September 20, 2016
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This paragraph stood out because it seemed as though it was an agreement or appraisal of what Paine had previously written. He mentions how Paine’s Rights of Man is not consistent with the government. It is a different idea that opposes the hierarchy where it would typically move from God to Kings/Royalty to the Aristocrats, to the peasants and general public. This is reminiscent of the idea of millennialism- there is a change in view. Instead of looking at the crown as a point of authority and respect, it is looked at as a “childish bauble call’d a crown, /the gilded bait, that lures the crowd, to come”. Similarly, natural law can also be seen in this paragraph. Rather than living under a hierarchy, natural law dictates the idea of equality and all men are subject to the same things, even the kings or those of royalty.
Here, Freneau definitely emphasizes the importance of nature in deism. In puritanism, nature was viewed as a way to get closer to God, but deism views nature as a gift from God that can be used to make one’s life more successful and fruitful. In the poem “On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country,” he says, “commerce plans new freights” for nature, which implies that it won’t be wasted or viewed as unnecessary any longer. Rather than take nature for granted, Freneau and other deists attempt to use nature as God intended for man to use. I thought this paragraph tied into other poems and provided a great standard for the views that deists have of nature.
This section of the poem was really interesting to me. I believe what he is saying is that when you are born you are nothing yet, and when you die you are nothing once again. You have a short time in between being born and dying to make an impact. He says “For when you die you are the same; The space between is but an hour, The frail duration of flower.” I believe what he means is that you will die eventually and compared to the big picture one life is about an hour throughout all of history so you better make that hour count while you’re alive before you become to frail to continue living.
I also found this interesting, I interpreted the passage in a similar manor. From my understanding its saying that at birth you have nothing to lose because you are nothing hence don’t value anything. It goes on to continue saying that when you die you are the same, well I understand that in a way when you die you can’t take anything with you, and once again you are nothing. The time we spend between birth and dying is a short time despite living being the longest thing we do, it is a mere hour compared to everything else in this world. I also really enjoy the connections made to nature aspects such as the flower and the morning suns and evening dews.
You made a great relation to millennialism, Elizabeth. However, I disagree with you when you say that this seemed like an agreement or appraisal of Paine’s readings. To me, it seemed as if Freneau was mocking Paine. He states, “Thus briefly sketch’d the sacred Rights of Man” (NAAL 804). The fact that Freneau uses the word “briefly” makes it clear that Freneau did not believe Paine had put the proper thought or time into his writing. He also states, “How inconsistent with the Royal Plan!” The fact that Freneau brings up the Royal Plan at all made me think that he supported the King. Furthermore, he states, “The gilded bait, that lures the crowd, to come”. Freneu, I believe, is talking about America. From my understanding, he is saying that the promise of a new life in America is the “gilded bait” that lures people away from England and to America, where they will meet, “The quack that kills them, while it seems to cure”. With the language and content of this paragraph, I got the impression that Freneau definitely disagreed with Paine’s writing and htat this was written in almost a mocking tone to scorn and discredit what Paine had written.
I like the point that you bring up about Freneau’s use of the word “briefly” I can’t see why Freneau would use the term as it does usually imply that there is a lack of in-depth analysis on the topic, unless perhaps Paine’s book was just short.
However, I do think that Freneau agreed with what Paine was saying. In his biography, it says that Freneau “wrote impassioned verse in support of the American Revolution and turned all his rhetorical gifts against anyone thought to be in sympathy with the British monarchy” (791). This is reflected in the poem through his unflattering and harsh representation of the crown as a “base, childish bauble” that causes the crowd to “bow down their necks, and meet a slavish doom”. the use of “crown” refers to the King, and subjects usually are depicted as bowing down to the King, so terms like “bait”, “lure”, and “doom” would imply that Freneau is condemning the British monarchy. And to tie it to previous readings, Jefferson’s original draft of “The Declaration of Independence” speaks on the need to separate with a government that doesn’t work for the wants and needs of its people, which I believe is what Freneau meant by “the sacred Rights of Man, / How inconsistent with the Royal Plan!”.
It’s interesting that we came up with two different readings. Maybe the middle ground is that Freneau believed that America should separate from the British monarchy, but Paine did not adequately explore how or why it should be done.
The concept of Deism is evident in the writings of Philip Freneau as he states that nature is the way to freedom in the poem “On the Religion of Nature.” He expresses his inner struggle as he invalidates the traditional religious ideology and emphasizes the importance of nature and its positive outcome in the following lines. “This deals not curses on mankind, Or dooms them to perpetual grief, If from its aid-no joys they find, It damns them not for unbelief;” (805). Because the burden of rigid religious tendencies has left a negative impact on humanity, he says that nature is the solution to the human predicament. In nature, humanity can find freedom not damnation because it does not curse man or sends him to eternal suffering. In other words, he believes that nature is the essential element humanity needs for fulfillment and happiness.
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In this stanza and the one that precedes it we see a familiar tactic being used in regards to the symbolism that can be found when smaller waterways join with larger ones. In Bradstreet’s work, she used the imagery to tie together ideas of cohesiveness in a congregation, and the relationship between any one parishioner and the Lord. Here in Freneau’s poem, however, we can see the shift from religion to commerce, from importance of the congregation to the importance of the individual. This importance is especially marked when referring to the “every man” versus that of the king. Freneau addresses the water, but he is really talking to the new nation and the people in it.
[And commerce plans new freights for thee.]
Freneau is touching on two different themes in this stanza. First he is promoting the concept of individual sovereignty to his audience and promoting the message of freedom for the states from the British crown. He is also applying the theme of commerce as being one of humanity’s “God given gifts”.
With such a relentless focus on sovereignty and the evolution of humanity in the literature we have been reading recently it is no wonder that materialism would be the end goal and result to the founding fathers.
Those are good points, Kayla and Denise. In this stanza, the combination of “commerce” with “heavens decree” is striking compared to the conception of providence and piety we studied earlier. Freneau here associates God’s will and design with commercialism and the material profit motive. The Puritan mandate to resist earthly temptations and embrace the spirit appears completely abandoned–even stood on its head, with commercialism as the chief good ordained by the heavens. This marks the final stages of Declension, as latter-day Puritans like Edwards construed it, and the beginning of the society we now know and live in. As a Deist like Paine, Freneau is confident that this will lead toward moral progress as well as material prosperity. Note the first line in the very next stanza: “While virtue warms the generous breast, There heaven-born freedom shall reside.” The mind starts out as a blank slate, and if you remove human beings from corrupt environments like the countries of Europe, they will be allowed to develop their God-given potential to achieve virtue through freedom of opportunity.
This is an interesting thread and I would argue that Freneau is being critical of both Paine’s Rights of Man as well as the British monarchy. I read the entirety of this under the impression that it was highly sarcastic and demonstrates Freneau’s belief that Paine’s writings were instrumental in inciting the revolution but that he ought to have done it better, at least that was my understanding. I also think that he is arguing that America will not only survive but thrive without the “leadership” of the monarchy, as Kiah pointed out.
I agree with what you are saying. Even though puritans and deism think nature as different in values, it is also a connection to God. This poem shows the importance of nature because they need to protect it and God’s creations and use it the right way.
This stanza interests me mostly because I don’t know what Philip Freneau meant by it. I understand he is arguing for rationality when he says “When Reason shall enforce her sway,” which seems to support deism. However, what confuses me is the last two stanzas: “Where still the African complains, / And mourns his yet unbroken chains.” I don’t know if Freneau is invoking irony here, or if he is justifying slavery.
This stanza of “On the Religion of Nature” seems to reflect the differences between Freneau and many of the works by other writers, like Edwards for example. The first two lines of this stanza seem like a direct statement on puritan ideas, such as innate depravity. Freneau says, “This d3eals not surses on mankind, / Or dooms them to perpetual grief”(19-20). These two lines seem to suggest an agreement with Tabula Rasa from Freneau.
I also thought this section was interesting. I think that he is somewhat right in saying that we have nothing to lose when we are born, and nothing to lose again when we die. He is right in the sense that when we are born, we have nothing, therefor have nothing to lose, and when we die, we cannot take anything with us. In comparison to most other things in nature, our lifetimes are like an hour. Other things in nature live for such a long time, but when he wrote this, people lived for an even shorter time than we do now, so their whole lifetime would’ve seemed very short in comparison to most things in nature.
This paragraph was the most interesting to me out of the rest in “On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country.” This is the opening paragraph and gives readers an introduction into the rest of the poem. I always enjoy things that talk about nature and here in the intro passage we as readers receive an introduction of a character involving nature. From the woods to the planes, Palemon, a character of importance, emerges from a crowd. It goes on to say that something, possibly this character, is a genius of nature and comes to tame the soil or till it to be able to plant the things needed on earth to survive.
This stanzas goes back to how they began their lives on the shores of the U.S. This is starting to show their feelings for being slaves to a king that they don’t feel loyal to. It is obvious that a revolution is imminent. It is very interesting to see the mindset of what was going on then.
This paragraph right here feels as if it is foreshadowing the revelution. The diction used here portrays the bitter attitude that surrounds Europe. There is a competitive undertone here that insinuates America is a stand alone country already, comparing it to Europe. It almost seems challenging in tone.
The entire poem particularly has irony throughout. Although supposed to be uplifting and inviting, I find that it is only inviting and uplifting to the White Americans, disregarding both slaves and Native Americans. In this particular passage, Freneau states that “The unsocial Indian far retreats” predicting the removal of the Native Americans from their own lands. (I am curious to know if these actions were currently underway when the words were written). The irony comes from the fact that this is a poem welcoming the people to America with optimism; which is meant to show the vision of the future of freedom. However, the suggestion of the Native Americans being removed from their own lands, and the actuality of what happened in history hinders the optimistic tone of the poem intended to have.
Freneau compares religion to nature and what im getting is that he is saying you do not need a priest, a church, or a revelation to see God’s way. You can worship anywhere at any time and there is no need for physical “religious” gatherings. He explains how proof of God is all around us in nature. Cold he be stay mother nature is God himself? im not sure, but i could be taken that way when reading this particular poem. The poem is clearly written in a time when religious depute surrounded everyone and in the end Freneau is hoping that we can all agree on religion. I also think maybe agreeing isnt possible or necessary but more tolerance is necessary and should have been more of an aim.
note to self in class:
rationalism- new way of looking at religion rather than only seeing at as being with a church, priest, or a designated way of worship he points out that it goes beyond that
individual sovereignty – allows for people to worship in their own way rather than being told what to do and how to do it and the right and wrong way to worship
This paragraph sticks out to me due to the description sounding so scientifically accurate, and so down to earth as opposed to earlier works we read. You can see the scientific reasoning combining with religion and the belief in God, and here you can no longer see the many mentionings of God and heaven and Hell as was previously present. Instead, we now see “soil,” “shores” and the wonderment and excitement of exploring new lands, but with also the seriousness of such endeavors. You can also see the appeal to earthly realms with the terms, “Europe” and “crown” which show the more earthly focus on the here and now in combination with respect and appreciation for the heavenly realms though not necessarily outwardly spoken. The relation to small earthly emotions as well as earthly positions of power show a less tinted lens on the reality presented and Freneau becoming more consumed with the reality being experienced at present.
Data visualization for Freneau.
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March 15, 2018 at 11:26 pm
See in context
March 9, 2018 at 9:48 am
March 8, 2018 at 11:12 am
March 8, 2018 at 10:51 am
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March 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm
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March 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm
March 7, 2018 at 9:40 pm
April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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