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ENG250Y1 (110)
Lecture

Emerson and Whitman

4 Pages
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Department
English
Course
ENG250Y1
Professor
Alan Ackerman
Semester
Fall

Description
Stories giving structure Similar elements of stories, a culture Centers on a basic set of problems What does it mean to forge a new world, what is a world Problems of creating a society, what values do you select when you are entirely rejecting an old set of values Post Colonial society Growth beyond mimicking the english Theological way of reimagining the new world Exposed to the rigors of raw nature "a new eden" infused with god, good place to be reborn, a new jerusalem Some revivals of Calvinism but also Benjamin Franklin who veered away from Calvinism, scientific thought and reason What is the representative American, developing a self that isn't a mimick man He decided it was him.... Valuing contradiction in prose Creating unity out of diversity, a social problem that they were solving at the time Emerson is the thinker who looks at solving this problem Desire and the impossibility to fufill it in a Street Car named Desire, Emerson sees it as a source of morality "trust thy self" why? looking to the wise perhaps better? not an obvious thing to believe, importance of Belief Emerson questions the validity of valuing historical jesus, as everyone has divinity within them, a democratic idea "by trusting your own heart you will gain more confidence in other men" there is a two way street, forging alliances with others however begins with a contradiction Begins with two quotes from others then reads something from a different author Values the way this painter who was writing clearly believed his speech Still, quoting other people, form versus content Language itself is an inheritance, finding his own voice using language Pragmatism, the only proof of faith is the experience of faith in ones own soul Transcendentalism, questioning of cultural norms, reintegrate spirit and matter belief that the visible and invisible world pervade each other Example of the rose outside his window The rose is not a symbol of anything else but itself, it only knows itself, represented nothing else, and thinks of no other better or worse roses Difficulties of the Self at the time it was a pressing American problem, they actually felt it was very important to define it defined by what they were not Franklin talks about some of those features: emphasis on humble beginnings, self made and self taught, independent (self reliant), the plain unpretentious style of prose, industrious Emerson takes it upon himself to prescribe this new character, self reliance, individualism against society, cult of newness, gives that newness a positive light, emphasizes the importance of questioning society, disagrees with myth explaining the way they define themselves Developed Individualism Developed from european attacks on free enterprise, they thought this would fracture society Power of language and discourse What comes first the individual or society dissent, but for what? faith not in the old religion but for americai,, Individualism, and fear of societal disapproval foolish belief in
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