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The American Renaissance -McKay

two examples of the “spectacular” growth that characterized the thirty years preceding the Civil War
Northwestern and Southwestern expansion
Was the population in America growing or diminishing ? By how much ?
The nation’s population, which had doubled between 1790 and 1830, doubled again before 1870
What two technological developments helped to bridge vast distances of the expanding nation ?
the growing railroad system and the telegraph
America was propelled by what two forces ?
dissatisfaction (about technology because it is putting people out of work and slavery) about the present and optimism about the future
What development was chiefly responsible for feelings of optimism about the future ?
science and technology developments
Utopian community
perfect society
In what way were workers adversely affected by the new technology ?
skilled workers were being put out of work and working conditions were not favorable
What three areas of reform were prominent in this period ?
education, women’s rights, slavery
Why is this literary period sometimes called the American Renaissance ?
there was an explosion of really good literature
Define transcendentalism.
intuition; we can transcend or go beyond what we learn from our senses; asserts that knowledge of fundamental reality is beyond the reach of a person’s limited senses and is derived through intuition
3 characteristics of transcendentalism
the human spirit can intuitively comprehend the fundamental truths of the universe
– the human spirit is reflected in nature
– all forms of being are spiritually united in a universal soul or over-soul
word pictures that appeal to the senses
comparison between two or more unlike things with or without the use of the word like or as
a detailed portrayal of something in words
the use of one part of something to stand for the whole
In what way is intuition central to transcendental belief ?
it is the foundation of transcendental belief – without intuition, the theory doesn’t work
In what way was transcendentalism similar to Puritanism ? In what way was it different ?
both groups believed that individuals can experience God personally – (without priests and allot other stuff)
puritans – believed that was available to a group of chosen or elect
transcendentalism – believed it was available to all
Who were the two writers chiefly responsible for developing transcendental ideas ?
Ralph Emerson was the thinker
Thoreau was the doer
Why were Lowell, Longfellow, and Holmes known as “Brahmins”?
these new England poets are saying they are the highest level of intellectuals in England – humorous
In what way were Hawthorne and Melville anti-transcendentalists
transcendentalists believe the idea that God, Man, and Nature all share a common soul = the “over-soul” — they are anti-transcendentalists because they ask “where does evil come in then?”
Unitarian church in 19th century
believed in doing good works for the common man
(Nature) The first selection from Nature (page13), builds toward the “new” – “new lands, new
men, new thoughts.” How does Emerson characterize the “old,” the past?
he says “why should we grope among the dry bones of the past” means it’s old…”faded wardrobe” means out of date…
(Nature) In Nature, Emerson argues that habit and tradition have become a way of living secondhand, by the truths and ideas of other times, and barrier against the soul’s insights. What is the theme of the first paragraph on page 13?
the theme – we need to set aside what we have always believed before and be open minded to something new
(Nature) nature On page 13, Emerson says that “we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable.” Where can we find these answers?
“Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable”
– everything can be answered – you find the answers in nature
(Nature) What, according to Emerson, is science’s one aim?
“All science has one aim, namely, to find a theory of nature”
– all of this science and technology is to explain nature
(Nature) What is the “NOT ME”?
“all which Philosophy distinguishes as the NOT ME, that is, both nature and art”
– the NOT ME is everything else that is not man, so it is nature and art
(Nature) In the first paragraph of Chapter 1, what is Emerson’s point about solitude?
“to go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society”…”but if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars”
– if you want to experience true solitude, go out into nature with nothing but you and God’s beauty
– there you will experience solitude
(Nature) What does Emerson say about the owning the landscape?
“But none of them owns the landscape”
– people own different lands but you can’t truly own God’s creation because the universe is there for everyone
(Nature) Under what circumstances, according to Emerson, does “mean egotism” vanish?
– he says, when standing in nature “all mean egotism vanishes”
– this means when you are standing on God’s creation and beauty, you cannot think of yourself as the center of the earth
– “I become a transparent eyeball”
– this means he can understand his role and his relationship to God and nature
– when he goes into nature, he is reminded of him place in the universe and how he shares a soul with God and nature
When does Emerson become a “transparent eyeball”? What are the characteristics of this experience? In what ways does this description reflect the Transcendentalist belief in an Over-Soul?
“the greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable”
– vegetable means all of nature
– God connects us to nature
(Nature) Where does the power to produce nature’s delight come from? In describing a harmony between human beings and nature, do you think Emerson means the relationships is always serene?
nature is not always happy and celebrating. nature will respond to what ever you happen to be feeling.
(Nature) What does Emerson mean when he says that “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit”?
nature always wears the color of your spirit. if you are happy, nature will celebrate with you. if you are sad, nature will be sad with you
(TheAmericanScholar) In the first line of the selection, what is Emerson saying about change?
he uses a metaphor of plastic and fluid to describe the word because the world is forever changing.
(TheAmericanScholar) In the line “The great man makes the great thing,” what is Emerson saying about the function of the scholar?
the great man is going to have to change with the changing heart
(TheAmericanScholar) In the second paragraph, what, according to Emerson, is vital?
confidence and self-trust is vital. the great man has to be able to trust is own intellect.
(TheAmericanScholar) “I believe man has been wronged, he has wronged himself”
he doesn’t have faith in his own mind. he has become willing to just go along with what society is dictating to him and has lost the ability to think for himself.
(Self-Reliance) In the first paragraph, Emerson says “The sentiment they(verses) instill is of more value than any thought they may contain.” Explain this line.
your attitude towards a thought is more important to the thought itself
(Self-Reliance) What does Emerson say constitutes “genius”?
to believe your own thought is true for everyone else
(Self-Reliance) Why is “imitation” . . . “suicide”?
if you are doing what everyone else is doing, it’s suicidal; think for yourself and coming up with your own conclusions
(Self-Reliance) Explain the metaphor of the “nourishing corn.”
nourishing corn = thought … it will become something useful if you take care of it and nourish it.
(Self-Reliance) What makes a man “relieved and gay”?
a man who’s heart is into it his work and he does his best
(Self-Reliance) We discussed the literary term “Synecdoche.” Explain Emerson’s use of synecdoche in the passage: “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” How does this use of synecdoche help to clarify Emerson’s point about belief in oneself?
the heart is apart of the person; every heart vibrates to that iron string; because of the heart we have life, with the life we have thoughts, and with the thoughts we need to apply them so we can flourish
“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist”?
to be a great man, you must not conform to society but believe in what you conform in
(Self-Reliance) How important is Emerson’s use of the adjective “foolish” in his discussion of consistency?
he is calling consistency foolish because repeating the same thing over in over is foolish; it is the “hobgoblin of little minds” – consistency is what causes little minds to happen
(Self-Reliance) According to Emerson, what do Pythagoras, Socrates, Jesus, Luther, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton have in common?
they’re all misunderstood
(Self-Reliance) What would Emerson say is each person’s reason for living?
(TheRhodora) why would God plant a plant way up high where nobody can see it ?
God planted the plant in that place to bloom where it was planting. Just like God puts us in certain places and we should grow. you can be successful and great wherever you are
(TheRhodora) What does “whence” mean?
(TheRhodora) This poem is about beauty and virtue. Where, according to the poem, does beauty come from?
(TheRhodora) What does the poet have to say about virtue?
(TheRhodora) The poet finds the rhodora hidden away in the woods, as if “To please the desert and the sluggish brook.” How do these facts relate to the questions that prefaces the poem?
everything has beauty in it
(TheRhodora) The questions of why the flower is hidden, its “charm . . .wasted on the earth and sky,” seems to be put aside by the poet’s saying, “I never thought to ask, I never knew.” Still, there is an answer in the poem. In what way is the poet’s “simple ignorance” really a profound wisdom?
he never thought about it before and his simple ignorance makes the profound truth so much more meaningful. it is very clear what the truth is with the plant. there is a way to prosper and flourish wherever you find yourself
(TheRhodora) Explain the use of apostrophe in this poem.
author or poet addresses an entity that is not present “addressing the rhodora”
(Brahma) Emerson approaches the problems of pain and death through paradox, a statement that is self-contradictory yet true. In “Brahma” the basic paradox is that all time is present and all “far” is “near.” The distinctions that human beings make between time and space, and even life and death, disappear in the higher, and (to us) paradoxical, reality of the Brahma. The opening stanza deals with death, but from Brahma’s perspective, not ours. In what sense can death be an illusion?
nothing ever really dies. it may change form or shape but it doesn’t die
(Brahma) The second and third stanzas present a series of paradoxes we can understand only by remembering that, in Brahma, all opposites are united. In the light of this, explain the paradox in line 11 that says: “I am the doubter and the doubt.”
in Brahma there can be no doubt because all things are faith
(Brahma) In the final stanza, the paradox is that those who seek Brahma directly do so “in vain.” How is it that the “meek lover of the good” is able to find Brahma in this world?
you cannot find Brahma itself but you can find good that is Brahma
(Brahma) Find lines that illustrate perfect or exact rhyme
“Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame. “
(Brahma) Find lines that illustrate approximate or slant rhymes.
“The strong gods pine for my abode,
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Emerson’s most popular poem
Concord Hymn
(Concord Hymn) What is meant by “the shot heard round the world”?
it’s a metaphor indicating the impact the Revolutionary war had on the world
(Concord Hymn) What appeal is made in the poem’s last stanza?
an example of apostrophe where he is speaking to Spirit, asking it to be kind to the monument
(Concord Hymn) Why is the term “hymn” a suitable word to describe this poem?
because it was intended to be sung; it was written in hymn stanza
two transcendentalist
Ralph Waldo Emerson (the thinker) and Henry David Thoreau (the doer behind all the thinking)
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) Thoreau’s method as a writer is often to move from the small fact to the larger truth. In the first sentence, he tells the reader that his unfinished house allowed the air to blow through. How does this simple fact become important in the discussion of “winds” in the last part of the paragraph?
he is not doing anything but becoming a part of nature
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) What does Thoreau about mornings?
he says morning is when he is awake and when there is a dawn in him; this really means everyday is new, he washes off the old and is ready to accept the new
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) Thoreau is very clear about his undertaking in the woods. Why does he say he performed this experiment?
he went to reconnect with himself and live “deliberately”; to remove all of the distractions of society and focus on what nature has to teach him
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) On page 27, the theme of the second paragraph is the effort to “live deliberately” in order to “live deep.” In what way did living in the woods enable Thoreau to improve the quality of his life?
he was able to connect with nature because there were no distractions
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) The next paragraph on page 27 asserts that “we live meanly, like ants.” What explanation does Thoreau give for this way of life? Why does he place so much emphasis on simplicity?
ants are always working; he says we live like that; we are following the crowd and doing what society expects us to do
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) Explain Thoreau’s implication when he says “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.”
live with only what you absolutely have to have
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) What paradox is expressed in the sentence, “We do not ride upon the railroad; it rides upon us”?
we think all the new technology is making our lives easier and better but it’s actually a burden
(WhereILivedandWhatILivedFor) Explain the metaphor in the statement, “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
the most important thing we have is time
(Sounds) This passage celebrates idleness but not merely as laziness or shirking of work. The state of “revery” which on those sunny mornings allows Thoreau to forget “the lapse of time” has its own purpose in his life. Why does he feel that these hours “were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance”?
he was connected to nature; he didn’t have any distractions. from the outside it looks like he’s just being lazy but it’s actually the most beneficial time of his life
(Sounds) Thoreau’s own inner state on those days was expressed by a silent smile or an occasional chuckle. How are these expressions of himself related to the sounds he hears from nature?
he is expressing joy
(Sounds) The single word for time in the language of the Puri Indians is contrasted to the hours that are “fretted by the ticking of the clock.” Why should this discussion of time lead immediately to Thoreau’s fellow townsmen in Concord and their criticism of his “idleness”?
Brute Neighbors
talks about what nature has to tell us about human wars
(BruteNeighbors) In this famous instance of Thoreau’s close observation of nature, how does he make the war between armies of ants seem significant?
by the language he uses; he describes it in terms of Greek battle fields; he makes it seem like he is talking about a human war when it is really an ant war
(BruteNeighbors) Concord, site of one of the first battles of the American Revolution, was justly proud of its place in history. What is Thoreau’s purpose in comparing the war of the ants to the “Concord Fight” of the past? What is the tone of his references to the Spartans and the heroes of the Trojan War and to Napoleon’s campaigns?
(BruteNeighbors) Present for the first time at a “war” or a “battle” of any kind, Thoreau declares that “I was myself excited somewhat even as if they had been men.” How does he convene this excitement to his reader?
the language and details he uses; makes it seem like he is talking about a human battle
(BruteNeighbors) Why is it important that the description shifts from the general field of battle to the three ants he separates from the others and watches through a magnifying glass?
it makes it more personal to the reader
(BruteNeighbors) At the end Thoreau observes that he “never learned which party was victorious, nor the cause of the war . . . .” How is this statement also a comment on human warfare?
he is saying human wars make no more sense than this war between the ants
(BruteNeighbors) How would you describe the overall tone in this passage?
(BruteNeighbors) What particular words or incidents seem most clearly to indicate that tone?
(ThePondinWinter) Thoreau says he “awoke to an answered question, to Nature and daylight.” What makes him see that nature transcends all questions and doubts about existence?
nature has the answers to all of man’s questions
(ThePondinWinter) At the end of the second paragraph, Thoreau says, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” What details in the paragraph support this statement?
heaven can be under our feet and out in nature, just as it can be over our heads
(ThePondinWinter) The final paragraph focuses upon the fishermen who came to Walden Pond from the town In what way are the fishermen “as wise in natural lore as the citizen is in artificial”? What evidence proves that these “wild men” have penetrated more deeply into nature than the trained naturalist?
this is about the circle of life and the circle of nature
creates a metaphor with nature and his spiritual reawakening
(Spring) This selection gives a sense of the awakening and rebirth that accompanies spring. Beginning with the ribbon of water along the shore, the first paragraph develops an impression of movement until the “living surface” of the pond seems itself “all one active fish.” What images create this impression?
when he looks down into the water, he sees a school of fish swimming. it seems as if the surface of the water is actually moving
(Spring) Introduced in the second paragraph is the idea that spring is” a memorable crisis,” in part because it is at once gradual and sudden. What changes in nature mark that mysterious point at which winter turns into spring?
everything is coming back together now that spring is coming back; he is coming winter to spring; the transition from winter to spring is a memorable crisis
(Spring) The concluding sentence compares the coming of spring to “the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization of the Golden Age.” What sense impressions, especially sound and sight, prepare for this statement?
it is an illusion to Greek mythology; God created order out of chaos in the beginning; according to Thoreau, this is happening within himself too
(Conclusion) In his conclusion Thoreau again applies the lessons of his experiment to broader experiences. In the first paragraph, what general lesson about conformity is to be drawn from the path he wore between his house and the pond?
people said if this experience was so beneficial then why did you leave ? he addressed this question in the Conclusion; he is saying that it is so easy to fall into habits and conformity; he says habits are the worst things we can do
(Conclusion) The example in the third paragraph of the man who “hears a different drummer” is one of the most quoted passages from Walden. How does this passage support the earlier criticism of the conformity?
everybody should march to their own beat; we should not conform just because everyone else is hearing that beat
(Conclusion) The powerful fifth paragraph centers upon the rebirth that is possible once we have opened ourselves to nature and to our true inner being. Within this context, what is the “moral” of the story of the beautiful bug that hatched after being buried many years in an old wooden table?
this is a metaphor of resurrection; he says all of us can enjoy a spiritual resurrection if we isolate ourselves and follow our instincts in nature
(Conclusion) In some respects the final sentences of “Conclusion” sum up all of Walden. Thoreau reminds us that finding our “perfect summer life,” as did the beautiful bug, is not merely a matter of waiting. According to Thoreau, in what way may any of us prepare to experience spiritual awakening?
this conclusion is designed to remind us why he wen there; he went for a spiritual reawakening to reconnect with nature and says it is available for all of us
(Ahab) Ishmael takes his impression of Ahab’s character from details of appearance and manner. We sense Ahab’s feelings and personality only by inference – what the details suggest to us of his nature. In the second paragraph, in a series of striking images, Ahab appears a man cut away from the fire or forged from bronze or seamed by lightning like a great tree. What do these “fiery” images suggest about Ahab’s character?
(Ahab) The ships’ officers make no allusion to the livid scar that seems to run over Ahab’s entire body. But threes much talk of this scar among the superstitious crew. What is the effect of making Ahab the subject of superstitious stories?
(Ahab) Ishmael is so struck by Ahabs overall appearance that it is not until the third paragraph that he notices the most obvious thing – the ivory leg made from a sperm whale’ jaw. How does this “barbaric” white leg contribute to the “overbearing grimness” of the captain’s appearance?
(Ahab) As the ship sails south, Ahab’s mood seems to improve with the improving weather. What comparison in the last paragraph indicates that Ahab has other aspects to his nature besides the grim hardness we see first?
(The Quarter-Deck) In an extraordinary break from custom, Ahab suddenly orders the entire crew to the quarter-deck. What is the underlying purpose of his “seemingly purposeless questions”?
(The Quarter-Deck) In what specific ways does the crew respond?
(The Quarter-Deck) In the long speech beginning “hark ye yet again” (p. 42), it is clear that Ahab pursues Moby-Dick out of his rage a the human condition, and that retaliation for his personal injury has become a minor concern. Study this speech. In what sense does he see each human being as a “prisoner” and the white whale as a “wall” that hides a further reality?
(The Quarter-Deck) It is in this speech, also, that Ahab triumphs over Starbuck, a brave and thoughtful man who sees Ahab’s vengeance as madness. Why do you think Starbuck yields to Ahab’s obsession?
(The Quarter-Deck) The ritual that Ahab contrives, in which the mates (the final killers of a whale) serve as cupbearers to the harpooneers (those who strike the first blow), is meant to bind the crew to Ahab’s will and to this oath of vengeance: “Death to Moby-Dick!” What details in the description of the ritual show the ritual and oath to be expressions of Ahab’s madness?
It is meant to bind the crew. Ahab’s madness is shown when he cuts himself and has everyone drink his blood
three days
1st day – they see Moby Dick but can’t get him
2nd day – same thing
3rd day – on the third day Moby Dick stays on the surface enough to get attacked
(The Chase – Third Day) Ahab is so obsessed with destroying Moby-Dick that all nature seems an antagonist. In his first long speech, Ahab taunts the wind as a “coward” that strikes but will not stand and fight. “Would now the wind but had a body; but all the things that most exasperate and outrage mortal man, all these things are bodiless . . . . ” In “The Quarter-Deck” chapter, Ahab speaks of striking or fighting another mortal enemy – the “pasteboard masks” (p. 42). What does Ahab hope to achieve by battling nature’s mysteries?
(The Chase – Third Day) Ahab notices bits of green moss growing in the tiny cracks of the mast. What is suggested in his observation that the old mast bears evidence of new life but that his own old head does not?
(The Chase – Third Day) As Ahab’s whaleboat pulls away from the ship, a sea hawk tears the captain’s flag from the mast. What omen do you find in this incident?
Every captain has their own flag. this bird has decided to start pecking at Ahab’s flag so much that he eventually tears it off. This is foreshadowing Ahab’s death.
(The Chase – Third Day) When Moby-Dick rises from the depths, Ahab sees the Parsee once more. His body is lashed to the whale’s back, and his distended eyes stare at Ahab. Despite this warning of death, what holds Ahab to his purpose?
Nothing is going to sway Ahab from this mission and he doesn’t care about his death.
(The Chase – Third Day) Ahab madly defies the whale to the end. He pays for his revenge with his own life and the lives of his entire crew except Ishmael. As the Pequod sinks, a hawk is imprisoned against the mast, and this “bird of heaven” is carried down into “the great shroud of the sea.” What does this symbolize about Ahab’s mad quest?
the bird with his beak up pointing towards heaven, wrapped in Ahab’s flag going down – this symbolizes that he brought his crew down with him; innocent people died as a result of his obsession
Captain Ahab – name symbolism
1 Kings 21 – King Ahab was an evil king married to Jezebel; he always coveted things he could not have; had an innocent man stoned to death to get what he wanted, however Elijah said that King Ahab’s blood will be spilt the same way and place the other man’s was; they both want what they cannot have and are willing to go through any lengths to get it
Ishmael – name symbolism
Sarah gave Abraham permission to sleep with someone else to get a child, Ishmael; Sarah and Abe were later able to have a son of his own; Ab banished Hagar and Ishmael – he is known as the wonderer because he wondered in the desert;
Ishmael was a school teacher who wondered around the world and barely survived
Elijah – name symbolism
prophet Elijah said King Ahab was going to bring the downfall of everything
Jonah would not obey God because he could not disobey himself; he is the vehicle towards Jonah coming back to terms with his God
Captain Bildad, Gabriel, Jonah, Matthew, Abraham
all biblical characters in the novel
first American poet to make a living writing poetry
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
stanza forms
couplet – two line stanza
quatrain – four line stanza
cinquain – five line stanza
Psalm of life
song of life (written in hymn stanza)
(The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls) In this poem, the analogy between the sea and human life is developed mostly through details of atmosphere and setting. What details of setting in the first stanza suggest that this “traveler” is nearing death?
the twilight darkens
(The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls) Explain the significance of lines 8-9 in which the breaking waves are pictured as white hands that wipe out the traveler’s footprints.
personification – saying once you die, your impression will be washed away
(The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls) The refrain, “And the tide rises, the tide falls,” occurs three times. What is the effect of this repetition?
it mimics the sound of the waves
(The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls) What do the signs of awakening life in the final stanza indicate about Longfellow’s attitude toward death?
nature is permanent but we are temporary, our impression on the world gets washed away
The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls
talks about death and how maybe our impressions is not that important to the world anymore
seabird that is known to only sing in the evening
(A Psalm of Life) In its opening stanza the poem rejects the “mournful” rhythms of language that bear a sad or melancholy message. The lines of this poem are short and are frequently interrupted (“Life is real – life is earnest – “). How does this active, energetic rhythm relate to the meaning of the poem?
the meter of the poem has to match the message
(A Psalm of Life) Overall, the poem is a call to action and to an attitude of vigorous courage in facing life. What are the obstacles that this attitude must apparently overcome?
he says be a hero during hard times. the obstacles that this attitude must overcome are negative thinking people and trying not to conform to society
(A Psalm of Life) Consider the view of time set forth in lines 21-24. How does this relate to the philosophy of action in the poem? Why is calling life “a bivouac ” (line 18) appropriate in this context?
don’t dwell in the past and don’t dwell on the future. focus on the present – cows are always resting so it is appropriate to use a bivouac
(A Psalm of Life) The poem speaks both of the immortality of the soul (lines 7-8) and the lasting effect of individual achievements (lines 25-28). “Footprints in the sands of time” has long been the most famous line in the poem. Does it seem to have two different implications?
the body returns to dust but the body lives on; it does not seem to have two different implications because even though you die, you have a lasting impression on the world
(Nature) This poem is based on an analogy,that is, a comparison between things that are in some respects similar. To what is the process of dying compared? In what sense is a person of any age like a “little child” in leaving life behind?
the process of dying compared to being led up to bed by a loving mother – we are reluctant to go because we don’t know what’s on the other side; some parts of our life are broken like the toys but, it’s more familiar
(Nature) Our occupations in this world are spoken of as “playthings.” In what sense do they become “broken”?
nothing is perfect, work can be broken, relationships can be broken, but there is still comfort is being familiar
(Nature) Although the poem is about death, it does not present death as terrifying. According to the poem, how is the pain of death softened by Nature?
mom holding the hand; the mother is loving and kind and gentle – nature is the same way with us
(I Never Saw a Moor) The first stanza deals with something that is “known” without having been seen – as we might “know” what a desert or a jungle looks like from pictures or descriptions. In what way is the knowledge presented in the second stanza different from that of the first stanza?
(I Never Saw a Moor) The editors’ substitution of the word chart (meaning “map) for Dickinson’s word Checks changes the poet’s meaning. Dickinson is writing not just of having a map of heaven, but of having the same assurance of her destination that railway passengers have after the conductor has given them their checks. Examine the two versions of the poem. What emphasis is gained in the original by the use of the dash and by the unusual capitalization of words? What is the effect of substituting wave for Billow?
(Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church) The first two lines establish the situation of the poem: while others “keep the Sabbath” in the traditional way by “going to Church,” the poet does so by “staying at Home.” In lines 3-4, what aspects of a church are transferred to nature?
(Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church) The second stanza states that “some” (the ministers) wear special robes for church, but the poet just wears her “Wings.” What does Wings stand for? What do you think Dickinson means by the final two lines of the poem?
(Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church) Dickinson presents the serious matter of her religious worship in a playful, normal way. What examples do you find of her light tone?
(Hope) What effect does Dickinson achieve by making hope a “little Bird” that “perches in the soul”?
(Hope) Hardship is presented in the poem in physical terms – as storms, extreme cold, and strange seas. In what sense can it be said that, within ourselves, hope “sings” the tune without the words”?
(Hope) Hope exists without our being aware of it. We simply draw on hope when we need to. How do the last two lines support this idea?
it (hope) doesn’t take anything away from you
(Hope) Hardship is presented in the poem in physical terms – as storms, extreme cold, and strange seas. In what sense can it be said that, within ourselves, hope “sings” the tune without the words”?
(Hope) Hope exists without our being aware of it. We simply draw on hope when we need to. How do the last two lines support this idea?
(Water, is taught by thirst) What is the relationship between each line’s first word and the following words?
(Water, is taught by thirst) What is the theme or message of this poem?
(Water, is taught by thirst) Each line of this poem expresses the same basic paradox. What is that paradox, and how can it be true?

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The American Renaissance -McKay
two examples of the "spectacular" growth that characterized the thirty years preceding the Civil War
Northwestern and Southwestern expansion
Was the population in America growing or diminishing ? By how m
2017-10-19 08:59:34
The American Renaissance -McKay
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