English Mid-Term

Thomas Paine Writing Style
Plainness- Intended to reach out to everyone, including those who could barely read
Thomas Paine wrote during what period
Early Nationalism
Thomas Paine key theme
rights of man extend to everyone
“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will, arise which are not local,but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which their affections are interested. The laying of a country desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all making, and extirpating the defenders thereof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man to whom nature hath given the power of feeling; of which class, regardless of party censure is
Thomas Paine
Common Sense

Uses abstraction for his American Cause, that America should help those who want to be free and it should be “above question”
establishes high stakes – “the cause of ALL mankind” audience exceeds America
makes his arguments unimpeachable
what does “America” include? – glosses over distinctions between women/minorities
“desolate with fire and sword” – hyperbole

“In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves: that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.”
Thomas Paine
Common Sense

0implies that to disagree would make you 0prejudice or wrong
0he has no stake in the matter, he is simply stating facts…

“The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom; but of a continent – of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seedtime of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters.”
Thomas Paine
Common Sense

0Here, Thomas Paine is referring to the revolution. That is is going to change the face of this entire world for forever, it is a cause worth fighting. It isn’t about one city or even a country, it is the determination of an entire continent, putting this into perspective he tells us that is 1/8th part of the habitable globe, the entire world combined. He was a true American Patriot, “Common Sense” was his call to all rebels to fight for their freedom from Britain, it isn’t surprising that he would enlarge the fight by saying the sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. He feels this is the only thing that matters in the entire world, and at that time it was. His language is very uplifting in this section and leads me to feel his passion for this cause.

Thomas Jefferson’s works
Declaration of Independence
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson
What we stood against, not just what we stood for
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
(1821-1829)- looked back and changed his mind
-at this point America an established country
Key theme in Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
Idealism vs Realism
-change in perspective
“With some distance I can look back and know I was right”
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
-self-making individual
-vain, complex, cocky, curious, super ambitious, self-improvement/making
Benjamin Franklin Works
The Autobiography of Ben Franklin
Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America
“By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old. I used to write moer methodically. But one does not dress for private Company as for a pulic Ball. Tis perhaps only negligence”
Ben Franklin
0 Conveys written between him and his son
-such an established figure can’t assume this would remain private
-sets tone for entire auto
0 claims not as good of writer as used to be
-about being VAIN about HUMANITY
0 compares how humble he is to humility of Jesus
-clear that we are dealing with a PERFORMANCE
0 Franklin is lying and trying to use RHETORIC to manipulate reader
“I continued this Method some few Years, but gradually left it, retaining only the Habit of expressing myself in Terms of modest Diffidence, never using when I advance any thing that may possibly be disputed, the Words, Certainly , undoubtedly, or any others that give the Air of Positiveness to an Opinion; but rather say, I conceive, or I apprehend a Thing to be so or so, It appears to me, or I should think it so or so for such an such Reasons, or I imagine it to be so, or it is so if I am not mistaken. The habit i believe has been of great Advantage to me, when I have had occasion to inculcate my Opinions and persuade Men into Measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting.”
0 admitting he cons people all of the time
-helps people feel like they’re coming to opinion their own
0 clear he never intended for autobiography to be private
0 Franklin’s best version of himself
“I have been the more particular in the Description of my Journey, and shall be so of my first Entry into that City, that you may in your Mind compare such unlikely Beginning with the Figure I have since made there. I was working in my working Dress, my best Clothes being to come round by Sea. I was dirty from my Journey; my Pockets were stuffed out with Shirts and Stockings; I knew no Soul, nor where to look for Lodging. I was fatigued with Traveling, Rowing and Want of Rest. I was very hungry, and my whole Stock of Cash consisted of a Dutch Dollar and about a Shilling in Copper.”
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
0About choice and happiness
-describing himself as the embodiment of the American Dream (WHAT THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS REALLY ABOUT)
“In order to secure my Credit and Character as a Tradesman, I took care not only to be in Reality Industrious and frugal, but to avoid all Appearances of the contrary. I dressed plainly; I was seen at no Places of idle Diversion; I never ent out a fishing or a shooting; a Book, indeed, sometimes debauched me from my Work; but that was eldom, snug, and gave no Scandal: and to show that I was not above my Business, I sometimes brought home the Paper I pushased at the Stores, thro’ the streets on a Wheelbarrow. Thus being esteemed an industrious thriving young Man, and paying duly for what I bought, the Merchants who imported Stationery solicited my Custom, others proposed supplying me with Books, and I went on swimmingly.”
0The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
0Claim that others asked for his business because of his hard work and his reputation of being a hard-working individual
“That Felicity, when I reflected on it, has induc’d me sometimes to say, that were it offer’d to my Choice, I should have no Objection to a Repetition of the same Life from its Beginning, only asking the Advantage Authors have in a second Edition to correct some Faults of the first. “
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
0Saying that he would live his life the same way, fixing only a few errors:
-wronging his brother
-dipping into Vernon’s money
-cheating on Miss Reed
-trying to have sex with Ralph’s girl
-Printing “Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity and Pleasure and Pain”
0Sin vs Error
-correcting errors rather than establishing error as identity
-aim for perfection and you’ll end up great
“the good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said, “What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.” The Indian, offended, replied “My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we who understand and practice those rules, believed all your stories; you refuse to believe ours?”
Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America
Ben Franklin
0Missionary says you are wrong and we are right
0This is not only about religion but challenging civility where the white man preaches and expects total understanding and acceptance, however, he refuses to listen to the other side
0The Indians ask why one side has to be the savage
It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.
Ben Franklin
0Ben Franklin attempts to manipulate his reader
0Franklin saying that he is not above work he has done on paper
Phillis Wheatley Background/Target Audience
educated slave with nicer plantation owners than most slaves

target audience are white Christians (relevant/ important in poems we read)

Phillis Wheatley Readings
On Being Brought to America
To His Excellency General Washington
On Being Brought to America
Phillis Wheatley
0Rhyming couplets (AA,BB,CC,DD)
0 Iambic Pentameter
-second syllable is stressed
0Double Meanings (Cain/Sugar Cane, Dye/Die, etc)
0 Either seen as ironic or not
To His Excellency General Washington
Phillis Wheatley
0Writing from slave to very radical figure who may end up losing
-looking for support to someone who is always seeking support and possibly looking for a friendship in event of his victory
-Almost glorifying/worshiping him
William Appes Background
Mixed race and indentured servant who gained his freedom
William Appes Readings
An Indian’s Looking Glass for the White Man
“Having a desire to place a few things before my fellow creatures who are traveling with me to the grave, and to that God who is the maker and preserver both of the white man and the Indian, whose abilities are the same, and who are to be judged by one God, who will show no favor to outward appearances, but will judge righteousness.

Now I ask if degradation has not been heaped long enough upon the Indians? And if so, can there not be a compromise; is it right to hold and promote prejudices? If not, why not put them all away? I mean here amongst those who are civilized. It may be that many are ignorant of the situation of many of my brethren within the limits of New England. Let me for a few moments turn your attention to the reservations in the different states of New England, and, with but few exceptions, we shall find them as follows: The most mean, abject, miserable race of beings in the world—a complete place of prodigality and prostitution.”

An Indian’s Looking Glass for the White Man
William Appes

0offering a perspective here similar to THOMAS PAINE’s Common Sense

0Apess refers to the spirit of man that is found within every human that looks past the physical demographics of race that seperate us and allows our spirits to be judged by one higher power, who does not judge us based off the color of our skins but on the actions and words of our life on Earth that pre-determines our destiny in the after-life

“Now let me ask you, white man, if it is a disgrace for to eat, drink and sleep with the image of God, or sit, or walk and talk with them? Or have you the folly to think that the white man, being one in fifteen or sixteen, are the only beloved images of God? Assemble all nations together in your imagination, and then let the whites be seated amongst them, and then let us look for the whites, and I doubt not it would be hard finding them; for to the rest of the nations, they are still but a handful. Now suppose these skins were put together, and each skin had its national crimes written upon it–which skin do you think would have the greatest? I will ask one question more. Can you charge the Indians with robbing a nation almost of their whole Continent, and murdering their women and children, and then depriving the remainder of their lawful rights, that nature and God require them to have? And to cap the climax, rob another nation to till their grounds, and welter out their days under the lash with hunger and fatigue under the scorching rays of a burning sun? I should look at all the skins, and I know that when I cast my eye upon that white skin, and if I saw those crimes written upon it, I should enter my protest against it immediately, and cleave to that which is more honorable. And I can tell you that I am satisfied with the manner of my creation, fully–whether others are or not.”
William Appes
An Indian’s Looking glass for the White Man

0specifically calls out the white man
0unless you are a white male this writing does no carry much weight or have an impact on you
-it does that if you are a white male
-critiques prejudice in favor of America

Washington Irving
one of first internationally popular American writers
Washington Irving Readings
The Author’s Account of Himself
Rip Van Winkle
The Author’s Account of Himself
Washington Irving
0Full of very literary descriptions of American landscape
“I visited various parts of my own country; and had I been merely a lover of fine scenery, I should have felt little desire to seek elsewhere for its gratifications… no never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery.”
Washington Irving
The Author’s Account of Himself
Rip Van Winkle
0 100% about identity and radical change
0early version of sci-fi
0imagery to describe country
0 Rip feels like identity has been taken away
-lazy as a parent
0 Opposite of American Dream
_____ heart died away, at hearing of these sad
changes in his home and friends, and finding
himself thus alone in the world. Every answer
puzzled him, too, by treating of such enormous
lapses of time, and of matters which he could
not understand: war — congress — Stoney-Point ; —
he had no courage to ask after any more friends,
but cried out in despair, ” Does nobody here
know _______ ?”

“Oh, _______!” exclaimed two or
three, ” Oh, to be sure ! that’s ______
yonder, leaning against the tree.”

____ looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of
himself, as he went up the mountain : apparently
as lazy, and certainly as ragged. The poor fellow
was now completely confounded. He doubted
his own identity, and whether he was himself or
another man. In the mist of his bewilderment,
the man in the cocked hat demanded who he was,
and what was his name ?

Rip Van Winkle
Washington Irving

0Everything Rip knew, everything that meant something to him is altered or absent. Not knowing them he is only left to wonder if they know him. He shudders to find that he too has been replaced, by an equally lazy but much younger man leaning against a fence. His own identity within the community is put at risk by his lack of understanding. This is the potential trauma of Revolution realized in one man. The individual must change as his community does in order to maintain his place. This is true of everyone, but we recognize it more clearly in Rip because of the extremity of his situation. Having literally slept through the Revolution, Rip must reconcile himself to change or lose his place in the community.

“The great error in ____ composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labour… but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, it was impossible” “______, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown…. his carelessness and the ruin he was bringing on his family.”
Rip Van Winkle
Washington Irving

0 By giving Rip this persona, Irving is able to use Rip as a symbol of early American society before the revolution.

William Cullen Bryan
refused to promote himself similar to Dickinson
published without large claims of poems’ significance
beautiful poems about nature
William Cullen Bryan Readings
The Prairies
Ralph Waldo Emerson Literary Ideals
-Literary Nationalism (create, assert, imagine)
-Exceptionalism- generation doesn’t need to do what predecessors have (about doing something new)
-Self-dependence (must learn from ourselves)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
-work is open to interpretation
-thinking moves in a circle
—often contradicts himself
0 work often very confusing and nearly impossible to understand
0 pushing to country to write for themselves and dive head first into something new
0fortune cookie quotes
-“nothing can bring you happiness but yourself”
-“always do what you are afraid to do”
“Our day of dependence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands, draws to a close. The millions that around us are rushing into life, cannot always be fed on the sere remains of foreign harvests. Events, actions arise, that must be sung, that will sing themselves”
The American Scholar
Ralph Waldo Emerson

0 referring to the intellectual resources that are imperative
0must learn to do our own thing and no rely on others
0without your own American culture we won’t survive as a nation
0 “Harvests” = metaphor for intellectual resources, have to learn to do own thing, be distinctive.

“Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this.”
The American Scholar
Ralph Waldo Emerson

0calling on Americans to make the country’s own literature
0 we must grow up and move on/look to the future
0 •Can’t possibly rely on past to fit now and predict the future.
•Make your own history, particularly your own literature.
•Innovation, experimentation
•Each generation must find its own identity.
•Go forward, not backwards.

“Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over-influence. The literature of every nation bear me witness. The English dramatic poets have Shakespearized now for two hundred years.”
The American Scholar
Ralph Waldo Emerson

-He is saying Shakespeare was good but don’t cling to him, it’s time to move on and build our own literature and style
-when in doubt, making fun of english literature. American english will be different and better
-English literature is Shakespeare (reproduced and reproduced)

“If there is any period one would desire to be born in, — is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side, and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old, can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

I read with joy some of the auspicious signs of the coming days, as they glimmer already through poetry and art, through philosophy and science, through church and state.”

The American Scholar
Ralph Waldo Emerson
0Age of Revolution is such a great time period because you can be part of an experience that brings about such drastic change
0Comparing to England and growth
0 strive to have our own Shakespeare
“We have listened to the courtly muses of Europe”
The American Scholar
Ralph Waldo Emerson
0Direct insult to Europe and again an encouragement to move on
0 courtly muses- a diss to the monarchy, the exclusionary manner, saying we’ve listen too long to them.
•Saying American literature is going to focus on exceptionalism (Imagine American future how one of a kind we are).
Nathaniel Hawthorne ideal
Dark Romanticism- inherent sins humanity
-father’s sin will eventually catch up to family
Nathaniel Hawthorne Readings
Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown
0Goodman’s wife was named Faith
-Giving a character such a name leads to giving that character certain characteristics inherently
0This story takes place in Salem (Salem Witch Trials) which is a very religious place
0They have only been married 3 months
-Not so long that you would expect bumps
-Not so short that you would expect it to be fresh and new
“Too far! too far!” exclaimed the ___, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs; and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept”

“Such company, thou wouldst say,” observed the elder person, interpreting his pause. “Well said, ______! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say. I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip’s war. They were my good friends, both; and many a pleasant walk have we had along this path, and returned merrily after midnight. I would fain be friends with you for their sake.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Young Goodman Brown

0Man he meets looks just like any Puritan
-He left his “faith” at home
-His conscious starts to get to him but and he starts thinking about his father and grandfather (lineage, heritage, reputation)
-The devil then says no, you are deceived
—- family actually did sin you just didn’t know

Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?

Be it so if you will; but, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain. When the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence, and, with his hand on the open Bible, of the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable, then did Goodman Brown turn pale, dreading lest the roof should thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers. Often, waking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away. And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Young Goodman Brown

0 he has lost his faith in people
0calling out hypocricy
0 This is about conspiracy and the fear of conspiracy even if it is or isn’t real

Edgar Allan Poe
complexity of the human soul
-dark and depressing
Edgar Allan Poe Genres
0 tale of terror
0 detective fiction
0 poetry
0 criticism
0 science fiction
0 hoaxes
Edgar Allan Poe Readings
0 The Raven
0 Annabel Lee
0 The Fall of the House of Usher
0 The Tell-Tale Heart
The Raven
0 man trying to forget lost love
0 Raven with response of “nevermore”
Symbolism in the Raven
0 self-torture
0interpretting signs with no real meaning
0 root of obsessive thoughts
0 allows reader to think bird speaks with purpose
0 both rep the end of something
0 at end shows he will never be same again
Annabel Lee
Edgar Allan Poe

0About a woman who dies
0Every Night the narrator goes to the grave & lies with the corpse
0Obsessed over his dead woman and thus blames the heavens and hell for her death

TRUE! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart
0 know immediately from this that the narrator is crazy
0 almost gets away with everything but in the end his mind gets the best of him
Fredrick Douglas
0 escaped slave who wrote his way to freedom
0 a man and a brother?
0 confrontational using rhetorical questions (optimistically rehtorical questions)
0 audience is a mixed group
0 addressing president of slave society
Fredrick Douglas Readings
What to the Slaves is the Fourth of July
Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? *Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?* And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Fredrick Douglas
What to the Slaves is the Fourth of July

0 uses a nicety to get attention
0 confrontational in a nice way
0 questions get longer, builidng up steam
0 name drops for credibility
0 calls on the Dec of Independence and challenges it by desynthesizing himself because he is not a man

Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!”

To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.

My subject, then, fellow citizens, is “American Slavery.” I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July.

Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery — the great sin and shame of America!

Fredrick Douglas
What to the Slaves is the Fourth of July

0 even though I am free I take on the burden of others
0 Douglas calls us out and calls America false and that we aren’t actually getting any better
0 Identifying sin, not a Franklinian errata
0 nation is young and like young child impassionate
0 black man celebrating white man’s freedom from oppression is “inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony”

“Future will see anti-slavery just and _____
Fred Douglas
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July

0 references Britain’s tyranny before

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper readings
Bury Me in a Free Land
Learning to Read
Bury Me in a Free Land
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

0rhyme scheme AA, BB, CC which makes poem easy to remember
-typically associated with happy poems
0 imagines future/afterlife
0 requested rather than buried in free land

Walt Whitman
0 poet of America
-connotation involves human equality
0 democracy, settling differences, sex and identity
0free verse (freedom of thought)
-feel that our minds work that way
0 I’m divine/holy
0 modern Emerson
-Emerson of NOW
Walt Whitman Readings
Song of Myself
Live Oak, With Moss
I Hear America Singing
“There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now, And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”
Walt Whitman
Song of Myself

0Whitman is saying that everything that already is (meaning all the things that have been created {this could be either form a philosophical stand point meaning all ideas have been thought up or from a scientific stand point meaning quite literally that nothing can ever be created or destroyed; only changed}) are the things that always will be. New things will not be created. Everything that has existed, has always existed and will always exist.

The old phrase “history repeats itself” can be applied to what Whitman is saying. As time goes on, things are not going to become better or worse, people will not become wholly different people, and the good and bad things in the world will not become more or less plentiful. Things will change but not in their amount or in their true nature.

The moral to draw from this quatrain is that waiting for things to get better or waiting for better things to come along is a foolish way to live life. Waiting for things to come to fruition is foolish because all things already are. Whitman is saying that you should seek out the things you need, be proactive in your personal betterment rather than waiting for time to improve things.

Grass at end of Song Of Myself is symbolic of what?
human equality
-all will eventually end up as part of nature regardless of what we’ve amounted to
Emily Dickinson Readings
“[I taste a liquor never brewed]” “[Wild nights – Wild nights!]” “[There’s a certain Slant of light]”
“[I like a look of Agony]”
“[After great pain, a formal feeling comes -]”
“[I started Early – Took my Dog]” “[Tell all the truth but tell it slant]”
I taste a liquor never brewed
Emily Dickinson
0 metaphor of drunkenness to express how beauty of nature elates her (intoxication- powerful attachments of thrilling feelings)
“drunk with power” “sky is intoxicating”
0 value of liquor is more precious
Saints and Seraphs (christian analogy)- God approves of her drunkenness
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
Emily Dickinson
Tell all the truth but tell it slant

0 can’t just say what it is
-must be done rhetorically/at an angle
0 Using half truths to *dazzle gradually*
-shock someone, they might not receive it

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

Walt Whitman
Song of Myself

0 The speaker’s keen on emphasizing that we’re all a part of the same universe, the same existence, the same experience — regardless of time and space
0 the one thing we all have in common with one another and our parents is that we were born to them and they were born to parents of their own.
0 Creeds and schools in abeyance he is not letting religion interfere with the poem.
0 hat people are real at and at their best once removed from institutions, such as religion and political parties.

Make me a grave where’er you will,
In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
Make it among earth’s humblest graves,
But not in a land where men are slaves.
Bury Me in a Free land
Frances Harper

0 Harper is aware that she will die at some point and does not care if she is to be committed to the earth humbly as long she is not in a country that permits enslavement.

There’s a certain slant broken down:
oppresses like Cathedral Tunes
Heavenly Hurt
0 Certain slant where the whiteness of snow causes much brighter light
0 cold creates experience of sight by creating contradiction (sun/cold)
0 light begins to serve a spotlight
0 *No matter how real; something about experience leaves person as a different experience*
-something about internal mark is important here

0 low with high resonation that fills the room
0 more massive something becomes makes it more difficult to find difference

0 heavenly hurt- way to intensify hurt or maybe signify inner-body experience

Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

Wild Nights
Emily Dickinson

0 settling down with someone
0 separated in some way
0 extended metaphor without knowing who the subject is
0 gradually dazzling is key here

Herman Melville
0Famous for Moby Dick
0Bartleby the Scrivener
0very popular to obscure
0 nothing to really write about (much like Dickinson)
I AM a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other law-copyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Bartleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0 much more intrigued by those you know less about
0 nothing to really write about (much like Dickinson)
0 becomes interesting when Bartleby is mentioned
-person you have to imagine in your head

nay, my consternation, when without moving from his privacy, Bartleby in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, “I would prefer not to.” 21
I sat awhile in perfect silence, rallying my stunned faculties. Immediately it occurred to me that my ears had deceived me, or Bartleby had entirely misunderstood my meaning. I repeated my request in the clearest tone I could assume. But in quite as clear a one came the previous reply, “I would prefer not to.” 22
“Prefer not to,” echoed I, rising in high excitement, and crossing the room with a stride. “What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to help me compare this sheet here—take it,” and I thrust it towards him. 23
“I would prefer not to,” said he. 24
I looked at him steadfastly. His face was leanly composed; his gray eye dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. Had there been the least uneasiness, anger, impatience or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been any thing ordinarily human about him, doubtless I should have violently dismissed him from the premises. But as it was, I should have as soon thought of turning my pale plaster-of-paris bust of Cicero out of doors. I stood gazing at him awhile, as he went on with his own writing, and then reseated myself at my desk. This is very strange, thought I. What had one best do? But my business hurried me. I concluded to forget the matter for the present, reserving it for my future leisure. So calling Nippers from the other room, the paper was speedily examined.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0narrator forgets about it like it’s normal
0 if he acted differently he would’ve fired him but Bartleby lack emotion
-*if he reacted in any way ordinarily human*
– instead of being fired he never leaves

“Why do you refuse?” 33
“I would prefer not to.” 34
With any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion, scorned all further words, and thrust him ignominiously from my presence. But there was something about Bartleby that not only strangely disarmed me, but in a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted me. I began to reason with him. 35
“These are your own copies we are about to examine. It is labor saving to you, because one examination will answer for your four papers. It is common usage. Every copyist is bound to help examine his copy. Is it not so? Will you not speak? Answer!” 36
“I prefer not to,” he replied in a flute-like tone. It seemed to me that while I had been addressing him, he carefully revolved every statement that I made; fully comprehended the meaning; could not gainsay the irresistible conclusion; but, at the same time, some paramount consideration prevailed with him to reply as he did. 37
“You are decided, then, not to comply with my request—a request made according to common usage and common sense?” 38
He briefly gave me to understand that on that point my judgment was sound. Yes: his decision was irreversible.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0 narrator trying to reason why?
-out of pity/ sympathy
– connection based off a difference shared between the two

Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance. If the individual so resisted be of a not inhumane temper, and the resisting one perfectly harmless in his passivity; then, in the better moods of the former, he will endeavor charitably to construe to his imagination what proves impossible to be solved by his judgment. Even so, for the most part, I regarded Bartleby and his ways. Poor fellow! thought I, he means no mischief; it is plain he intends no insolence; his aspect sufficiently evinces that his eccentricities are involuntary. He is useful to me. I can get along with him. If I turn him away, the chances are he will fall in with some less indulgent employer, and then he will be rudely treated, and perhaps driven forth miserably to starve. Yes. Here I can cheaply purchase a delicious self-approval. To befriend Bartleby; to humor him in his strange wilfulness, will cost me little or nothing, while I lay up in my soul what will eventually prove a sweet morsel for my conscience. But this mood was not invariable with me. The passiveness of Bartleby sometimes irritated me. I felt strangely goaded on to encounter him in new opposition, to elicit some angry spark from him answerable to my own. But indeed I might as well have essayed to strike fire with my knuckles against a bit of Windsor soap. But one afternoon the evil impulse in me mastered me, and the following little scene ensued:
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0 crazy rationalization
-by not firing I’m doing community service
0 sweet morsel for his conscious
0narrator craving a reaction

Shall I acknowledge it? The conclusion of this whole business was, that it soon became a fixed fact of my chambers, that a pale young scrivener, by the name of Bartleby, had a desk there; that he copied for me at the usual rate of four cents a folio (one hundred words); but he was permanently exempt from examining the work done by him, that duty being transferred to Turkey and Nippers, one of compliment doubtless to their superior acuteness; moreover, said Bartleby was never on any account to be dispatched on the most trivial errand of any sort; and that even if entreated to take upon him such a matter, it was generally understood that he would prefer not to—in other words, that he would refuse point-blank. 83
As days passed on, I became considerably reconciled to Bartleby. His steadiness, his freedom from all dissipation, his incessant industry (except when he chose to throw himself into a standing revery behind his screen), his great stillness, his unalterableness of demeanor under all circumstances, made him a valuable acquisition. One prime thing was this,—he was always there;—first in the morning, continually through the day, and the last at night. I had a singular confidence in his honesty. I felt my most precious papers perfectly safe in his hands. Sometimes to be sure I could not, for the very soul of me, avoid falling into sudden spasmodic passions with him. For it was exceeding difficult to bear in mind all the time those strange peculiarities, privileges, and unheard of exemptions, forming the tacit stipulations on Bartleby’s part under which he remained in my office. Now and then, in the eagerness of dispatching pressing business, I would inadvertently summon Bartleby, in a short, rapid tone, to put his finger, say, on the incipient tie of a bit of red tape with which I was about compressing some papers. Of course, from behind the screen the usual answer, “I prefer not to,” was sure to come; and then, how could a human creature with the common infirmities of our nature, refrain from bitterly exclaiming upon such perverseness—such unreasonableness. However, every added repulse of this sort which I received only tended to lessen the probability of my repeating the inadvertence.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville
Now, the utterly unsurmised appearance of Bartleby, tenanting my law-chambers of a Sunday morning, with his cadaverously gentlemanly nonchalance, yet withal firm and self-possessed, had such a strange effect upon me, that incontinently I slunk away from my own door, and did as desired.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville
For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not-unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam. I remembered the bright silks and sparkling faces I had seen that day, in gala trim, swan-like sailing down the Mississippi of Broadway; and I contrasted them with the pallid copyist, and thought to myself, Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. These sad fancyings—chimeras, doubtless, of a sick and silly brain—led on to other and more special thoughts, concerning the eccentricities of Bartleby. Presentiments of strange discoveries hovered round me. The scrivener’s pale form appeared to me laid out, among uncaring strangers, in its shivering winding sheet.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0 now feels sense of connection for first time
-bonds of humanity draws him towards narrator’s mind
0 absolutely changing narrator’s soul
0 Bartleby like “certain slant of light”

What I saw that morning persuaded me that the scrivener was the victim of innate and incurable disorder. I might give alms to his body; but his body did not pain him; it was his soul that suffered, and his soul I could not reach.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville
But he seemed alone, absolutely alone in the universe. A bit of wreck in the mid Atlantic.
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

0 in the end narrator can’t do anything because his soul is absolutely alone in the universe
0 once lost, one hopes to get found
0 chance of finding near impossible

Yet here I hardly know whether I should divulge one little item of rumor, which came to my ear a few months after the scrivener’s decease. Upon what basis it rested, I could never ascertain; and hence, how true it is I cannot now tell. But inasmuch as this vague report has not been without a certain strange suggestive interest to me, however sad, it may prove the same with some others; and so I will briefly mention it. The report was this: that Bartleby had been a subordinate clerk in the Dead Letter Office at Washington, from which he had been suddenly removed by a change in the administration. When I think over this rumor, I cannot adequately express the emotions which seize me. Dead letters! does it not sound like dead men? Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters and assorting them for the flames? For by the cart-load they are annually burned. Sometimes from out the folded paper the pale clerk takes a ring:—the finger it was meant for, perhaps, moulders in the grave; a bank-note sent in swiftest charity:—he whom it would relieve, nor eats nor hungers any more; pardon for those who died despairing; hope for those who died unhoping; good tidings for those who died stifled by unrelieved calamities. On errands of life, these letters speed to death. 250
Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!
Bartleby the Scivener
Herman Melville

Dead Letter?
0 letters without a home
0 about perspective
0 death that has haunted him
-meaningless because we will all die

0 Bartleby’s inner-life to humanity

Regional Fiction
Twain and Sarah Orne Jewitt
moral of the Praries
The moral of the poem is that cycles of nature never truly change but just repeat themselves.
“Though I would carefully avoid giving unnecessary offense, yet I am inclined to believe that all those who espouse the doctrine of reconciliation may be included within the following descriptions. Interested men who are not to be trusted, weak men who cannot see, prejudiced men who will not see, and a certain set of moderate men who think better of the European world than it deserves; and this last class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this continent than all the other three.”
Thomas Paine
Common Sense
“… i mean not to exhibit horror for the purpose of provoking revenge, but to awaken us from fatal and unmanly slumbers, that we may pursue determinately some fixed object.”
Thomas Paine
Common Sense
“A government of our own is our natural right, and when a man seriously reflects on the precariousness of human affairs, he will become convinced, that it is infinately wiser and safer to form a constitution of our own in a cool deliberate manner, while we have it in out power than to trust such an interesting event to time and chance”
Thomas Paine
Common Sense
“As the sentiments of men are known not only by what the receive, but what they reject also, I will state the form of the Declaration as originally reported.”
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
“He has wages cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death…thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson

0Had he included the abolishment of slaves in the declaration then slavery may have ended much sooner
0Idealism vs Realism
0Change in perspective
0Distance, look at it in context
0pg. 343 -with some distance i can look back and know I was right
0Nation Power
-would have lost support of southern colonies

The woods were already filled with shadows one June evening, just before eight o’clock, though a bright sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of the trees. A little girl was driving home her cow, a plodding, dilatory, provoking creature in her behavior, but a valued companion for all that. They were going away from whatever light there was, and striking deep into the woods, but their feet were familiar with the path, and it was no matter whether their eyes could see it or not.
A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett
The good woman suspected that Sylvia loitered occasionally on her own account; there never was such a child for straying about out-of-doors since the world was made! Everybody said that it was a good change for a little maid who had tried to grow for eight years in a crowded manufacturing town, but, as for Sylvia herself, it seemed as if she never had been alive at all before she came to live at the farm. She thought often with wistful compassion of a wretched geranium that belonged to a town neighbor.
A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett

0 finally feels alive in nature
0 regional fiction

The companions followed the shady wood-road, the cow taking slow steps and the child very fast ones. The cow stopped long at the brook to drink, as if the pasture were not half a swamp, and Sylvia stood still and waited, letting her bare feet cool themselves in the shoal water, while the great twilight moths struck softly against her. She waded on through the brook as the cow moved away, and listened to the thrushes with a heart that beat fast with pleasure. There was a stirring in the great boughs overhead. They were full of little birds and beasts that seemed to be wide awake, and going about their world, or else saying good-night to each other in sleepy twitters. Sylvia herself felt sleepy as she walked along. However, it was not much farther to the house, and the air was soft and sweet. She was not often in the woods so late as this, and it made her feel as if she were a part of the gray shadows and the moving leaves. She was just thinking how long it seemed since she first came to the farm a year ago, and wondering if everything went on in the noisy town just the same as when she was there, the thought of the great red-faced boy who used to chase and frighten her made her hurry along the path to escape from the shadow of the trees.
A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett
“Sylvy takes after him,” the grandmother continued affectionately, after a minute’s pause. “There ain’t a foot o’ ground she don’t know her way over, and the wild creaturs counts her one o’ themselves. Squer’ls she’ll tame to come an’ feed right out o’ her hands, and all sorts o’ birds. Last winter she got the jay-birds to bangeing here, and I believe she’d ‘a’ scanted herself of her own meals to have plenty to throw out amongst ’em, if I hadn’t kep’ watch. Anything but crows, I tell her, I’m willin’ to help support — though Dan he had a tamed one o’ them that did seem to have reason same as folks. It was round here a good spell after he went away. Dan an’ his father they didn’t hitch, — but he never held up his head ag’in after Dan had dared him an’ gone off.”

The guest did not notice this hint of family sorrows in his eager interest in something else.

A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett
All day long he did not once make her troubled or afraid except when he brought down some unsuspecting singing creature from its bough. Sylvia would have liked him vastly better without his gun; she could not understand why he killed the very birds he seemed to like so much. But as the day waned, Sylvia still watched the young man with loving admiration. She had never seen anybody so charming and delightful; the woman’s heart, asleep in the child, was vaguely thrilled by a dream of love. Some premonition of that great power stirred and swayed these young creatures who traversed the solemn woodlands with soft-footed silent care. They stopped to listen to a bird’s song; they pressed forward again eagerly, parting the branches — speaking to each other rarely and in whispers; the young man going first and Sylvia following, fascinated, a few steps behind, with her gray eyes dark with excitement.
A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewett
The guest waked from a dream, and remembering his day’s pleasure hurried to dress himself that it might sooner begin. He was sure from the way the shy little girl looked once or twice yesterday that she had at least seen the white heron, and now she must really be made to tell. Here she comes now, paler than ever, and her worn old frock is torn and tattered, and smeared with pine pitch. The grandmother and the sportsman stand in the door together and question her, and the splendid moment has come to speak of the dead hemlock-tree by the green marsh.

But Sylvia does not speak after all, though the old grandmother fretfully rebukes her, and the young man’s kind, appealing eyes are looking straight in her own. He can make them rich with money; he has promised it, and they are poor now. He is so well worth making happy, and he waits to hear the story she can tell.

A White Heron
Sarah Orne Jewe

0The narrator is at a distance
0shifts from past to present tense
0lonely for the rest of her life because she did not speak
just because it’s different doesn’t mean its better or worse
0Rekindles idea of American Dream – desire to live somewhere else?
0About a 9 year old who may have made a bad decision
0She is innocent
0womans heart in a child
0guy had no interest in her, only the heron
0 She fell for him

key here is veb switch (more formal tone)

Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.
It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.

She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.

There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.

Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will–as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under hte breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial.

Kate Chopin
The Story of an Hour

0Brings up the question of where is a womans place in America and in marriages.
0Freedom from patriarchal oppression
0She was not particularly happy in the marriage, however, Chopin does not make her husband out to be a monster.

“She knew that she would weep again. Free! Body and Soul Free! She kept whispering.”
Kate Chopin
The Story of An Hour

0When her husband turns up he just simply asks her what is for dinner
0She is back under the oppression she had just felt so free from
0Chopin is asking how are women or people supposed to resolve feelings like these

The big, low-ceiled room – they called it a hall – was packed with men and women dancing to the
music of three fiddles. There were broad galleries all around it. There was a room at one side where 110 sober-faced men were playing cards. Another, in which babies were sleeping, was called le parc aux
petits. Any one who is white may go to a „Cadian ball, but he must pay for his lemonade, his coffee and chicken gumbo. And he must behave himself like a „Cadian. Grosboeuf was giving this ball. He had been giving them since he was a young man, and he was a middle-aged one, now. In that time he could recall but one disturbance, and that was caused by American railroaders, who were not in touch with their surroundings and had no business there. “Ces maudits gens du raiderode,” Grosbœuf called them.
Alcée Laballière‟s presence at the ball caused a flutter even among the men, who could not but ad- mire his “nerve” after such misfortune befalling him. To be sure, they knew the Laballières were rich – that there were resources East, and more again in the city. But they felt it took a brave homme to
120 stand a blow like that philosophically. One old gentleman, who was in the habit of reading a Paris Literature to Go! by EnglishCaddy www.englishcaddy.org Page 3

newspaper and knew things, chuckled gleefully to everybody that Alcée‟s conduct was altogether chic, mais chic. That he had more panache than Boulanger. Well, perhaps he had.

Kate Chopin
At the ‘Cadian Ball

0 Regional fiction often uses love stories to project their stories
0untranslated language works in an interesting way
-purposefully leaves out french translations
in the time period the more sophisticated readers would often be able to read it
0People hook up at the ‘Cadian ball
0Only one time it got out of hand and that was when the “out of touch” railroaders showed up
out of touch – not trying to fit in or observe culture

“Yes, the child has grown, has changed,” said Madame Valmonde, slowly, as she replaced it beside its mother. “What does Armand say?”

Desiree’s face became suffused with a glow that was happiness itself.

“Oh, Armand is the proudest father in the parish, I believe, chiefly because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he says not – that he would have loved a girl as well. But I know it isn’t true. I know he says that to please me. And mamma,” she added, drawing Madame Valmonde’s head down to her, and speaking in a whisper, “he hasn’t punished one of them – not one of them – since baby is born. Even Negrillon, who pretended to have burnt his leg that he might rest from work – he only laughed, and said Negrillon was a great scamp. Oh, mamma, I’m so happy; it frightens me.”

What Desiree said was true. Marriage, and later the birth of his son had softened Armand Aubigny’s imperious and exacting nature greatly. This was what made the gentle Desiree so happy, for she loved him desperately. When he frowned she trembled, but loved him. When he smiled, she asked no greater blessing of God. But Armand’s dark, handsome face had not often been disfigured by frowns since the day he fell in love with her.

Kate Chopin
Desiree’s Baby

Chopin puts in irony/foreshadowing in “I’m so happy it frightens me”
saying something bad is about to happen

When the baby was about three months old, Desiree awoke one day to the conviction that there was something in the air menacing her peace. It was at first too subtle to grasp. It had only been a disquieting suggestion; an air of mystery among the blacks; unexpected visits from far-off neighbors who could hardly account for their coming. Then a strange, an awful change in her husband’s manner, which she dared not ask him to explain. When he spoke to her, it was with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out. He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse. And the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves. Desiree was miserable enough to die.
Kate Chopin
Desiree’s Baby

Something is so wrong that it is in the air
We figure out the problem sooner than the character does
She realizes when she is looking back and forth between a slave and the baby
Real sense of anxiety the baby might be black

“Armand,” she called to him, in a voice which must have stabbed him, if he was human. But he did not notice. “Armand,” she said again. Then she rose and tottered towards him. “Armand,” she panted once more, clutching his arm, “look at our child. What does it mean? Tell me.”

He coldly but gently loosened her fingers from about his arm and thrust the hand away from him. “Tell me what it means!” she cried despairingly.

“It means,” he answered lightly, “that the child is not white; it means that you are not white.”

< 5 >
A quick conception of all that this accusation meant for her nerved her with unwonted courage to deny it. “It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair,” seizing his wrist. “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand,” she laughed hysterically.

“As white as La Blanche’s,” he returned cruelly; and went away leaving her alone with their child.

Kate Chopin
Desiree’s Baby

We know one of them must be mixed
Armand refuses to believe its him despite her lighter complexion and his darker complexion

We assured him that we would be glad to hear how it all happened, and he began to tell us. At first the current of his memory—or imagination—seemed somewhat sluggish; but as his embarrassment wore off, his language flowed more freely, and the story acquired perspective and coherence. As be became more and more absorbed in the narrative, his eyes assumed a dreamy expression, and he seemed to lose sight of his auditors, and to be living over again in monologue his life on the old plantation.

“Ole Mars Dugal’ McAdoo bought dis place long many years befo’ de wah, en I ‘member well w’en he sot out all dis yet part er de plantation in scuppernon’s, De vimes growed monst’us fas’, en Mars Dugal’ made a thousan’ gallon er seuppernon’ wine eve’y year.

“Now, ef dey ‘s an’thing a ****** lub, nex’ ter ‘possum, en chiek’n, en watennillyums it’s scuppernon’s. Dey ain’ nuffln dat kin stan’ up side’n de scuppernon’ fer sweetness; sugar ain’t a suckumstance ter scuppernon’. W’en de season is nigh ’bout ober, en do grapes begin ter swivel up des a little wid de wrinkles er ole age. – w’en de skin git sof’ en brown, – den do snippernon’ make you smack yo lip en roll yo’ eye en wush fer mo’; so I reckon it ain’ very ‘stonishin’ dat ******s lub scupperuon’.

Charles Chestnut
The Goophered Grapevine

0Sense of implication for white people reading this which is what Chesnutt wanted
-Includes tons of stereotypes
—watermelon, chicken, etc
0 Story within a story
0 Frame narrative
Couple Moves from North to North Carolina for health reasons
Uncle Julias’s story
vineyard is haunted
Go away and don’t buy it

I bought the vineyard, nevertheless and it has been for a long time in a thriving condition, and is referred to by the local press as a striking illustration of the opportunities open to Northern capital in the development of Southern industries. The luscious scuppernong holds first rank among our grapes, though we cultivate a great many other varieties, and our income from grapes packed and shipped to the Northern markets is quite considerable. I have not noticed any developments of the goopher in the vineyard, although I have & mild suspicion that our colored assistants do not suffer from want of grapes during the season,

I found, when I bought the vineyard, that Uncle Julius had occupied a cabin on the place for many years, and derived a respectable revenue from the neglected grapevines. This, doubtless, accounted for his advice to me not to buy the vineyard, though whether it inspired the gopher story I am unable to state. I believe, however, that the wages I pay him for his services are more than an equivalent for anything he lost by the sale of the vineyard.

Charles Chestnut
The Goophered Grapevine

0 uncle Julius told the story to keep them from buying
0 Story is about showing a different representation of African Americans as clever trying to pull one over on someone

By accident, combined perhaps with some natural affinity, the society consisted of individuals who were, generally speaking, more white than black. Some envious outsider made the suggestion that no one was eligible for membership who was not white enough to show blue veins. The suggestion was readily adopted by those who were not of the favored few, and since that time the society, though possessing a longer and more pretentious name, had been known far and wide as the “Blue Vein Society,” and its members as the “Blue Veins.”
Charles Chestnut
The Wife of His Youth
While there were no such tests of eligibility, it is true that the Blue Veins had their notions on these subjects, and that not all of them were equally liberal in regard to the things they collectively disclaimed. Mr. Ryder was one of the most conservative. Though he had not been among the founders of the society, but had come in some years later, his genius for social leadership was such that he had speedily become its recognized adviser and head, the custodian of its standards, and the preserver of its traditions. He shaped its social policy, was active in providing for its entertainment, and when the interest fell off, as it sometimes did, he fanned the embers until they burst again into a cheerful flame. There were still other reasons for his popularity. While he was not as white as some of the Blue Veins, his appearance was such as to confer distinction upon them. His features were of a refined type, his hair was almost straight; he was always neatly dressed; his manners were irreproachable, and his morals above suspicion. He had come to Groveland a young man, and obtaining employment in the office of a railroad company as messenger had in time worked himself up to the position of stationery clerk, having charge of the distribution of the office supplies for the whole company. Although the lack of early training had hindered the orderly development of a naturally fine mind, it had not prevented him from doing a great deal of reading or from forming decidedly literary tastes. Poetry was his passion. He could repeat whole pages of the great English poets ; and if his pronunciation was sometimes faulty, his eye, his voice, his gestures, would respond to the changing sentiment with a precision that revealed a poetic soul, and disarm criticism.
Charles Chestnut
The Wife of His Youth
“I have no race prejudice,” he would say, “but we people of mixed blood are ground between the upper and the nether millstone. Our fate lies between absorption by the white race and extinction in the black. The one doesn’t want us yet, but may take us in time. The other would welcome us, but it would be for us a backward step. ‘With malice towards none, with charity for all,’ we must do the best we can for ourselves and those who are to follow us. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.”
Charles Chestnut
The Wife of His Youth

helps us think about differences amongst people
embraces his wife who is less refined
not selling out
spends time looking inward

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