Uncategorized

Peer Review 3

Annaliese,

I found your blog post this week to be highly critical and engaging. You did well focussing on the structure of the paragraph and the ways this structure paints a specific picture. This shows that you’re well aware of the ways the structure can influence the meanings of the texts in order to portray a specific message the author (Twain) wishes to portray. Your level of analysis was strong and consistent throughout! I too rather enjoyed Twain’s description of nature found within this paragraph, well done!

annalieseferraro98.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/4-mark-twains-description-of-nature/

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American Literature, Best Critical, Uncategorized

Blog Post 3, Week 5

Give a brief account (in your own words) of why Whitman referred to Abraham Lincoln as “O Captain! My Captain”.

Walt Whitman’s 1865 poem, ‘O Captain! My Captain’, was written in honour of Abraham Lincoln shortly after his assassination during that year. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America, in office for a 4-year period from March 1861 until his death in April 1865. It was during this time that the American Civil War was fought. This background knowledge of Lincoln helps us to understand why Whitman referred to him as ‘Captain’ throughout his poem.

Abraham_Lincoln_O-77_matte_collodion_print.jpg
Abraham Lincoln, 1863

‘O Captain! My Captain’ is an extended metaphor written around the theme of Lincoln’s death. Throughout the poem, the “ship” symbolises America with Lincoln represented as the “Captain” as it is he who was running the country, the ship. With the Civil War being fought in America at the time, Lincoln was well-loved for his accomplishments, especially with the banning of slavery in America. “Where on the deck my Captain lies, fallen cold and dead” completes this metaphor of Lincoln being the Captain of the ship that is America as we are able to feel the grief and sorrow felt towards Lincoln’s death throughout the poem as Whitman, alongside all of America, has just lost an important leader of their “vessel”.

References:

“Abraham Lincoln.” Biography.com. Web. 4 Sept. 2017.

Whitman, Walt. O, Captain! My Captain. 1865. Print.

 

Image:

Gardner, Alexander. Abraham Lincoln. 1863. Web. 4 Sept. 2017.

American Literature, Peer Reviews, Uncategorized

Peer Review #1

Danielle,

I really enjoyed reading your blog post this week and found it highly engaging. I agree with how hard it can be to look past our devices and focus instead on the nature around us. I really like the ways in which you take this idea and appreciation of Mother Nature and are able to reflect on this in order to overcome this distraction of devices and find ways in which you are able to truly immerse yourself in nature. This lifestyle of living out of a van truly does sound as though it has captured the mind of yourself and others alike, thankfully helping to reconnect individuals with this love of nature.

daniellegattlit.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/living-large-while-living-little/

 

American Literature, Best Creative, Uncategorized

Blog Post 2, Week 4

How have the thoughts and images of either Emerson or Thoreau (or both) and Walden given you a clearer sense of what it is you are looking for in your own life?

The idea of Transcendentalism, of which Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures of, is a movement in American Literature which I was familiar with, yet had not known the term or official meaning of. Developed around 1836, Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement influenced by romanticism and a number of philosophies, and teaches that “divinity pervades all nature and humanity” (“Transcendentalism”). This this idea of transcendentalism becomes clearer when keeping it in mind and thinking about Walden’s sentence in Chapter 2 of ‘Where I Lived, and What I Live For’:

 “I went to 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 had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”

This quote by Walden highly resonates with me as I personally love to both learn and explore new things as well as teach those around me. During my teenage years and especially those spent at university, I have discovered that although I can learn a lot within the four walls of a classroom, it is out in the world surrounded by nature that I will learn the most. It is my greatest fear that I will spend all my life within a classroom – both teaching and learning – yet will die having not lived and having in fact, not learnt anything at all.

Nature.jpg

It is my goal in life to travel the world, experience different cultures and customs, and surround myself in nature; to learn as much as I can both inside of the classroom and out, and when my time comes to an end, I hope that I can say that I have lived and that I have achieved all that I have wanted to achieve in this world.

 

References:

Thoreau, Henry David, James Lyndon Shanley, and John Updike. Walden. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2004. Print.

“Transcendentalism.” Oxford Dictionary 2017. Web. 22 Aug. 2017.

Image:

Snapwire. Abandoned Forest. Web. 22 Aug. 2017.

American Literature, Uncategorized

Blog Post 1, Week 3

Can we apply the Native American sense of the importance of nature to make our own lives more whole and meaningful?

The importance of nature can be seen in our own lives today as it helps to fulfil our lives, to make our lives more whole and meaningful. I see this in my own life, in which nature, naturally, holds major importance. Whether it be through regular bushwalks, swimming or even picnics – it is something that makes us feel more relaxed and connected with the world around us. It helps us to clear our minds, to relax, to absorb all the nutrients our bodies need to survive and grow. It provides us with crucial elements we need to survive such as food and water. Without nature, there would be no life.

Joseph_T__Keiley_Zitkala-Sa
Zitkala-Ša, also known as Red Bird

This strong importance of nature can also be seen in Native American culture and writing as they portray the importance of spirituality and the connections they have with nature. Zitkala-Ša demonstrates how important nature is in a quote I thoroughly enjoy. She states that she would “prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers”. The fact that she would prefer this over what many would prefer today, such as money, power and fame, goes to show that nature must provide us with something stronger than what these unnatural aspects of life provide us with. It is this idea and these writings that help us to see the importance of which nature should be held at, and the ways it can truly make our lives feel more whole and meaningful.

 

References:

Zitkala-Ša, and Susan Rose Dominguez. American Indian Stories. 2nd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003. Print.

Image:

Keiley, Joseph. Zitkala-Sa. 2017. Web. 15 Aug. 2017.