美国文学复习要点

美国文学选读陶洁主编,复习要点。

Benjamin Franklin:

•Remember Benjamin Franklin as inventor, statesman and writer.

•Remember him as …father of the United States‟.

•Writing features The Autobiography: It is the pattern of Puritan simplicity, directness, and concision. The narrative is lucid, the structure is simple, the imagery is homely.

Edgar Allan Poe

●Remember Poe as father of modern short story and father of detective story.

●Remember his important works.

●Remember his critical works: The Poetic Principle and The Philosophy of Composition.

●Be able to list some of his famous short stories and some of his famous poems such as

The Raven, Annabel Lee, To Helen.

•Tell the story The Cask of Amontillado in your own words.

What is the theme of this short story?

Be familiar with his poem To Helen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Know something about transcendentalism. Remember Emerson as the leader of this philosophy: Transcendentalism refers to a kind of attitude that believes in the recognition in man of the capacity of knowing truth intuitively, or of attaining knowledge transcending the reach of the senses.Major concepts

1) Power of intuition.

2) Spirit first, matter second.

3) Nature as symbolic of spirit or God.

4) Individual as the most important element in society/ self-reliant

5) Religion as an emotional communication between an individual soul and the

universal “oversoul”

6) Commerce as degrading/ pay less attention to the material world

The “over-soul” as called by Emerson was an all-pervading unitary spiritual power of goodness, omnipresent and omnipotent, from which all things came and of which everyone was a part. Generally, the over-soul referred to spirit of God as the most important thing in the universe.

Emerson‟s Nature is called …manifesto of transcendentalism‟.

The American Scholar(1837) is regarded as “America‟s Second Declaration of Independence / Declaration of Intellectual (Cultural) Independence”

Be familiar with the essay …Self-reliance‟.

Henry David Thoreau

⏹Remember Thoreau‟ masterpiece.

⏹Tell the main contents of Walden in your own words.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

⏹Introduce The Scarlet Letter in your own words.

⏹The influence of Puritanism on The Scarlet Letter.

⏹Analyze the main characters.

⏹T ell the symbolic meanings of the letter …A‟.

⏹L ist Hawthorne‟s major works.

Herman Melville

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