American transcendentalism good copyPresentation Transcript
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog,by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)1.Write down what you see– just general notes about the visual2. Now focus on the detail– what seems to be the most important parts? Write them down. 3.Consider the title– how is the artist’s chosen title reflected in the image? 4.Use your gathered evidence now to consider any interrelationships– what do thetitle/details/parts have to do with one another? 5.Conclusion—summarize what you think the message of the painting is in 1-2 sentences.
American Transcendentalism (1830s—1860s)“ It was a high counsel that I once heard givento a young person, always do what you areafraid to do.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalism• A literary movement in the 1830s that established a clear “American voice”• Emerson first expressed his philosophy in his essay “Nature”• A belief in a higher reality than that achieved by human reasoning.• Suggests that every individual is capable of discovering this higher truth through intuition.
• Unlike Puritans, they saw humans and nature as possessing an innate goodness.“In the faces of men and women, I see God” -Walt Whitman• Opposed strict ritualism and dogma of established religion.
Transcendentalist Beliefs:• Believed in living close to nature/importance of nature. Nature is the source of truth and inspiration, and every man and woman could “transcend” the material world.• Taught the dignity of manual labor• Advocated self-trust/ confidence• Valued individuality/non-conformity/free thought• Advocated self-reliance/ simplicity• Material success = source of corruption
Famous Transcendentalists• Ralph Waldo Emerson• Emily Dickinson• Henry David Thoreau• Walt Whitman
How can we relate??Dead Poets SocietySet in 1950s, in an all-boys boarding schoolWhat was life like in the 50s? What was regarded as most important in that time?How do the ideas/poems in the film relate to Transcendentalism?What can we learn from it all about ourselves?
Walt Whitman (1819—1892)• “Roughneck genius” inspired by nature• Book of poems Leaves of Grass = major turning point in American literature – Discarded traditional form & patterns – “Father of Free Verse” (and “free” in content) – Language vivid and exciting
“O Captain, My Captain!”Extended Metaphor: a figure of speech that compares two people, places or things at some length and in several ways (without using the words like or as).Elegy: a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.
1. What is the “fearful trip”? (Think specifically about American history)2. What is the extended metaphor? What does it stand for?Themes:--LOYALTY-Select words in poem that imply the speaker’s loyalty to the Captain.--COMING OF AGE-The speaker expresses his shock/difficulty expressing shock in numerous ways. Particularly:“But O heart! heart! heart!” -meaning? reiterating what?“…fallen cold and dead.” -why repetition of that phrase?--DEATH-What words/phrases imply that the Captain’s death was unjust?-What will the speaker do now that his Captain is dead?
EXTENDED METAPHOR MEANING Captain President Lincoln Ship StormArrival of ship at port
Robert Herrick“To the Virgins…” (1648) Stanza 1 Metaphor: “rosebuds” = ? Stanza 2 Rising and setting sun reinforces what idea? Stanza 3 “That age is best when is the first…” meaning? Stanza 4 Last piece of advice for the young??
In what ways did Chris In what ways did Chris McCandless emulate the McCandless emulate theTranscendentalist ideals??Transcendentalist ideals??
Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, cause "the Westis the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. — Chris “Alex” McCandless May 1992
Ralph Waldo Emerson • Born in Boston 1803 • Entered Harvard at age 14 • First book, Nature, published 1836 • Great emphasis on self.
From Nature (1836)“…Let us demand our own works and laws and “…Let us demand our own works and laws andworship...” worship...” “In the woods is perpetual youth… In the woods “In the woods is perpetual youth… In the woods we return to reason and faith…” we return to reason and faith…” “…Standing on the bare “…Standing on the bare ground… all egotism ground… all egotism vanishes. II become a vanishes. become a transparent eyeball. II am transparent eyeball. am nothing. II see all.” nothing. see all.”
From “Self-Reliance” (1841) “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation in suicide…”“…non but he knows “…non but he knowswhat that is which hewhat that is which he “Trust thyself…” “Trust thyself…” “What II must do can do, not does he can do, not does he “What must do know until he has know until he has tried.” tried.” is is all that all that “…to be great is to be concerns me, concerns me, “…to be great is to be misunderstood” misunderstood” not what not what people think…” people think…”
Essential Questions…How would you summarize the central tenants of Emerson’s work?Why do you think it’s considered one of the founding texts of the Transcendentalist ideal? What Transcendentalist traits does it have?
Into the Wild: Henry David Thoreau• Thoreau began “essential” living• Built a cabin on land owned to Emerson in Concord, Mass. near Walden Pond• Lived alone there for two years studyingnature and seekingtruth within himself
“I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it has to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
“I wanted to livedeep and suck out all the marrow of life.”
Socratic Seminars• Socrates believed that enabling students to think for themselves was more important than filling their heads with “right answers.”
• Participants seek deeper understanding of complex ideas through dialogue, rather than by memorizing bits of information.
Rubric 2. Quality of points1. Number of comments no comments=0 points _____No comments=0 points______ just repeats others’ ideas=5 1 comment= 5 points ______ points_____2 comments=8 points ______ expresses original ideas=10 3 comments=12 points______ points_____4 or more comments =15 original, deep comments, new points______ ideas=15 points_____ 3. References to text/movie no references=0 points_______ 1-2 references=5 points______ 3 references=10 points ______ 4 or more references=15 points_____
Seminar ReflectionAnswer the following questions in complete sentences1. One new idea I hadn’t thought of before/I liked a lot was…2. One question I still have is…3. How well do you think the class as a whole participated? Why?4. How well do you think you participated? Why?