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History and Anthology of American Literature


History and Anthology of American Literature Part I. The Literature of Colonial America Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution Part III. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: History and Anthology of American Literature

History and Anthology of American Literature
  • Part I. The Literature of Colonial America
  • Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution
  • Part III. The Literature of Romanticism

  • How to Define American Literature
  • Definition
  • American literature is the literature produced in
    American English by American citizens.
  • Basic qualities of American Writers
  • independent
  • individualistic
  • critical
  • innovative
  • humorous

  • How to define American Literature
  • Anylytical approach
  • Thematic approach
  • Historical approach

List of Works
  • Sherwood Anderson Winsburg, Ohio
  • James Baldwin Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Saul Bellow Seize the Day, Henderson the
    Rain King
  • William S. Burroughs The Naked lunch
  • Willa Cather My Antonia
  • Kate Chopin The Awakening
  • Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage

  • Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie, An American
  • Ralph Ellison Invisible Man
  • William Faulkner Go Down, Moses, The Sound and
    the Fury
  • F.Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby
  • Alex Haley Roots

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter
  • Joseph Heller Catch-22
  • Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man
    and the Sea
  • James Jones From Here to Eternity
  • Maxine Hong Kingston The Woman Warrior
  • Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Sinclair Lewis Main Street

  • Jack London The Call of the Wild,
    Martin Eden
  • Norman Mailer The Naked and the Dead
  • Carson McCullers The Heart Is a Lonely
  • James A.Michener Cennennial
  • Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind
  • Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye

  • Mark Twain The Adventures of
    Huckleberry Finn
  • Alice Walker The Color Purple
  • Robert Penn Warren All the Kings Men
  • Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence
  • Thornton Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel
  • Herman Wouk The Winds of War
  • Richard Wright Native Son

  • Vladimir Nabokov Lolita
  • Frank Norris The Ocopus
  • J.D.Salinger The Catcher in the Rye
  • Erich Segal Man, Woman and Child
  • Upton Sinclair The Jungle
  • John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Toms Cabin
  • William Styron Sophies Choice

  • Mark Twain The Adventurous of Huckberry Finn
  • Alice Walker The Color Purple
  • Rober Penn Warren All the Kings Men
  • Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence
  • Thomas Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel
  • Herman Wouk The Winds of War
  • Richard Right Native Son

Part I. The Literature of Colonial America
  • Historical Introduction
  • Early American writers and Poets
  • Puritan
  • Puritanism

Part I. Historical Introduction
  • I. The native American and their culture Indians
  • II. The historical background of the colonial
  • Christopher Columbus discovered the American
    continent in 1491.
  • Captain Christopher Newport reached Virginia in
  • Puritans came the New England area, by Mayflower
    in 1619.
  • The first settlement was established in Plymouth
    in 1620.

Early American Writers and Poets
  • South, Jamestown, Virginia
  • Captain John Smith---first American writer 8
  • Contributions his description of America were
    filled with themes, myths, images, scenes,
    characters and events that were a foundation for
    the nations literature. He lured the Pilgrims
    into fleeing here and creating a New land.
  • North, New England, Puritan Writers
  • William Bradford first governor of Plymouth, The
    History of Plymouth Plantation, simplicity,
    earnestness, direct reporting, readable, moving.
  • John Winthrop first governor of Boston, The
    History of New England, candid simplicity,
  • Two Poets Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor

  • One division of English Protestant. They regarded
    the reformation of the church under Elizabeth as
    incomplete, and called for further purification
    from what they considered to be unscriptural and
    corrupt forms and ceremonies retained from the
    unreformed church.
  • The 17th century American Puritans included two
    parts Separatists and Massachusetts Bay Group
  • Their Religious Doctrines original sin, total
    depravity, predestination and limited atonement
    through a special infusion of grace from God.
  • They regarded themselves as chosen people of God.
    They embraced hardships, industry and frugality.
    They favored a disciplined, hard, somber, ascetic
    and harsh life. They opposed arts and pleasure.
    They suspect joy and laughter as symptoms of sin.

  • A religious and political movement. Through it,
    one sees emerging the right of the individual to
    political and religious independence.
  • Their religious doctrines original sin, total
    depravity, predestination, limited atonement.
  • Their attitudes toward entertainment joy and
    laughter are symptoms of sin.
  • Their attitudes toward work work itself is a
    good in addition to what it achieves, that time
    saved by efficiency or good fortune should be
    spent in doing further work.

Puritanisms influence on American literature
  • Purpose pragmatic
  • Contents practical matter-of-fact accounts of
    life in the new world highly theoretical
    discussions of religious questions.
  • Form diary, autobiography, sermon, letter
  • Style tight and logic structure, precise and
    compact expression, avoidance of rhetorical
    decoration, adoption of homely imagery,
    simplicity of diction.

Part II. The Literature of Reason and Revolution
  • Historical Introduction
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Paine
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Philip Freneau

Part II. Historical Introduction(1)
  • Industrial Revolution spurred the economy in
    American colonies.
  • Independence War the industrial growth led to
    intense strain with Britain. The British
    government tried to suppress their growth
    economically, and ruled them from abroad
    politically and levied heavy tax on them. these
    aroused bitter resentment in colonies. Constant
    conflicts resulted in American revolutionary war.

Part II. Historical Introduction (2)
  • Spiritual life of the coloniesEnlightenment.
  • Philosophical and intellectual movement.
  • Advocated reason or rationality, the scientific
    method, equality and human beingsability to
    perfect themselves and their society.
  • Agreed on faith in human rationality and
    existence of discoverable and universally valid
    principles governing human beings, nature and
  • Opposed intolerance, restraint, spiritual
    authority and revealed religion

Benjamin Franklin (1)
  • The only good writer of the colonial period.
  • Printer, enlightener, inventor, scientist,
    statesman, diplomat
  • Aid Jefferson in writing The Declaration of
  • Seeking help from France in American Independent

Benjamin Franklin (2)
  • Main Works Poor Richards Almanac
  • It contains many proverbs
  • Autobiography
  • With it he set the form for autobiography as a
  • Style he developed an utilitarian and didactic
  • His style is characterized by simplicity,
    frankness, wit, clarity, logic and order.

Benjamin Franklin (3)
  • Autobiography inspiring account of a poor boys
    rise to a high position. It is a how-to-do-it
    book, one on the art of self-improvement.
  • Contents It covered Franklins life only until
    1757 when he was 51 years old. It described his
    life as a shrewd and industrious businessman and
    narrates how he owned the constant felicity of
    his life, his long-continued health and
    acquisition of fortune.
  • Significance It presents a prototype of American
    success which inspired generations of Americans.
    It is an embodiment of Puritanism and
    enlightening spirits.

Benjamin Franklin (4)
  • Analysis of Selected Parts
  • A. 3 paras a. He was interested in reading as a
  • b. Being an apprentice to his
    brother, he began writing.
  • c. How he improved his
  • Summary Franklin was thirsty for knowledge and
    improved his writing with practical methods. How
    he gained success through ones consistent effort
    and hard working. (self-improvement/education)
  • B. 5 paras a. The way of learning language.
  • b. Practice makes perfect---a piece of advice on
    how to teach language.
  • c/d. Relations with his relatives. Life
  • e. Learning Club devoted on the improvement of
    young man, influence public opinion.
  • Summary Franklin was a
    practical, diligent man. In learning language, he
    had a great power of endurance and clever mind.
    He always tried his best to achieve his goal, no
    matter in life or study. (self-reliance)

Why Franklin is admired and read widely?
  • He is a typical American, model of the self-made
    man, a cultural hero whose life exemplified the
    American dream of the poor boy who made good.
  • He stressed the importance of working hard to
    make money, happiness depending in the first
    place on economic success and optimistically
    believed that every American could do so.
  • He was convinced that no man could be virtuous or
    happy unless he did his best to improve the life
    of his society and his own life.

Why say Franklin is the representative of
American Enlightenment?
  • 1.He believed in reason or rationality, the
    scientific method, equality and human beings
    ability to perfect themselves and their society.
  • 2. He opposed intolerance, restraint, spiritual
    authority and revealed religion. Deist
  • 3. He favored the education. Self-education,
    educating and disseminating knowledge among
    people by his newspaper and Autobiography,
    establishing learning club, college and library.
  • 4. He favored freedom of thoughts. He set up the
    ideas of democracy in the USA.

Thomas Paine (1)
  • Propagandist, pamphleteer, a master of persuasion
    who understands the power of language to move a
    man to action.
  • Main works
  • The American Crisis
  • Common Sense
  • The rights of man
  • The Age of Reason

Thomas Paine (2)
  • Study of the Selected Part
  • 1. In what sense does Paine use the verb try in
    the first sentence of the essay?
  • Paine used the word in the sense of test to
    the limit, subject to great hardships.
  • 2. To what 3 types of criminal does Paine
    indirectly compare George III? What is Paines
    attitude toward the British troops?
  • 3. What does the writer think of the Tories?
  • 4. What does Paine mean by an offensive war? What
    reasons does he give for not supporting such a
  • 5. What kind of war does he believe the American
    revolution to be?
  • 6. How do you understand the title of the

Thomas Jefferson (1)
  • Enlightener, planter, aristocrat, lawyer, a
    symbol of American democracy.
  • Man of many talents scientist, inventor,
    musician, linguist, architect, diplomat and

Thomas Jefferson (2)
  • Political Career He served his country as
    Minister to France(1784-1789), Secretary of
    State(1789-1793), Vice President(1791-1801) and
    third President(1801-1809).
  • Thoughts Jeffersonian Democracy, which includes
    faith in the individual and common man, dislike
    an overly strong government, and emphasis on the
    importance of education and on agrarianism and
    land ownership as they brought responsibility and
    true judgment. Politically, he is considered the
    father of the democratic spirit in his country.
    The society he thought of as ideal was one where
    landowning farmers could live under as little
    government as possible.
  • Style dignity, flexibility, clarity, command of

Thomas Jefferson (3)
  • The Declaration of Independence The essay,
    adopted July 4, 1776, not only announced the
    birth of a new nation, but also set forth a
    philosophy of human freedom which served as
    unimportant force in the western world.
  • It is a statement of American principles and a
    review of the Causes of the quarrel with Britain,
    presented the American view to the world with
    classic dignity.
  • It instilled among the common people a sense of
    their own importance and inspired struggle for
    personal freedom, self government and a dignified
    place in society.

Philip Freneau (1)
  • Father of American Poetry
  • Teacher, political journalist, seaman,
    humanitarian, polemist, propagandist, satirist,
    loyal follower of Jefferson
  • Main Works
  • The Rising Glory of America (1772)
  • The British Prison Ship (1781)
  • The Wild Honey Suckle (1786)
  • The Indian Burying Ground (1788)

The Wild Honey Suckle
  • It is a deistic celebration of nature, romantic
    use of simple nature imagery, inspired by themes
    of death and transience. Much of the beauty of
    the poem lies in the sounds of the words and the
    effects created through changes in rhythm.
  • Flower vs Human Being, Duration vs Life
  • Show us how to live an useful life.
  • In a revolution, one should not do nothing for
    his country for fear of being hurt, harmed and

Summary of each stanza
  • Stanza 1 The first Stanza of the poem treats the
    advantages as well as disadvantages of the
    flowers modest retirementit is designed with
    beauty and well protected in solitude whereas
    its beauty might be admired by few.
  • Stanza 2 The second stanza suggests that the
    honey suckle bears a special relationship with
    nature which has advised it to keep away from
    vulgar eye, it has sent the soft waters flowing

  • Gently by. However, in spite of all the natures
    kindness, the flower can not escape its doom. The
    best time of its life is fading, for death is
  • Stanza 3 The third stanza reveals the
    indifference of nature---the unpitying frosts
    are as much a part of nature as the spft
    waters. Thus, the notion that nature has
    provided a guardian shade for the protection of
    the honey suckle is a sentimental fancy.

  • It is relative, but death is absolute.
  • Stanza 4 In the fourth stanza, the poet sees his
    fate mirrored in that of the flower. Human
    beings, as any other creatures or flowers, are a
    part of nature. They originated from nature and
    will surely return to nature some day, thus their
    reduction to nature in the day ahead will
    constiture no real loss.

Part III. The Literature of Romanticism
  • Historical Introduction
  • Washington Irving
  • James Fenimore Cooper
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Herman Melville
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Part III. Historical Introduction
  • Stability, Prosperity, Freedom
  • Geographically, America expanded its frontier.
    Economically, it began the industrialization and
    urbanization. Politically, people enjoyed more
    freedom. Culturally, cultural business prospered.
  • Literary IdeasRomanticism and Transcendentalism

Romanticism (1)
  • 2 stages pre-romanticism (1770s-1830)
  • post-romanticism(1830-60,65-75)
  • Rise of Romanticism appeared in England in the
    18th century. Reaction against the prevailing
    neoclassical spirit and rationalism during the
    Age of Reason.

Romanticism (2)
  • Moral enthusiasm passion, emotion, fancy and
  • Faith in the value of individualism and intuitive
    perception display personalities, express
    feelings and ideas, stress mens rights for
    freedom and happiness. Human nature is of good
    will. Man can know the world through his own
  • Nature was a source of goodness and mans
    societies a source of corruption.

Romanticism (3)
  • The literary works of romanticism mostly
    reflected the fantastic and thrilling stories
    taking place long ago and far away, rich in
    mystic color. The romantic had a persistent
    interest in the primitive literature, in which he
    found inspiration of various kind.
  • The romantic showed a profound admiration and
    love for nature. The beauty and perfection of
    nature could produce in him unspeakable joy and

Transcendentalism (1)
  • Appeared in 1830, marked the maturity of American
    romanticism and the first renaissance in the
    American literary history.
  • The term was derived from the Latin verb
    transcendere to rise above , to pass beyond the
  • Rise of Transcendentalism the product of
    combination of foreign influence (German
    idealistic philosopher, neo-Platonism, Oriental
    mysticism, Confucius and Mencius) and American
    native Puritan tradition.

Transcendentalism(2) romantic idealism,
philosophical romanticism
  • Spirit or Oversoul the universe is composed of
    Nature and Soul. Spirit is everywhere.
  • Individualism the most important element in
    society, the divinity of individual.
  • Nature is a connecting link between God and man.
    It is a symbol of the Spirit.
  • Community living and dignity of manual labor.
  • Relying on Intuition and Conscience, man can
    transcend the limits of the senses and of logic
    and directly receive higher truths and greater
    knowledge denied to more mundane methods of

Ralph Waldo Emerson(1)
  • Transcendentalist Bring Transcendentalism to New
  • Believe in individualism, independence of mind,
  • Prose, poetry, speech

Reading Nature
  • Para 1 Nature has a restorative, comforting,
    purifying influence on Men.
  • Para 2 Nature is sublime, respectable, kind,
    profound and inspiring.
  • Para 3 The definition of Nature.
  • Para 4/5 Men always feel delightful and young in
  • Para 6 The power of delight resides in men or in
    a harmony of both.

Washington Irving (1)
  • Father of American Short Stories
  • First American author to make a living by his
    pen, first great prose stylist of American
  • author of the first American short stories and
    familiar essays.
  • the first American author of imaginative
    literature to achieve international distinction

Washington Irving (2)
  • Main Works
  • The Sketch Book
  • Tales of a Traveler,
  • The Life of George Washington
  • Style simplicity, lucidity, poise and ease flow,
    discursive and leisurely, slow, graceful
    presentation, careful phrases and cadences.

Washington Irving (3)
  • Significance his literary innovations
  • 1)author of first modern American short stories
    and the first great American juvenile literature.
    It was him who introduced the familiar essay from
    Europe to America.
  • 2)He ranked among the first of the modern men of
    letters to write history and biography as
    literary entertainment.
  • 3)He was the leaders of the world-wide Romantic
  • 4)His humor, which gave an impetus to the growth
    and popularity of American indigenous humor. His
    humor was always well-meaning, mild and prone to
    be accepted.
  • 5) Irvings genial writing also improved the
    feeling of American toward the British.

Washington Irving (4)
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow tells a miraculous
    story about the unsuccessful love affair of
    Ichabod Crane, a country teacher, which is
    combined with the legend of a headless horseman.
    The two stories share legendary elements, which
    the critics either interpret as an expression of
    the authors conservative attitude toward the
    American Revolution and his nostalgia for the
    life before the Revolution, or doubt for their

James Fenimore Cooper(1789-1851)
  • Coopers life experiences Cooper town Yale
    college sailor Precation(1820) The Spy(1821)
    The Pioneers (1823)
  • His literary achievements thirty two novels
    social criticconservative themes in his novels
    are wildness vs civilization, freedom vs law,
    order vs change, aristocratic vs democrat, and
    natural rights vs legal rights.
  • He developed three kind of novels 1. novels
    about revolutionary past. The Spy. 2. sea novels
    The Pilot(1824) 3. Novels about American
  • Leatherstocking series Natty bumppoan ideal,
    innocence and purity, wildness and the frontier
    for the first time

Understanding the selected chapter
  • The plot of the novel--- The Last of Mohicans
  • Hawkeye Chingachgook Uncas Magua
  • Monro and his two daughters Alice and Cora Major
    Duncan David

William Cullen Bryant(1794-1878)
  • Life Experence born on a farm at Cummington,
    Massachusetts,loved nature, translated Homers
    Iliad and Odessey, his first poem The
    Enbargo(1808) published when he was 14 editor in
    chief in New York Evening Post

Main works
  • Thanatopsis (1811)
  • The Fountain(1842)
  • The White-Footed(1844)
  • The Food of Years(1878)Library of Poetry and
  • TranslationIliad(1870) and Odeyssey(1871)

  • Look up the word thantopsis in a dictionary and
    explain its origion and meaning.
  • Bryant divides his poem into three parts. Discuss
    why you think he made these particular divisions.
  • What advice does the speaker give those who
    shudder at the thought of death?
  • What does the speaker mean when he ways that the
    person who dies does not retire alone? Why does
    he choose the retire?
  • Interpret the following passageach one as
    before will chase/His favorite phantom
  • Explain how the person addressed as thou gains
    in stature and importance as the poem progress.
  • What is the message of the poet?

To a Waterfowl
  • Stanza1 With the arrival of evening and in the
    setting sun and falling dew, where will the
    waterfowl, through the rosy clouds, fly to?
  • Stanza2 In the rosy light of the setting sun,
    the hunter might see the bird, but it is too
    distant to be harmed. Thus it is able for the
    bird to fly easily and delightedly.
  • Stanza3 The poet is enquiring the destination of
    the fowl Is it by the lake, along the river or
    at the ocean side?

  • Stanza4 The poet believes that a supernatural
    power is guiding and protecting the bird.
  • Stanza5 The evening is falling and the bird,
    though rathe exhausted,kept on flying.
  • Stanza6 Soon the weary flight will end and a
    shelter will be found.
  • Stanza7 Though the bird has flown out of sight,
    the lessons is taught will stay in my heart

Comment on the poem
  • In the first three stanzas, there is no hint of
    any morals.However, in the fourth, all of a
    sudden, a new figure as a god appears. The god
    has a supernatural power which directs the birds
    flight. Bryant interrupted himself from
    describing a bird into teaching a lesson. Bryant
    may think it is not enough for a poem written
    just for the sake of its own, or just for the
    beauty of it, it should say something more than
    beauty it should carry morals.

  • It rhymes abab,, while the length of each line
    is so different that you cannot find a regular
    foot. But, the two long lines in the middle of
    each stanza may refer to the balance in the
    floating of the bird. The first and the fourth
    lines, which are relatively shorter, look like
    two wings. The stanzaic form reminds one of a
    flying bird.

Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poet, editor, critic, first writer of the
    detective story, writer of fiction, a pioneer in
    poetic and fictional techniques
  • Life story disastrous
  • Artistic principles

Poes Artistic theories
  • Poe argued for the creation of beauty and
    intensity of emotion, against the didactic motive
    for literature.
  • Poe felt that literature should have no social
    function or responsibility but should be an
    expression of the isolated artist.
  • Poe thought that the artist should be concerned
    solely with beauty, of imagination. The real
    world is cruel, ugly and fast into decaying. The
    artists life is lonely, painful and hopeless.
    The only happiness arose out of the creation and
    contemplation of beauty.

Poes theories on Fiction
  • A good fiction should only tells one event, which
    can be finished once.
  • Fiction should stimulate readers and impress them
    deeply. It should have a consistent effect
    throughout the whole text.
  • He showed in his fiction the impulse to
    self-destruction, the fascination with horrible
    catastrophe, whimsical and abnormal psychology.
  • He depicted the inner world or psychology of his

To Helen
  • 1. Although the poem is about a real person , Poe
    addressed it to Helen, why might he have done
  • 2.In the final stanza, Helen is addressed as
    Psyche the Greek word for breath or soul.
    How do you reconcile this with the earlier
    references to Helen of Troy, whose legendary
    beauty led to the Trojan War?
  • Beauty---to truth---to soul
  • 3. Note that all three stanzas end with a
    reference to a place---native shore, Greece and
    Rome, and Holy land. How are these related to
    each other? To the meaning of the poem as a
  • Beauty is truth and leads to spiritual oneness
    and artistic integrity
  • Lines written in passionate boyhood to the first
    purely and ideal woman in my soul.

Stanza 1
  • The poet first mentioned Helen, the most famous
    beauty in Great mythology. Then Poe compared
    himself to Odysseus, who wandered for ten years
    over the sea to get home. As Odysseus, Edgar
    Allan Poe was persistent in his chasing after
    fine arts with the sincere belief that art, or
    beauty and truth, is the ultimate aim, the home,
    for the wandering poet while Helen, the
    embodiment of ancient beauty, is the guider to
    that dreamland.

Stanza 2
  • All the art and literature originated from one
    thing---beauty. Having taken Helen as the
    embodiment of beauty, the poet was confident that
    once he saw Helen, he was sure to be led by Helen
    to the home of beauty---fine and pure literature.
    Poe insisted that Greece and Rome are the homes
    of beauty, the treasure houses of fine art and

Stanza 3
  • The speaker sees Helen standing in the bright
    niche and holding in her hand an agate lamp. She
    is quite similar to goddess Psyche from Greek
    Myth. Through his description of his passion to
    Helen, Poe expressed his pursuit and sincere
    devotion to beauty.
  • In the poem, three beauties in ancient Greek
    mythologyHelen, Naiad and Psyche---are mentioned
    just to show that beauty is something that
    existed it is very holy but it is hard to reach.

The Ravens symbolic meaning
  • A. it symbolizes disaster and misfortune.
  • B. it may symbolize the soul of the radiant
    maiden, the lost Lenore.
  • C. it may symbolize the sub-consciousness of the
  • D. it is the symbol of modern reality.

Annabel Lee
  • Stanza 1. The pretty young girl Annabel Lee used
    to live in a kingdom by the seaside. Before her
    death, the only thing in her heart was to love or
    to be loved by me.
  • Stanza 2. Our love was so strong and beautiful
    that angels in heaven, who are with wings and
    living in heaven and likely to be freer and abler
    than any human beings, envied us. Seldom did any
    angels envy anything of the human world. If they
    did, there must be something spectacular in the
    object of their admiration.

  • Stanza 3.My Annabel Lee was taken away from me.
    The faithful lovers were mercilessly separated by
    a superpower. Poe was indicating that Annabel Lee
    might be an angel from heaven, because she was
    brought back(and taken away) to heaven and she
    had some highborn kinsmen up there.

  • Stanza 4 The poet was quite clear about the
    reason of Annabel Lees being taken away from
    him. The evil wind came out by night and Annabel
    Lee was taken away by night, that indicates that
    somebody may appear as angels in daytime, but as
    devils during night.
  • Stanza 5. Though the evil wind and the highborn
    kinsmen are very powerful to take my beautiful
    Annabel lee away from me, they are not so powful
    as to take her soul away from me. Our love is
    more powerful than death. After the dath of one,
    our souls are still together.

Stanza 6
  • My Annabel Lee had gone to heaven. She reminds me
    of her bright face by the moon, so that I can see
    her in my dream hen I see the stars in the sky,
    I see her bright eyes, too. We are together and
    nothing can separate us, neither the human power
    nor the God of death is possible.

Poes theories on Poetry
  • His poetry express the same deep hopelessness and
    rejection of the world as his prose, but in a
    different way.
  • He avoids the intrusion of ugliness and tries to
    create a vision of beauty and a melodious sound.
    The basic tone is melancholy.
  • The function f poetry is not to summarize and
    interpret earthly experience, but to create a
    mood in which the soul soars toward supernal
  • The creation of work of art requires the utmost
    concentration and unity, as well as the most
    scrupulous use of words.

Nathaniel Hawthorne(1804-1864)
  • Romantic novelist, short-story writer.
  • Advanced the art of short story and gave to the
    form qualities that are uniquely American.
  • First great American writer of fiction to work in
    the moralistic tradition. Combined the American
    romanticism with puritan moralism

Romances an imaginative fictional projection of
moral life.
  • Contents sensational material, poisoning,
    murder, adultery, crime.
  • Methods the New England Past, theocratic
    society, puritan, witchcraft, the Indian life,
    symbolic and allegorical form.
  • Themes explore the human soul/ nature of man,
    deal with moral or ethical problems, study the
    effects of sin on man.
  • Purpose to show the inner world of man is the
    source of evil in society, to criticize the
    present age.

Reasons for Hawthornes creation
  • 1. His exploration of the soul resulted from his
    skeptical attitude toward the social reality and
    from his ambition to probe into the nature of
  • 2. His selection of themes and skillful use of
    the historical materials resulted from his
    personal life and family history. reclusion,
    judge ancestor.
  • 3. His concentration on the human mind and
    character on conscious and unconscious desires,
    is an outgrowth of the Puritan emphasis on the
    individual conscience. He scolded the harshness
    of Puritans, yet took the Puritanism as his
    living criteria. Freedom of will, a conscious
    choice between good and evil.

Hawthornes Style
  • Rich imagination, well-woven structure,
    psychological analysis, various symbols, delicate
    imageries, ambiguity, mystery.
  • Wide and well-controlled vocabulary, formal words
    with pleasant sound, long and complex sentences,
    fresh and effective metaphors and similes,
    summarized historical narrative, but links scenes

Main Works
  • Twice-Told Tales, 1837
  • Mosses from an old Manse, 1846
  • The Scarlet Letter, 1850
  • The House of the Seven Gables, 1851
  • Blithedale Romance, 1852
  • The Marble Faun, 1860
  • Our Old Home, 1863

The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  • The Scarlet Letter is a complex story of
    guilt/sin, its moral, emotional and psychological
    effects on various persons, and how deliverance
    is obtained for some of them.
  • In the fiction, Hawthorne approached the question
    of evil more profoundly. He considered the effect
    on an individuals character of enforced penance,
    of hypocrisy, and of hatred.

What sin, how to deal with, Hawthornes attitudes
  • Hester disloyalty, betrayal, deception, sexual
    desire, adultery. Face, correct, redeem, purify.
    Praise, content, conform.
  • Dimmesdaleadultery, cowardice, hypocrisy,
    dishonesty, selfishness, too coward to confess,
    tortured by his conscience. Sympathetic, disfavor
    his hesitation, indecisiveness and cowardice.
  • Chillingworth revenge. Tortured by the desire of
    revenge, twisted and reduced to nothing.
    disgusted, think he committed greater crime.

Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter
  • Puritan background setting, events, characters,
    thoughts, behaviors.
  • Puritan doctrines original sin, total depravity,
    predestination, limited atonement.
  • The novel expresses Hawthornes attitudes toward
    Puritanism. Like puritans who concerned
    themselves with the original sin and developed
    it into their beliefs, Hawthorne concerns the
    novel with the same theme, and tries to establish
    his doctrines around it.

Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter
  • Through challenging Puritanism, Hawthorne
    establishes his own Puritanism
  • 1. Their religious doctrines. Conclusion he
    believes in mens ability to redeem themselves or
    advocates individuality.
  • 2. Their rigid, inhuman attitude toward life
    and enjoyment suppress mens all desires, live a
    hard, disciplined and ascetic life, discriminate
    mens rights for happiness. Conclusion stress
    mens rights and desires for pleasure.
  • 3. Their hypocrisy clergymen commit crimes
    against their preaching and beliefs.

Through challenging Puritanism, Hawthorne aims to
  • 1. Explore the source of evils unreasonable and
    inhuman social system mens inner world, defects
    in mens nature strong desire, dishonesty,
    cowardice, revenge.
  • 2. Explore the influences on different
  • To brave men gain moral rebirth, redeem their
    sin, win respect/ love again.
  • To coward men torment of conscience, suffer in
    hell fire.
  • To vicious and vengeful men reduce them to
    demons, make them deteriorated, malicious, mean.
  • 3. Explore ways of redeeming sin brave to
    confess and face it, correct it through love,
    devotion, generosity and forgiveness.

Hweman Melville(1819-1891)
  • Life experienceborn in New York City, his father
    died and left large debts and his mother lived
    with her family. He dropped school early and went
    to work as a bank clerk, salesman farmhand school
    teacher and a seaman in 1841 he signed on a
    whaling cruise to the South seas.
  • After three years of sea life, he returned to
    Boston.These experience provided him materials
    for his writings.

Literary career
  • Main works
  • Typee(1846) Omoo(1847)
  • Mardi(1849) Redburn(1849)
  • White-Jacket(1850)
  • Moby Dick (1851)
  • Some poems and short stories

Moby Dick(1851) Chapter 54
  • This chapter contains two aspects of events. It
    is gone through the narration of boatman. He told
    the story happened on a whaling ship.
  • 1. theconflict between lakemanStilkilt and his
    rebels and the mate.
  • 2. the conflict between the mate and the white
  • In both cases, Lakeman failed in the stuggle
    against the unfair treatment and the mate died in
    the mouth of a whale. Though the tory, we got to
    know the life of boatman in whaling industry and
    the fieresness of the white whale.

The Town-Hos story
  • The watery region around the cape of Good Hope is
    a place where you meet more travelers than in any
    other part of the oceans. Soon after speaking to
    the Albatross, the Pequod encounters another
    whaler called the Town_ho. Ahab relents and there
    is a regular gam. The ship is manned mainly by
    Polynesians and the treason is found in this
    story secretly bbrought aboard the Pequod and
    never told to Captain Ahab.

  • As the Town-Ho was sailing in the Pacific the
    ship sprung a leak. Forced labor at the pumps as
    the ship headed for the nearest island created a
    mutiny which was interrupted by the appearance of
    Moby Dick. The boats were lowered but the
    harpooner on the boat nearest him was devoured by
    the Great White Whalte. The ship made harbor and
    most of the crew deserted for fear of
    encountering Moby Dick. Polynesians agreed to
    help sail the ship the rest of its voyage.

The novel can be understood from three levels
  • 1. It is a novel of journey and whale catching.
  • 2. It is a conflict between Catain Ahab and Moby
  • It is a story of Ishmael, his thought about human
    bodysego realization, the relationship between
    man and nature, mand and God, man and man, etc.

The style of Moby Dick
  • 1.His writing is consciously literary.
  • 2. There is a threefold quality in his writing
    the style of fact, the style of oratory
    celebrating the fact, and the style of
  • 3. His style is highly symbolic and metaphorical.
  • 4.The novel has many non-narrative chapters, and
    this is how Melville changed an adventural story
    into a philosophical novel.
  • 5. He used the technique of multiple views to
    achieve the effect of ambiguity.

Henry Wordworth Longfellow(1807-1882)
  • His life born in Porland, Maine, studied at
    Bowdoin College, published his poems at the age
    of 13, went to Europe to study language, after 4
    years and returned to be a professor in Boweoin
    College. In his poems, the themes like love of
    nature, love for the past, his poems is famous
    for spiritual aspiration, simple piety, homely
    affection, love of beauty, refined of thought and
    manners. He always took active attitude towards
    life. He adopted European ideas in American
    subject, and always in European styles. In his
    lyrics he drew on the techniques of European
    poetry as well as on his own native creativity,
    and acquired a mastery of rhyme and rhythm. The
    ideas he expressed are generally simple ones and
    his techniques display them to advantage. He
    expressed his ideas musically and powerfully. His
    works are highly spiritual. He emphasized the
    mysteries of birth, death, and love. Most of his
    works are simple and easily read so that even
    children can understand them.

A Psalm of Life
  • It was first published in Voices of the Night
  • In the September edition of New York Monthly in
    1839. It is very influential in China, because it
    is said to be the first English poem translated
    into chinese.
  • The poem was written in 1838 when Longfellow was
    struck with great dismay his wife died in 1835,
    and his courtship of a young woman was
    unrequited. However, despite all the
    frustrations, Longfellow tried to encourage
    himself by writing a piece of optimistic word

  • The relationship of life and death is a constant
    theme for poets. He expresses his pertinent
    interpretation to that by warning us that though
    life is hard and everybody must die, time flies
    and life is short, yet, human beings ought to be
    hold to act, to face the reality straightly so
    as to make otherwise meaningless life
  • The poem consists of 9 stanzas in trochaic
    tetrameters. It is rhymed abab.

The Slaves Dream
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My Lost Youth
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