In short, I read a lot of stuff that I hadn't read before,
and learned new things about the stuff I'd already
read. Mostly, I learned (again.) that Americans have
always had a great desire to fix their lives and
everyone else's, which gave some perspectiv
3. Our Founding Fathers had moral blind spots, just
like anyone else.
4. I still can't imagine what allowed my ancestors
(Southern cattle and cotton farmers) to justify building
their way of life on the backs of slaves.
5. America is not free from the imp
I now understand the paradoxes that contribute to the
development of the country and literature and have a
new appreciation for what contributed to American lit.
The influence of Puritanism is still present today,
which is something that I didn't really t
2. Innocence becomes corrupted by maturity, by
knowledge (Major Molineaux).
3.The different ideals of Emerson and Thoreau.
Thoreau seemed to act upon his transcendental
writings much more than Emerson. However, Thoreau
only spent one night in jail.
Five things I learned about American Literature
1. The Adventure Narrative is a writing technique unique to
2. The character Natty Bumppo is depicted in all of
3. Romanticism is a writing technique that is not just
3. Americans, despite the surety with which they
pursued the extermination of the Native American
people, were conflicted about the natives of this land.
James Fenimore Cooper could not decide between
the superior, "civilized" American society and the wil
5. Return to Puritan evangelicalism in the 1830s
I see progression as moving away from evangelical
religious ideas. The second great awakening snuck
up on me and its interesting to see that progressive
thought wasnt as rampant as I believed.
I also learned that Thoreau's mother did his laundry
every weekend when he lived in supposed seclusion
at Walden, and that apparently this was normal for
men of this time period. That is suprising. Have men
always been babied? Perhaps the most important
I was tired of what I saw as an American obsession
with "finding one's self" and a proclivity for what I
learned this semester to call "exceptionalism." The
actions of the previous political administration did not
contribute significantly to any desire fo
So I see this country was built on fear and strength,
and Whites and Blacks contributed a lot. Even though
early blacks had it much harder in the worst way and
for that reason I learned that America is also greedy,
selfish, and hypocritical at times. I wi