical connections often left out; characters tend to jump from one thought to another

dramatic monologue

one character speaks directly to one or more listeners


author takes on voice of another character

Puritan Concepts

original sin, unconditional election, irresistible grace, limited atonement, perseverance of saints

rhyme scheme

The pattern or sequence in which end rhyme occurs throughout a poem. The first end sound is represented with an "a," the second end sound is represented with a "b," and so on. When the first sound is repeated at the end of another line within the poem, it is also designated as "a."

blank verse

unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)

free verse

Poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme

exact rhyme

accented vowel sound and following sounds are identical


The attitude of the author toward the audience and characters (e.g., serious or humorous).


Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)


one line merges with the next line


address to an absent or imaginary person

objective correlative

A situation or a sequence of events or objects that evokes a particular emotion in a reader or audience.

passive voice

the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb


a scene or event from the past that appears in a narrative out of chronological order, to fill in information or explain something in the present

Harlem Renaissance

a period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished


a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization

how to analyze a quotation

examine word choice (why used and what does it reveal), explain connection b/t quote and main point/topic sentence, include own commentary without including "I," and examine quotation as a whole

"Self Reliance"

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ralph Waldo Emerson
contains the "invisible eyeball"

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Go Tell It on the Mountain

James Baldwin

"I Hear America Singing"

Walt Whitman
contains parallel structure

"Song of Myself"

Walt Whitman
contains assonance

"Come up from the Fields Father"

Walt Whitman
tone: at first happy, peaceful, but then becomes somber, sad, and heart broken

"Beat! Beat! Drums!"

Walt Whitman
tone: patriotic, rallying
contains catalog and cadence

"The Soul Selects Her Own Society"

Emily Dickinson
contains slant rhyme and extended metaphor

"I heard a Fly buzz-when I died"

Emily Dickinson
tone: factual, no emotion

"Because I could not stop for Death"

Emily Dickinson
contains personification

"If you were coming in the Fall"

Emily Dickinson
tone: starts as optimistic, carefree; ends: anxiety and dread

"It was not death for I stood up"

Emily Dickinson
tone: panic to confusion to trapped to realization of insignificance

"A Few Don'ts"

Ezra Pound

"In a Station of the Metro"

Ezra Pound
tone: lack of tone, solemn
contains free verse

"This is just to say"

William Carlos Williams
tone: unconvincing and bored
contains irony

"The Red Wheelbarrow"

William Carlos Williams

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

T.S. Elliot
contains Stream of Consciousness, Allusion, and Dramatic Monologue


contains apostrophe

"Pear Tree"

contains apostrophe
anticipating of spring and rebirth


Amy Lowell
extremely descriptive use of color to represent emotion

"Summer Rain"

Amy Lowell
focuses more on sound than color

mid 1600's in Boston

setting of the Scarlet Letter


time when the Scarlet Letter was written

Hester Prynne, Pearl, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth

Scarlet Letter's major characters

Emerson and Thoreau

2 major transcendentalists

self-reliance, nonconformity, and importance of nature

three main principles of transcendentalism

conformity or anything similar to a standard life style

according to the "self-reliance" essay, what is the opposite of self reliance?


the only group of people that can see nature best, according to Emerson

how transcendentalists feel about society

Transcendentalists dislike society; they want to go against it in almost any way possible


from whose point of view is the beginning of chapter one of part 2 of Go Tell It on the Mountain

Florence's husband for 10 years. He had "caramel candy colored skin" and was a drunkard and loved ragtag

Who was Frank and his relations to the narrator in chapter one of part 2 of Go Tell It on the Mountain

Florence sees religion as her family, not her faith.

the role of religion in chapter one of part 2 of Go Tell It on the Mountain

he went to a harlot's house and committed a lustful sin

What is Gabriel's sin in his flashback in the beginning of part 2, chapter 2

Gabriel had a meal with the Elders and they made a mean, cruel joke about Deborah

Why Gabriel changed his mind about marrying Deborah

Gabriel's bastard son with Esher

Who Royal is

people who are supposedly the holiest are actually the most sinful, representing how two faced religion is

thematic statement of Go Tell It on the Mountain

Gabriel's second wife. She is used as the reason for John's "evilness" because he acts like Elizabeth

Who is Elizabeth and her role in part 2, chapter 2?

Roy Grimes

John's younger brother. He is outspoken and much less concerned with the metaphysical questions that plague John. He closely resembles his father, Gabriel, as he was in his younger days and also shares many traits—as well as a first name—with his half-brother Royal (Gabriel's unacknowledged son), whom he will never meet.


John's role model. A young leader in the congregation and a saved man.

The saints

The saved members of the Grimeses' church, Temple of the Fire Baptized.

Gabriel Grimes

A hard, religious man. Despite his pious mother's prayers and beatings, Gabriel was wild and sinful—until he was born again at the age of 21 and became a preacher. In a dream, God promised him that his descendents would bear His seal. He married Deborah, had an adulterous affair with Esther, and endured the early death of his unacknowledged son, Royal, from a distance. His son by Elizabeth, Roy, is his new hope. John, his stepson, must bear the brunt of Gabriel's sublimated wrath and guilt.


Raised by her strict, religious, and unloving aunt, she came north to be with her boyfriend, Richard. Richard killed himself, unknowingly leaving her unwed and pregnant with John. She met Gabriel through his sister Florence, whom she had come to know at work. Gabriel offered her hope and a return to the true path. He promised to raise John as if the boy were his own. If Gabriel raised her up, he has also done much to undermine her, as she now begins to realize.


She has resented her brother Gabriel since he was born—resented him their mother's favoritism, which he received at her expense; resented his sudden, newfound holiness; resented the way he treated his first wife, Deborah, and now Elizabeth. She knows she is ill and doesn't have much time left to live. But she is determined to knock Gabriel down a few pegs so that he cannot tower in his righteousness above Elizabeth and John.


Florence's friend and Gabriel's first wife and spiritual companion. She was brutally raped as a girl by a group of white men. Unable to bear children, she died fairly young.

Hester Prynne

the book's protagonist and the wearer of the scarlet letter that gives the book its title. The letter, a patch of fabric in the shape of an "A," signifies that Hester is an "adulterer." As a young woman, Hester married an elderly scholar, Chillingworth, who sent her ahead to America to live but never followed her. While waiting for him, she had an affair with a Puritan minister named Dimmesdale, after which she gave birth to Pearl. Hester is passionate but also strong—she endures years of shame and scorn. She equals both her husband and her lover in her intelligence and thoughtfulness. Her alienation puts her in the position to make acute observations about her community, particularly about its treatment of women.


Hester's illegitimate daughter is a young girl with a moody, mischievous spirit and an ability to perceive things that others do not. For example, she quickly discerns the truth about her mother and Dimmesdale. The townspeople say that she barely seems human and spread rumors that her unknown father is actually the Devil. She is wise far beyond her years, frequently engaging in ironic play having to do with her mother's scarlet letter.

Roger Chillingworth

actually Hester's husband in disguise. He is much older than she is and had sent her to America while he settled his affairs in Europe. Because he is captured by Native Americans, he arrives in Boston belatedly and finds Hester and her illegitimate child being displayed on the scaffold. He lusts for revenge, and thus decides to stay in Boston despite his wife's betrayal and disgrace. He is a scholar and uses his knowledge to disguise himself as a doctor, intent on discovering and tormenting Hester's anonymous lover. He is self-absorbed and both physically and psychologically monstrous. His single-minded pursuit of retribution reveals him to be the most malevolent character in the novel.

Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale

is a young man who achieved fame in England as a theologian and then emigrated to America. In a moment of weakness, he and Hester became lovers. Although he will not confess it publicly, he is the father of her child. He deals with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a heart condition as a result. He is an intelligent and emotional man, and his sermons are thus masterpieces of eloquence and persuasiveness. His commitments to his congregation are in constant conflict with his feelings of sinfulness and need to confess.

Governor Bellingham

a wealthy, elderly gentleman who spends much of his time consulting with the other town fathers. Despite his role as governor of a fledgling American society, he very much resembles a traditional English aristocrat. He tends to strictly adhere to the rules, but he is easily swayed by Dimmesdale's eloquence. He remains blind to the misbehaviors taking place in his own house: his sister, Mistress Hibbins, is a witch.

Mistress Hibbins

is a widow who lives with her brother, Governor Bellingham, in a luxurious mansion. She is commonly known to be a witch who ventures into the forest at night to ride with the "Black Man." Her appearances at public occasions remind the reader of the hypocrisy and hidden evil in Puritan society.

Reverend Mr. John Wilson

Boston's elder clergyman, He is scholarly yet grandfatherly. He is a stereotypical Puritan father, a literary version of the stiff, starkly painted portraits of American patriarchs. Like Governor Bellingham, he follows the community's rules strictly but can be swayed by Dimmesdale's eloquence. Unlike Dimmesdale, his junior colleague, he preaches hellfire and damnation and advocates harsh punishment of sinners.


The unnamed narrator works as the surveyor of the Salem Custom-House some two hundred years after the novel's events take place. He discovers an old manuscript in the building's attic that tells the story of Hester Prynne; when he loses his job, he decides to write a fictional treatment of the narrative. The narrator is a rather high-strung man, whose Puritan ancestry makes him feel guilty about his writing career. He writes because he is interested in American history and because he believes that America needs to better understand its religious and moral heritage.

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