Special Sub-Topic: American Romanticism
|Which of these is NOT a section in Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass'?|
Native Visions. As famous as he is now, Whitman only wrote one book. He revised it several times during his life, and the edition that exists today is usually called the deathbed edition. So bleak for a man who was so full of life and love!
|Which of these stories did Herman Melville NOT write?|
Man and Master. 'Man and Master' isn't even American! It was written by a Russian: Leo Tolstoy.
|Emily Dickinson tried to publish some of her poems.|
t. So much for the idea of the humanity-hating hermit! She actually met with a man who wanted to publish her works. However, he found them too obscure and, sadly, turned her down.
|Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote 'The Scarlet Letter'. Which is NOT usually cited as a reason that he did so?|
He had committed adultery himself and felt remorse because of it. The first novel to be written about the Puritan era, Hawthorne's tight tale of adultery, deceit, revenge, and hypocrisy set contemporary views of the Puritans on their ears!
|This former slave wrote a novel about his or her early life and was used (and misused) by abolitionists as an example of an intelligent black person.|
Frederick Douglass. A literate black was difficult to find back then, much less one who was willing to write about his life. Douglass was forced into being put on display as a literate ex-slave, only to show that he had the capability of being as intelligent (i.e. useful) as a white man.
|Where did Emily Dickinson spend almost all of her adult life?|
Amherst. Years after her death, a one-woman play was written about her, 'The Belle of Amherst'. Pretty clever piece, actually.
|Not always considered writers in the American Romantic style, which two authors shared tales of supernatural phenomena and storytelling prowess that surpassed the other Romantics?|
Poe and Irving. Though many of the Romantic writers used supernatural events (the blazing 'A' in the sky in 'The Scarlet Letter', for example), Poe and Irving were masters at it. Just read 'Rip Van Winkle' or 'The Fall of the House of Usher' to understand why.
|Which was NOT a main focus of the American Romantic movement in general?|
A demand for progress and productivity. In fact, their view toward progress was one of the few things all the Romantics shared: they hated it! All wanted to return to simpler, nobler ways of life. Read 'Walden' to understand why!
|Which of the following American Romantics made a public display of not accepting Christ?|
Emily Dickinson. During her one year away from home at Mount Holyoke Academy for Girls, Dickinson was placed into the category of girls labeled 'Hopeless Concerning Salvation'. She made no attempt to break out of this division, and did not return to school the following year. However, her poems reveal a deep-seated belief in God and the wonder of his works, particularly nature and animal life.
|Whitman's poetry was received poorly by the masses, who found it sexually deviant and crude. However, one very influential man thought it brilliant, and called Whitman the poet America was waiting for. Who was it?|
Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a famous letter to Whitman, Emerson praises him mightily. The story goes that Whitman, in an effort to publicize his poetry, printed a copy of Emerson's letter without his permission. Emerson was thoroughly annoyed, and while he still praised Whitman's poetry, he grew to disrespect the poet himself.
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