Continuous vs. Continual Continual means "repeated regularly andoften." Julia hated the continual negative political ads. Continuous means "extended or prolongedwithout interruption." The alarm bell was jammed and rangcontinuously; it never stopped and was makingGayle loony!
AGENDA Quiz TheAmerican Dream My Antonia Books IV andV Author Introduction
The Answers to the Quiz:Take 10 minutesA. Gaston ClericB. Lewis HaleC. Frances HarlingD. Mina LoyE. Mrs. ShimerdaF. Otto FuchsG. Samson dArnaultH. Wick CutterI. Molly GardenerJ. Tiny SoderballK. Lena LingardL. Minnie FosterM. Anton CuzakN. Mr. Marinetti
JamesTruslow Adams, who coined the phrase “The AmericanDream” in 1931, wrote this about it: [The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which lifeshould be better and richer and fuller for everyone, withopportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It isa difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpretadequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown wearyand mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and highwages merely, but a dream of social order in which each manand each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest statureof which they are innately capable, and be recognized byothers for what they are, regardless of the fortuitouscircumstances of birth or position. [The Epic of America,1931]
The Beginnings of the DreamYet, the concept of the American Dream existedbeforeAdams articulated it. Perhaps the firstverbalization of the American Dream isThomasJefferson’s statement from the Declaration ofIndependence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men arecreated equal, that they are endowed by their Creator withcertain unalienable rights, that among these are Life,Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Benjamin Franklin gave the definitive formulation ofthe American Dream in his Autobiography (begun in1771, published in 1818). At least five characteristics ofthe American Dream have been noted in Franklin’swork:1. the rise from rags to riches through industry and thrift;2. the rise from insignificance to importance, fromhelplessness to power;3. a philosophy of individualism;4. the efficacy of free will and action;5. and a spirit of hope, even of optimism.
In 1867 when writer, Horatio Alger came outwith his book Ragged Dick, the concept of theAmerican Dream became an American Idea.Thestory is a rags-to-riches tale of a poor orphanboy in NewYork City who saves his pennies,works hard and eventually becomes rich.Thismodel of honesty, hard work, and strongdetermination as the keys to success in Americabecame the goal of Americans and theimmigrants who would soon come to America.
In time, many Americans became disenchanted withthe theme. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville,Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, and MarkTwainprobed the dark side of the dream. Twain, writing during the rise of nineteenth centuryfinance capitalism and industrialism, becameincreasingly disillusioned with social corruption inthe Gilded Age. In his classic novel Adventures ofHuckleberry Finn (1884), before Huck “lights out forthe territory” to escape being civilized, he struggleswith a corrupt world of frauds, desperadoes, andmoney-grubbing confidence men.
The 20th Century Dream Twain set the tone for twentieth century versions of theAmerican Dream, many of which have depicted theAmerican Dream turned nightmare.Twain’s legacy iscertainly discernible in such a writer as F. ScottFitzgerald. Wealth and material possessions are shownas the constituents of the American Dream, a themeFitzgerald develops in The Great Gatsby (1925).Yet inmuch of 20th C literature, the American Dream isambiguous; while some deny it, others cling to it. Whilesome ignore it, others insist they will achieve it.
The AmericanDream in MyAntonia1. Compare and contrastTiny Soderball and LenaLingard’s success with money.2. Discuss the reasons whyWilla Cather chose to haveAntonia return to the Shimerda farm as an unwedmother.4. Discuss the differences between the Cuzak householdand the Shimerda household from many years before.
The American Dream: My Antonia Mrs. Shimerda uprooted her family against her husbands wishes. Shesaid, "America big country, much money, much land for my boys,much husband for my girls." Pavel and Peter were fugitives.The burgeoning country and economyprovided many opportunities. Tiny Soderball follows the frontier to Seattle and then, during the goldrush, to Alaska. And, as always, swindlers and loan sharks, like Wick Cutter, preyed onthe weak. Lena is a successful dressmaker in San Francisco. Ántonia and her husband flourish
For all the successes, the novel is riddled withdisappointments and failures Otto and Jake go west, and except for one postcard, they arenever heard of again. "Rooshian" Peter, who proudly told Ántonia that "in hiscountry only rich people had cows, but here any man couldhave one who would take care of her," loses his partner, andbankruptcy forces him to sell his possessions. When Jim tells Ántonia that Coronado, who searched theAmerican west for the Seven Golden Cities, died in thewilderness of a broken heart, she sighs, "More than him hasdone that."The American Dream had also broken her father.
Author Introduction: Mina Loy 1882–1966VisualArtist and Poet
Although Mina Loy was born in England, shedid much of her work in Paris, Florence, andNewYork City, where her beauty andoutlandish behavior shone at the center ofmultiple avant-garde circles.Theunconventional vocabulary and syntax ofLoy’s poems and their scornful treatment oflove and other subjects can puzzle andoffend, but no reader can question the work’soriginality nor the poet’s fierce intelligence.
Neglect of Loys poetry has lent qualified support to revisionist claims that leadingmale modernists likeT. S. Eliot, Pound, and Joyce defined modernism so as tomarginalize writers whose poetics and politics threatened their own largelyconservative stance. However, Eliot and Pound praised Loys work. High modernist champions of technicalinnovation and intellectual rigor could not accuse Loy of formal conservatism orsentimentality. Literary historians may have marginalized Loy by making her a modernist icon,woman-as-Dada, while relegating her writing to avant-garde obscurity; but equallyrelevant is Loys lessened attention to her poetry in later life. Renewed interest in her poetry belongs to the recovery of the neglected, multipleaspects of early modernism. In The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas (1933) Stein,whom Loy praised as "Curie / of the laboratory / of vocabulary," offers a definitivetribute to Loys artistic vision. Recalling Loys first husbands plea that she punctuatethe long sentences without commas inThe Making of Americans (1925), Stein notesthat "Mina Loy . . . was able to understand without the commas. She has always beenable to understand."
HOMEWORK Read: Feminist Literary Criticism Read: Mina Loy: “Parturition” 296-99 Post #9: Respond to one of thefollowing prompts:1. QHQ on the Parturition; considerLoy’s Manifesto if you would like.2. QHQ on Feminist Literary Criticism3. Discuss the American Dream in termof one (or more) of the texts wehave discussed this far.
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