19th Century American Literature

This course involved careful examination of the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, two leading American Transcendentalists, as well as their friendship. We also discussed their work among comtemporaries, including Margaret’s Fullers protofeminist transformation of Emerson’s Philosophy, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s complex satirizing of what he calls the “cloudy and dreamy metaphysics” of Transcendentalism, and Walt Whitman’s sexually charged rewriting of Transcendentalist spirituality. We also considered the important contributions of the Transcendentalists to the ongoing American tradition of principled political resistance.

Required Books

This term paper was an interpretive and close reading essay. I chose to look at “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and how he portrayed abuse through his two characters, Aylmer and Georgiana.