American Transcendalism

1. Journal 8,9 &10

Read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.” Write a response to this work of American Transcendalism. What is he saying about truth and the pursuit of truth? What are the implications of self-reliance to American individualism? To American identity or voice?
Walt Whitman From Leaves of Grass, “I Hear America Singing,” “O Me! O Life!” and “Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry.” Read bio.
Note your response looking for Whitman’s themes and the language he uses to express his message. Why do so many scholars regard him as America’s first poet? Why is his free verse style important to his message?
Bayliss, From Black Slave Narrative, read the following excerpts: Introduction, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Nat Turner and Henry “Box” Brown.
Note your response to these narratives that were very popular in their day and beyond. How do you see this genre shaping the social and political issues of the time and vice-versa? How is the genre distinctively American?

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