Journal Eight: A New Aesethetic

With Davis, Whitman, and Dickinson we have moved completely away from the rigidly didactic works, those meant to teach in a direct manner, to those that put a premium on education through an aesthetic (and maybe even entertaining) experience. Compare the work of this week's writers to some of the earlier, more didactic, works that we have read. How does their teaching differ? How might it be the same? See what you can find in this regard. Illustrate your examination with passages from Davis, Whitman, and Dickinson (at least one for each of them) along with the earlier writers you choose to work with (again, at least one for each comparative example). Same deadlines as always, for the journal itself and responses to at least two other journals and to at least one response to your journal.

Journal Seven: Fight the Power!

the writings of Thoreau, Jacobs and Douglass show America taking some steps toward a more humane society, at least by some standards. In some respects, we can look at Thoreau as writing from a position of privilege, with problems that are less immediate, more abstract and nebulous. On the other hand, the problems faced by Jacobs and Douglass are much more immediate: personal freedom, staying alive and human dignity are front and center in the lives of the slaves. Thoreau is merely inconvenienced by an intrusion into his way of viewing the world. Be that as it may, examine the injustices visited upon each of them. What do these injustices tell us about America, then and now? Be sure to illustrate each of your points with specific examples from the readings and with some explanation indicating why the chosen issue is or isn't still a concern, for good or ill.

Post your journals by midnight Tuesday. As always, respond to at least two journals and to at least one response to your journals before Thursday.

Journal Six: Melville and Emerson

Emerson's essay "Nature" could be described as being "hortatory." Take this to mean "to exhort," as in encouraging a certain course of thought or action in the reader. Tie two exhortations of Emerson to at least two of the notions put forward by Melville in the two stories of his we read this wee. In practical terms, this means find one exhortation from Emerson and look at it in one or both stories and then find another exhortation and look at it in one or both stories. Be sure to provide some explanation, for each exhortation and story, as to why what you look at is of interest or importance, why it has value for the reader today. Provide passages from each of the assigned readings as evidence in support of your thinking.

Post your journals by midnight Monday. As always, respond to at least two journals and to at least one response to your journals before Wednesday.

Journal Five: All About Poe

For this week, touch on three things that you notice about/in the writings of Edgard Alan Poe that we read, what you value in those writings, and what you question. Be sure to illustrate each of your observations with specific examples and explanation that make your choices clear. As always, have your journals posted by midnight Monday and responded to by Midnight Wednesday. Be sure that of your responses, two are to other journals and one is to a response to your journal.

Journal Four: A New Era

With this weeks' readings from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson, we encounter some of the most influential propaganda written for the cause of the American Revolution. We also encounter a bit more, with Franklin and Irving's critiques of life in America. Based on what we've read, what would this week's writers think of today's America? would they appreciate the nation and people we have become? Be disappointed? have some mixed emotions? For the assigned readings, answer this question, what would Franklin, Paine, Jefferson or Irving think of the nation and people we have become? In answering this, provide passages from the assigned readings as evidence in support of your thinking. Tie your thoughts on today to specific examples from the readings.

Post your journals by midnight Monday. As always, respond to at least two journals and to at least one response to your journals by Wednesday.

Intro info and sample response

Be sure to include essay title and author of the essay in the introductionIn the essay “Public Confession and The Scarlet Letter,” Ernest W Baughman examines the reoccurring motif and role of public confession in the novel. While public confession had long been a practice for many “crimes” against the Church and its ministers, many expected there would have been a long legal history authorizing such confessions, clarifying the legal and ecumenical concerns that can provide the reader a better understanding of the rationale proffered by the Reverend Dimmesdale.

Journal Three: Hawthorne's Tensions

A change has been made to the assignment. If you have completed it, don't worry about having done it as earlier described.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's writings/stories are built around various tensions, such as the tension created by people struggling with the need to trust themselves versus their need to accommodate authority, the tension between free will and predestination, the tension created by the conflicts of obsessiveness versus open-mindedness, hypocrisy versus candor, and the conflict between forms of nurturance and destructiveness. Find an instances in the novel where you see some sort of thematic conflict taking place and trace it through the novel, touching on some aspect of it as it occurs in the early, middle and later stages of the tale.. Tell us what that conflict is, what it does within the story (to the characters, to you as a reader, to the telling of the story, maybe something else)and what it means. You need not limit yourself to the suggestions provided here. Provide a brief passage from the text to show how each stage of the conflict is playing out, describe what it is doing and then what it means. In short, what is the passage, what does it do, and why does it matter/what does it mean? Respond to at least two journals and one response to your journal. Journals should be posted no later than midnight Sunday and responded to no later than midnight Wednesday.

Journal Two: Puritans and Puritan Thinking

This week's writers were all about Puritanism in one way or another. Because many of the early settlers were Puritans, and they left a substantial record of their experiences and thoughts, many people argue that America was founded as a "Christian" nation. Whether or not America is a Christian nation, the Puritans left a clear imprint upon our nation. Describe how you see the readings from this past week as exhibiting thoughts and ideas that remain with us today, looking at why those thoughts and ideas are of interest or importance to contemporary Americans.

In developing your thoughts, illustrate each point with specific examples and cited passages from at least three of the readings. Having posted your journal, respond to at least two other journals and to one response to your journal. Journals should be posted no later than midnight Sunday and responded to no later than midnight Wednesday.

Journal One: Early Encounters

For our first journal, write about what the various world views each of the explorers/colonizers tell us about them and the world they inhabit and explore. Describe how you see their cultural "baggage" coloring the way they see and describe what they encounter. Describe how you see this baggage coloring the way we read and come to understand both their writings and what it is they encounter.

In developing your thoughts, illustrate each point with specific examples and cited passages from the at least three of the readings, preferably in a way that captures the views of those exploring the Caribbean, Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard. Feel free to use Columbus from last week as well as what we read this week. Having posted your journal, respond to at least two other journals and to one response to your journal. Journals should be posted no later than midnight Monday and responded to no later than midnight Thursday.

Columbus Voyage Map

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