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Note for American Literature Paper

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Paper type: Essay , Subject: America

“The Philosophy of Composition” is an 1846 essay written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe that elucidates a theory about how good writers write when they write well. He concludes that length, “unity of effect” and a logical method are important considerations for good writing. He also makes the assertion that “the death… of a beautiful woman” is “unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world”. Poe uses the composition of his own poem “The Raven” as an example. The essay first appeared in the April 1846 issue of Graham’s Magazine. It is uncertain if it is an authentic portrayal of Poe’s own method Poe’s philosophy of composition

Generally, the essay introduces three of Poe’s theories regarding literature. The author recounts this idealized process by which he says he wrote his most famous poem, “The Raven” to illustrate the theory, which is in deliberate contrast to the “spontaneous creation” explanation put forth, for example, by Coleridge as an explanation for his poem Kubla Khan. Poe’s explanation of the process of writing is so rigidly logical, however, that some have suggested the essay was meant as a satire or hoax. [1] The three central elements of Poe’s philosophy of composition are: edit] LengthPoe believed that all literary works should be short. “There is,” he writes, “a distinct limit… to all works of literary art – the limit of a single sitting. ” He especially emphasized this “rule” with regards to poetry, but also noted that the short story is superior to the novel for this reason. [edit] MethodPoe dismissed the notion of artistic intuition and argued that writing is methodical and analytical, not spontaneous. He writes that no other author has yet admitted this because most writers would “positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes… t the fully matured fancies discarded in despair… at the cautious selections and rejections. ” [edit] “Unity of effect”The essay states Poe’s conviction that a work of fiction should be written only after the author has decided how it is to end and which emotional response, or “effect,” he wishes to create, commonly known as the “unity of effect. ” Once this effect has been determined, the writer should decide all other matters pertaining to the composition of the work, including tone, theme, setting, characters, conflict, and plot. In this case, Poe logically decides on “the death… f a beautiful woman” as it “is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover. ” Some commentators have taken this to imply that pure poetry can only be attained by the eradication of female beauty. [2] Biographers and critics have often suggested that Poe’s obsession with this theme stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his mother Eliza Poe, his foster mother Frances Allan and, later, his wife Virginia. [3] edit] “The Raven”In the essay, Poe traces the logical progression of his creation of “The Raven” as an attempt to compose “a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste. ” He claims that he considered every aspect of the poem. For example, he purposely set the poem on a tempestuous evening, causing the raven to seek shelter. He purposefully chose a pallid bust to contrast with the dark plume of the bird. The bust was of Pallas in order to evoke the notion of scholar, to match with the presumed student narrator poring over his “volume[s] of forgotten lore. No aspect of the poem was an accident, he claims, but is based on total control by the author. [4] Even the term “Nevermore,” he says, is based on logic following the “unity of effect. ” The sounds in the vowels in particular, he writes, have more meaning than the definition of the word itself. He had previously used words like “Lenore” for the same effect. The raven itself, Poe says, is meant to symbolize Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. [5] This may imply an autobiographical significance to the poem, alluding to the many people in Poe’s life who had died.

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THE WILD HONEYSUCKLE by: Philip Freneau (1752-1832) AIR flower, that dost so comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, Unseen thy little branches greet: No roving foot shall crush thee here, No busy hand provoke a tear. By Nature’s self in white arrayed, She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, And planted here the guardian shade, And sent soft waters murmuring by; Thus quietly thy summer goes, Thy days declining to repose. Smit with those charms, that must decay, I grieve to see your future doom; They died–nor were those flowers more gay,

The flowers that did in Eden bloom; Unpitying frosts and Autumn’s power Shall leave no vestige of this flower. From morning suns and evening dews At first thy little being came; If nothing once, you nothing lose, For when you die you are the same; The space between is but an hour, The frail duration of flower. what philosophical meaning is implied in Phlip Freneau’s “The Wild Honey Suckle”? in this poem the poet expressed a keen awareness of the loveliness and transience of nature. he not only meditated on mortality but also celebrated nature. t implies that life and death are inevitable law of nature, “the wild honey suckle”is philipfreneau’s most widely read natureal lyric with the theme of transience. the central image is a nativewild flower,which makes a drastic difference from elite flower images typical of tradition english poems. the poem showed strong feelings for the natural beauty,which was the characteristic of romantic poets. ???? :the poem was written in regular 6-line tetrameter stanzas,rhyming:ababcc . the structure of the poem is regular,so it has the neoclassic quality of proportion and balance. lliteration ,assonance,masculine rhyme used in the poem also produce musical or melodious and harmonious,which matches the beautyof the flower,the beauty of poem is partly ambodied in the effects created through changes in the rhythm. the poem contains iambics trochaics and spondee. the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables suggests the transience of the life of the flower and the poet’s emotional change. the poem is full of sensuous images such as fair flower visual image,comely grow kinasthetic image and honeyed blossoms olfactory image. ll the images make us feel pity for the beautiful flower which has only a short life. obviously the poet is sentimental,deistic optimist. the line”the sapace is but an hour”contains a hyperbole stressing and transience of life. the tone of the poem is both sentimental and optimistic. The story of Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York’s “Kaatskill” Mountains, lives the kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch descent.

Rip is an amiable though somewhat hermitic man who enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but is also loved by all in town—especially the children to whom he tells stories and gives toys. However, a tendency to avoid all gainful labor, for which his nagging wife (Dame Van Winkle) chastises him, allows his home and farm to fall into disarray due to his lazy neglect. One autumn day, Rip is escaping his wife’s nagging, wandering up the mountains with his dog, Wolf. Hearing his name being shouted, Rip discovers that the speaker is a man dressed in antiquated Dutch clothing, carrying a keg up the mountain, who requires Rip’s help.

Without exchanging words, the two hike up to an amphitheatre-like hollow in which Rip discovers the source of previously-heard thunderous noises: there is a group of other ornately-dressed, silent, bearded men who are playing nine-pins. Although there is no conversation and Rip does not ask the men who they are or how they know his name, he discreetly begins to drink some of their liquor, and soon falls asleep. He awakes in unusual circumstances: it seems to be morning, his gun is rotted and rusty, his beard has grown a foot long, and Wolf is nowhere to be found.

Rip returns to his village where he finds that he recognizes no one. Asking around, he discovers that his wife has died and that his close friends have died in a war or gone somewhere else. He immediately gets into trouble when he proclaims himself a loyal subject of King George III, not knowing that the American Revolution has taken place; George III’s portrait on the town inn has been replaced by that of George Washington. Rip is also disturbed to find another man is being called Rip Van Winkle (though this is in fact his son, who has now grown up).

The men he met in the mountains, Rip learns, are rumored to be the ghosts of Hendrick (Henry) Hudson’s crew. Rip is told that he has apparently been away from the village for twenty years. An old local recognizes Rip and Rip’s now-adult daughter takes him in. Rip resumes his habitual idleness, and his tale is solemnly taken to heart by the Dutch settlers, with other hen-pecked husbands, after hearing his story, wishing they could share in Rip’s good luck, and have the luxury of sleeping through the hardships of war. Characters in the story of Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle – a henpecked husband who loathes ‘profitable labor’. Dame Van Winkle – Rip Van Winkle’s cantankerous wife. Rip – Rip Van Winkle’s son. Judith Gardenier – Rip Van Winkle’s daughter. Derrick Van Bummel – the local schoolmaster and later a member of Congress. Nicholas Vedder – landlord of the local inn. Mr. Doolittle – a hotel owner. Wolf – Rip’s faithful dog The Ghosts of Henry Hudson and his crew – Ghosts that share purple magic liquor with van Winkle Themes Change With Continuity and Preservation of Tradition

After Rip awakens from his long sleep and returns to the village, he does not recognize the people he encounters. But not only their faces are new but also their fashions and the look of the village: It is larger, with rows of houses he had never seen. His own house is in shambles now with no one living in it, and the inn he frequented is a hotel. His wife and old Vedder are dead. Others left the village and never came back. Everything is different, it seems; nothing is as it was. There has even been a revolutionary war in which America gained its independence from England and became a new country.

However, when Rip looks beyond the village, he sees that the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains are exactly the same as they were before his sleep. He also begins to encounter people who knew him long ago: first, the old woman, then the old man, Peter Vanderdonk, who testifies to the truth of Rip’s strange tale about the ninepin bowlers he met in the mountains. At this point in the story, Irving’s main theme begins to emerge: Although wrenching, radical changes are sometimes necessary to move society forward, such changes must not eradicate old ways and traditions entirely.

Real, lasting change is an amalgam of the old and new. New builds on the foundations of the old. There must be continuity. So it is that old Vanderdonk, in confirming Rip’s tale, says he himself has heard the thunder of ninepin bowlers, who are the crewmen of The Half-Moon, the ship Henry Hudson captained in his exploration of the Hudson River. It seems that their spirits return to the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains every twenty years to keep a “guardian eye” on the river and its environs.

Hudson was an Englishman, yes, but his association with his overthrown country does not mean the values he represents must die with the revolution. Rip also sees his son, Rip II, now a grown man, who looks just like him, and is reunited with his daughter, now a grown woman, who is holding an infant–Rip III. Thus, though, change has come to the village, their remain links with the past; there is continuity. New generations come along that bring change, but old values and traditions–as well as family lines–remain alive and thriving.

And, every now and then, thunder rumbles in the Catskills when Hudson and his crew play ninepins. The Magic of the Imagination Irving’s story suggests that human imagination can can give society charming, humorous stories that become part of an enduring, magical folklore. Today, the Catskill and Hudson Valley regions well remember Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane–the hero of another Irving story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”–as if they were real persons. A bridge across the Hudson has even been named after Rip. Sunnyside, Irving’s Tarrytown home between 1835 and 1859, is a major tourist attraction in the Hudson Valley.

Climax The climax of the story occurs when the townspeople recognize Rip after he returns to his village. The Game of Ninepins Ninepins is a game (or sport) in which a participant rolls wooden balls on a lane in an attempt to knock down nine bottle-shaped wooden pins arranged in the shape of a diamond. The participant may bowl up to three balls to knock down all the pins. Ninepins is similar to the modern sport of bowling. Personfication: The Catskills as a Character At the outset of his story, Washington Irving uses personification to invest the Catskill Mountains with human qualities.

Irving tells us in Paragraph 1 that they are part of a “family,” the Appalachian family. And they are a proud, majestic member of that family, “lording it over the surrounding country. ” They are also active rather than passive, reacting to the weather and the seasons with changes in their “magical hues and shapes. ” In fair weather, “they are clothed in blue and purple. ” But sometimes, even though the sky is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory.

Making the mountains come alive enables them to become mysterious and unpredictable; they may even play tricks on those who venture within their confines. The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is a historical novel, the first published of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. While The Pioneers was published in 1823, before any of the other Leatherstocking Tales, the period of time it covers makes it the fourth chronologically.

Plot summaryThe story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features an elderly Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth Temple (based on the author’s sister, Susan Cooper), of the fictional Templeton, New York. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to New York’s Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail.

Leatherstocking and his closest friend, the Mohican Indian Chingachgook, begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a mysterious young visitor, a “young hunter” known as Oliver Edwards, who eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the “dying Indian”, and Natty vanishes into the sunset. AnalysisThe Pioneers was the first written of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking series, featuring the character Natty Bumppo, a resourceful white American living in the woods. The story focuses on the evolution of the wilderness into a civilized community.

The story takes place in the town of Templeton, which is said to be modeled after Cooperstown, New York. The story also has an underlying ecological theme, and is considered one of the first ecological novels. One of Cooper’s characters, Judge Temple, highlights this theme when he talks about how people will use up the very resources they depend on by destroying the forests, pigeons, and fish. The death of Chingachgook seems to be a symbol of the disappearance of the Indian population in the face of white settlement.

British novelist and critic D. H. Lawrence said the novel presented “the myth of America”. Characters Illustration by Felix Octavius Carr DarleyNathaniel “Natty” Bumppo, aka the Leather-stocking, aka. Hawk-eye – Our hero, an old hunter and patriot. He is a friend to the Indians and distrustful of civilization. (chapter 1, page 22). He was “a melodious synopsis of man and nature in the West”. Judge Marmaduke Temple – A widower and the founder of Templeton (chapter 1, page 18) Agamemnon “Aggy” – A slave of the Judge

Elizabeth “Bess” Temple – Daughter of the Judge and romantic interest of Oliver (chapter 5, page 66) Richard “Dick” Jones – The cousin of the Judge (chapter 4, page 47) Squire Hiram Doolittle – An architect, justice of the peace, and buddy of Dick Jones Monsieur Le Quoi – A former French nobleman and now shopkeeper in Templeton (chapter 4, page 47) Major Frederick “Fritz” Hartmann – A German settler in the area and regular visitor to the Judge’s house (chapter 4, page 48) The Reverend Mr.

Grant – An Anglican minister (chapter 4, page 48) Ben Pump, aka Benjamin Penguillan – A servant to the Judge, and a former sea man who doesn’t know how to swim (chapter 5, page 60) Remarkable Pettibone – Housekeeper to the Judge (chapter 5, page 62) Old Brave – The Temples’ faithful dog. Dr. Elnathan Todd – The town doctor (chapter 6, page 71) Indian John, aka John Mohegan, aka Chingachgook – The last of the Mohicans and Natty’s faithful companion (chapter 7, page 85) Oliver Edwards, aka Young Eagle – The young hunter and friend to Natty and Indian John (chapter 3, page 38) Captain and Mrs.

Hollinger – Owners of the inn The Bold Dragoon Squire Chester Lippet – The obnoxious lawyer who talks too much when visiting the Bold Dragoon Louisa Grant – The daughter of Mr. Grant, companion to Elizabeth, and the other possible love interest for Oliver Billy Kirby – A lumberjack and crack-shot with a rifle (chapter 17, page 190) Squire Van der School – The “honest” lawyer of Judge Marmaduke (chapter 25, page 277) Jotham Riddle – A lazy fellow who is made a magistrate by Sheriff Jones Sir Oliver Effingham

Nature is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published anonymously in 1836. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. [1] Transcendentalism suggests that divinity diffuses all nature, and speaks to the notion that we can only understand reality through studying nature. [2] A visit to the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris inspired a set of lectures delivered in Boston and subsequently the ideas leading to the publication of Nature.

Many scholars identify Emerson as one of the first writers (with others, notably Walt Whitman) to develop a literary style and vision that is uniquely American, rather than following in the footsteps of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and others who were strongly influenced by their British cultural heritage. “Nature” is the first significant work to establish this new way of looking at The Americas and its raw, natural environment. In England, all natural things are a reference to layers of historical events, a reflection of human beings.

However, in America, all of nature was relatively new to Western Civilization with no man-made meaning. With this clean slate, as it were, Emerson was enabled to see nature through new eyes, or as he phrased it, the “transparent eyeball” and rebuild nature’s role in the world. Within this essay, Emerson divides nature into four usages; Commodity, Beauty, Language and Discipline. These distinctions define the ways by which humans use nature for their basic needs, their desire for delight, their communication with one another and their understanding of the world. [3]

Henry David Thoreau had read “Nature” as a senior at Harvard College and took it to heart. It eventually became an essential influence for Thoreau’s later writings, including his seminal Walden. In fact, Thoreau wrote Walden while living in a self-built cabin on land that Emerson owned. Their longstanding acquaintance offered Thoreau great encouragement in pursuing his desire to be a published author. [4] Emerson followed the success of this essay with a famous speech entitled “The American Scholar”. These two works laid the foundation for both his new philosophy and his literary career.

The American Scholar was a speech given by Ralph Waldo Emerson on August 31, 1837, to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge. He was invited to speak in recognition of his groundbreaking work Nature, published a year earlier, in which he established a new way for America’s fledgling society to regard the world. Sixty years after declaring independence, American culture was still heavily influenced by Europe, and Emerson, for possibly the first time in the country’s history, provided a visionary philosophical framework for escaping “from under its iron lids” and building a new, distinctly American cultural identity.

Emerson uses Transcendentalist and Romantic views to get his points across by explaining a true American scholar’s relationship to nature. There are a few key points he makes that flesh out this vision: We are all fragments, “as the hand is divided into fingers”, of a greater creature, which is mankind itself, “a doctrine ever new and sublime”. An individual may live in either of two states. In one, the busy, “divided” or “degenerate” state, he does not “possess himself” but identifies with his occupation or a monotonous action; in the other, “right” state, he is elevated to “Man”, at one with all mankind.

To achieve this higher state of mind, the modern American scholar must reject old ideas and think for him or herself, to become “Man Thinking” rather than “a mere thinker, or still worse, the parrot of other men’s thinking”, “the victim of society”, “the sluggard intellect of this continent”. “The American Scholar” has an obligation, as “Man Thinking”, within this “One Man” concept, to see the world clearly, not severely influenced by traditional/historical views, and to broaden his understanding of the world from fresh eyes, to “defer never to the popular cry. The scholar’s education consists of three pursuits:udy institutions. 1. To take action and to interact with the world; not to become the recluse thinker commenting from afar. “The office [the duty] of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances. ” 2. To be original and formulate ideas from many works, rather than believing any book that is read. Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street at Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting iss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she called to Goodman Brown. “Dearest heart,” whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, “prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she’s afeard of herself sometimes. Pray tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year. “My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done ‘twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married? ” “Then God bless youe! ” said Faith, with the pink ribbons; “and may you find all well whn you come back. ” “Amen! ” cried Goodman Brown. “Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee. So they parted; and the young man pursued his way until, being about to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons. “Poor little Faith! ” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; ‘t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven. With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude. There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree,” said Goodman Brown to himself; and he glanced fearfully behind him as he added, “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow! ” His head being turned back, he passed a crook of the road, and, looking forward again, beheld the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, seated at the foot of an old tree. He arose at Goodman Brown’s approach and walked onward side by side with him. “You are late, Goodman Brown,” said he. “The clock of the Old South was striking as I came through Boston, and that is full fifteen minutes agone. “Faith kept me back a while,” replied the young man, with a tremor in his voice, caused by the sudden appearance of his companion, though not wholly unexpected. It was now deep dusk in the forest, and deepest in that part of it where these two were journeying. As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still they might have been taken for father and son.

And yet, though the elder person was as simply clad as the younger, and as simple in manner too, he had an indescribable air of one who knew the world, and who would not have felt abashed at the governor’s dinner table or in King William’s court, were it possible that his affairs should call him thither. But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light. Come, Goodman Brown,” cried his fellow-traveller, “this is a dull pace for the beginning of a journey. Take my staff, if you are so soon weary. ” “Friend,” said the other, exchanging his slow pace for a full stop, “having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples touching the matter thou wot’st of. ” “Sayest thou so? ” replied he of the serpent, smiling apart. “Let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go; and if I convince thee not thou shalt turn back. We are but a little way in the forest yet. “Too far! too far! ” exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs; and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept” “Such company, thou wouldst say,” observed the elder person, interpreting his pause. “Well said, Goodman Brown! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say.

I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip’s war. They were my good friends, both; and many a pleasant walk have we had along this path, and returned merrily after midnight. I would fain be friends with you for their sake. ” “If it be as thou sayest,” replied Goodman Brown, “I marvel they never spoke of these matters; or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England.

We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness. ” “Wickedness or not,” said the traveller with the twisted staff, “I have a very general acquaintance here in New England. The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me; the selectmen of divers towns make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest. The governor and I, too–But these are state secrets. ” “Can this be so? ” cried Goodman Brown, with a stare of amazement at his undisturbed companion. Howbeit, I have nothing to do with the governor and council; they have their own ways, and are no rule for a simple husbandman like me. But, were I to go on with thee, how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem village? Oh, his voice would make me tremble both Sabbath day and lecture day. ” Thus far the elder traveller had listened with due gravity; but now burst into a fit of irrepressible mirth, shaking himself so violently that his snake-like staff actually seemed to wriggle in sympathy. “Ha! a! ha! ” shouted he again and again; then composing himself, “Well, go on, Goodman Brown, go on; but, prithee, don’t kill me with laughing. ” “Well, then, to end the matter at once,” said Goodman Brown, considerably nettled, “there is my wife, Faith. It would break her dear little heart; and I’d rather break my own. ” “Nay, if that be the case,” answered the other, “e’en go thy ways, Goodman Brown. I would not for twenty old women like the one hobbling before us that Faith should come to any harm. ” As he spoke he pointed is staff at a female figure on the path, in whom Goodman Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary dame, who had taught him his catechism in youth, and was still his moral and spiritual adviser, jointly with the minister and Deacon Gookin. “A marvel, truly, that Goody Cloyse should be so far in the wilderness at nightfall,” said he. “But with your leave, friend, I shall take a cut through the woods until we have left this Christian woman behind. Being a stranger to you, she might ask whom I was consorting with and whither I was going. ” “Be it so,” said his fellow-traveller. Betake you to the woods, and let me keep the path. ” Accordingly the young man turned aside, but took care to watch his companion, who advanced softly along the road until he had come within a staff’s length of the old dame. She, meanwhile, was making the best of her way, with singular speed for so aged a woman, and mumbling some indistinct words–a prayer, doubtless–as she went. The traveller put forth his staff and touched her withered neck with what seemed the serpent’s tail. “The devil! ” screamed the pious old lady. “Then Goody Cloyse knows her old friend? observed the traveller, confronting her and leaning on his writhing stick. “Ah, forsooth, and is it your worship indeed? ” cried the good dame. “Yea, truly is it, and in the very image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown, the grandfather of the silly fellow that now is. But–would your worship believe it? –my broomstick hath strangely disappeared, stolen, as I suspect, by that unhanged witch, Goody Cory, and that, too, when I was all anointed with the juice of smallage, and cinquefoil, and wolf’s bane” “Mingled with fine wheat and the fat of a new-born babe,” said the shape of old Goodman Brown. Ah, your worship knows the recipe,” cried the old lady, cackling aloud. “So, as I was saying, being all ready for the meeting, and no horse to ride on, I made up my mind to foot it; for they tell me there is a nice young man to be taken into communion to-night. But now your good worship will lend me your arm, and we shall be there in a twinkling. ” “That can hardly be,” answered her friend. “I may not spare you my arm, Goody Cloyse; but here is my staff, if you will. So saying, he threw it down at her feet, where, perhaps, it assumed life, being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian magi. Of this fact, however, Goodman Brown could not take cognizance. He had cast up his eyes in astonishment, and, looking down again, beheld neither Goody Cloyse nor the serpentine staff, but his fellow-traveller alone, who waited for him as calmly as if nothing had happened. “That old woman taught me my catechism,” said the young man; and there was a world of meaning in this simple comment.

They continued to walk onward, while the elder traveller exhorted his companion to make good speed and persevere in the path, discoursing so aptly that his arguments seemed rather to spring up in the bosom of his auditor than to be suggested by himself. As they went, he plucked a branch of maple to serve for a walking stick, and began to strip it of the twigs and little boughs, which were wet with evening dew. The moment his fingers touched them they became strangely withered and dried up as with a week’s sunshine.

Thus the pair proceeded, at a good free pace, until suddenly, in a gloomy hollow of the road, Goodman Brown sat himself down on the stump of a tree and refused to go any farther. “Friend,” said he, stubbornly, “my mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this errand. What if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to heaven: is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith and go after her? ” “You will think better of this by and by,” said his acquaintance, composedly. Sit here and rest yourself a while; and when you feel like moving again, there is my staff to help you along. ” Without more words, he threw his companion the maple stick, and was as speedily out of sight as if he had vanished into the deepening gloom. The young man sat a few moments by the roadside, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister in his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin. And what calm sleep would be his that very night, which was to have been spent so wickedly, but so purely and sweetly now, in the arms of Faith!

Amidst these pleasant and praiseworthy meditations, Goodman Brown heard the tramp of horses along the road, and deemed it advisable to conceal himself within the verge of the forest, conscious of the guilty purpose that had brought him thither, though now so happily turned from it. On came the hoof tramps and the voices of the riders, two grave old voices, conversing soberly as they drew near. These mingled sounds appeared to pass along the road, within a few yards of the young man’s hiding-place; but, owing doubtless to the depth of the gloom at that particular spot, neither the travellers nor their steeds were visible.

Though their figures brushed the small boughs by the wayside, it could not be seen that they intercepted, even for a moment, the faint gleam from the strip of bright sky athwart which they must have passed. Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tiptoe, pulling aside the branches and thrusting forth his head as far as he durst without discerning so much as a shadow. It vexed him the more, because he could have sworn, were such a thing possible, that he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin, jogging along quietly, as they were wont to do, when bound to some ordination or ecclesiastical council.

While yet within hearing, one of the riders stopped to pluck a switch. “Of the two, reverend sir,” said the voice like the deacon’s, “I had rather miss an ordination dinner than to-night’s meeting. They tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island, besides several of the Indian powwows, who, after their fashion, know almost as much deviltry as the best of us. Moreover, there is a goodly young woman to be taken into communion. ” “Mighty well, Deacon Gookin! replied the solemn old tones of the minister. “Spur up, or we shall be late. Nothing can be done, you know, until I get on the ground. ” The hoofs clattered again; and the voices, talking so strangely in the empty air, passed on through the forest, where no church had ever been gathered or solitary Christian prayed. Whither, then, could these holy men be journeying so deep into the heathen wilderness? Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart.

He looked up to the sky, doubting whether there really was a heaven above him. Yet there was the blue arch, and the stars brightening in it. “With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil! ” cried Goodman Brown. While he still gazed upward into the deep arch of the firmament and had lifted his hands to pray, a cloud, though no wind was stirring, hurried across the zenith and hid the brightening stars. The blue sky was still visible, except directly overhead, where this black mass of cloud was sweeping swiftly northward.

Aloft in the air, as if from the depths of the cloud, came a confused and doubtful sound of voices. Once the listener fancied that he could distinguish the accents of towns-people of his own, men and women, both pious and ungodly, many of whom he had met at the communion table, and had seen others rioting at the tavern. The next moment, so indistinct were the sounds, he doubted whether he had heard aught but the murmur of the old forest, whispering without a wind.

Then came a stronger swell of those familiar tones, heard daily in the sunshine at Salem village, but never until now from a cloud of night There was one voice of a young woman, uttering lamentations, yet with an uncertain sorrow, and entreating for some favor, which, perhaps, it would grieve her to obtain; and all the unseen multitude, both saints and sinners, seemed to encourage her onward. “Faith! ” shouted Goodman Brown, in a voice of agony and desperation; and the echoes of the forest mocked him, crying, “Faith! Faith! as if bewildered wretches were seeking her all through the wilderness. The cry of grief, rage, and terror was yet piercing the night, when the unhappy husband held his breath for a response. There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown. But something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon. “My Faith is gone! cried he, after one stupefied moment. “There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given. ” And, maddened with despair, so that he laughed loud and long, did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again, at such a rate that he seemed to fly along the forest path rather than to walk or run. The road grew wilder and drearier and more faintly traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness, still rushing onward with the instinct that guides mortal man to evil.

The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds–the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveller, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors. “Ha! ha! ha! ” roared Goodman Brown when the wind laughed at him. “Let us hear which will laugh loudest. Think not to frighten me with your deviltry. Come witch, come wizard, come Indian owwow, come devil himself, and here comes Goodman Brown. You may as well fear him as he fear you. ” In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown. On he flew among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man.

Thus sped the demoniac on his course, until, quivering among the trees, he saw a red light before him, as when the felled trunks and branches of a clearing have been set on fire, and throw up their lurid blaze against the sky, at the hour of midnight. He paused, in a lull of the tempest that had driven him onward, and heard the swell of what seemed a hymn, rolling solemnly from a distance with the weight of many voices. He knew the tune; it was a familiar one in the choir of the village meeting-house.

The verse died heavily away, and was lengthened by a chorus, not of human voices, but of all the sounds of the benighted wilderness pealing in awful harmony together. Goodman Brown cried out, and his cry was lost to his own ear by its unison with the cry of the desert. In the interval of silence he stole forward until the light glared full upon his eyes. At one extremity of an open space, hemmed in by the dark wall of the forest, arose a rock, bearing some rude, natural resemblance either to an alter or a pulpit, and surrounded by four blazing pines, their tops aflame, their stems untouched, like candles at an evening meeting.

The mass of foliage that had overgrown the summit of the rock was all on fire, blazing high into the night and fitfully illuminating the whole field. Each pendent twig and leafy festoon was in a blaze. As the red light arose and fell, a numerous congregation alternately shone forth, then disappeared in shadow, and again grew, as it were, out of the darkness, peopling the heart of the solitary woods at once. “A grave and dark-clad company,” quoth Goodman Brown. In truth they were such.

Among them, quivering to and fro between gloom and splendor, appeared faces that would be seen next day at the council board of the province, and others which, Sabbath after Sabbath, looked devoutly heavenward, and benignantly over the crowded pews, from the holiest pulpits in the land. Some affirm that the lady of the governor was there. At least there were high dames well known to her, and wives of honored husbands, and widows, a great multitude, and ancient maidens, all of excellent repute, and fair young girls, who trembled lest their mothers should espy them.

Either the sudden gleams of light flashing over the obscure field bedazzled Goodman Brown, or he recognized a score of the church members of Salem village famous for their especial sanctity. Good old Deacon Gookin had arrived, and waited at the skirts of that venerable saint, his revered pastor. But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given over to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid crimes.

It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints. Scattered also among their pale-faced enemies were the Indian priests, or powwows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft. “But where is Faith? ” thought Goodman Brown; and, as hope came into his heart, he trembled. Another verse of the hymn arose, a slow and mournful strain, such as the pious love, but joined to words which expressed all that our nature can conceive of sin, and darkly hinted at far more.

Unfathomable to mere mortals is the lore of fiends. Verse after verse was sung; and still the chorus of the desert swelled between like the deepest tone of a mighty organ; and with the final peal of that dreadful anthem there came a sound, as if the roaring wind, the rushing streams, the howling beasts, and every other voice of the unconcerted wilderness were mingling and according with the voice of guilty man in homage to the prince of all. The four blazing pines threw up a loftier flame, and obscurely discovered shapes and visages of horror on the smoke wreaths above the impious assembly.

At the same moment the fire on the rock shot redly forth and formed a glowing arch above its base, where now appeared a figure. With reverence be it spoken, the figure bore no slight similitude, both in garb and manner, to some grave divine of the New England churches. “Bring forth the converts! ” cried a voice that echoed through the field and rolled into the forest. At the word, Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadow of the trees and approached the congregation, with whom he felt a loathful brotherhood by the sympathy of all that was wicked in his heart.

He could have well-nigh sworn that the shape of his own dead father beckoned him to advance, looking downward from a smoke wreath, while a woman, with dim features of despair, threw out her hand to warn him back. Was it his mother? But he had no power to retreat one step, nor to resist, even in thought, when the minister and good old Deacon Gookin seized his arms and led him to the blazing rock. Thither came also the slender form of a veiled female, led between Goody Cloyse, that pious teacher of the catechism, and Martha Carrier, who had received the devil’s promise to be queen of hell. A rampant hag was she.

And there stood the proselytes beneath the canopy of fire. “Welcome, my children,” said the dark figure, “to the communion of your race. Ye have found thus young your nature and your destiny. My children, look behind you! ” They turned; and flashing forth, as it were, in a sheet of flame, the fiend worshippers were seen; the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visage. “There,” resumed the sable form, “are all whom ye have reverenced from youth. Ye deemed them holier than yourselves, and shrank from your own sin, contrasting it with their lives of righteousness and prayerful aspirations heavenward.

Yet here are they all in my worshipping assembly. This night it shall be granted you to know their secret deeds: how hoary-bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the young maids of their households; how many a woman, eager for widows’ weeds, has given her husband a drink at bedtime and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom; how beardless youths have made haste to inherit their fathers’ wealth; and how fair damsels–blush not, sweet ones–have dug little graves in the garden, and bidden me, the sole guest to an infant’s funeral.

By the sympathy of your human hearts for sin ye shall scent out all the places–whether in church, bedchamber, street, field, or forest–where crime has been committed, and shall exult to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood spot. Far more than this. It shall be yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin, the fountain of all wicked arts, and which inexhaustibly supplies more evil impulses than human power–than my power at its utmost–can make manifest in deeds. And now, my children, look upon each other. They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar. “Lo, there ye stand, my children,” said the figure, in a deep and solemn tone, almost sad with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our miserable race. “Depending upon one another’s hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race. “Welcome,” repeated the fiend worshippers, in one cry of despair and triumph. And there they stood, the only pair, as it seemed, who were yet hesitating on the verge of wickedness in this dark world. A basin was hollowed, naturally, in the rock. Did it contain water, reddened by the lurid light? or was it blood? or, perchance, a liquid flame? Herein did the shape of evil dip his hand and prepare to lay the mark of baptism upon their foreheads, that they might be partakers of the mystery of sin, more conscious of the secret guilt of others, both in deed and thought, than they could now be of their own.

The husband cast one look at his pale wife, and Faith at him. What polluted wretches would the next glance show them to each other, shuddering alike at what they disclosed and what they saw! “Faith! Faith! ” cried the husband, “look up to heaven, and resist the wicked one. ” Whether Faith obeyed he knew not. Hardly had he spoken when he found himself amid calm night and solitude, listening to a roar of the wind which died heavily away through the forest. He staggered against the rock, and felt it chill and damp; while a hanging twig, that had been all on fire, besprinkled his cheek with the coldest dew.

The next morning young Goodman Brown came slowly into the street of Salem village, staring around him like a bewildered man. The good old minister was taking a walk along the graveyard to get an appetite for breakfast and meditate his sermon, and bestowed a blessing, as he passed, on Goodman Brown. He shrank from the venerable saint as if to avoid an anathema. Old Deacon Gookin was at domestic worship, and the holy words of his prayer were heard through the open window. “What God doth the wizard pray to? quoth Goodman Brown. Goody Cloyse, that excellent old Christian, stood in the early sunshine at her own lattice, catechizing a little girl who had brought her a pint of morning’s milk. Goodman Brown snatched away the child as from the grasp of the fiend himself. Turning the corner by the meeting-house, he spied the head of Faith, with the pink ribbons, gazing anxiously forth, and bursting into such joy at sight of him that she skipped along the street and almost kissed her husband before the whole village.

But Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a greeting. Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting? Be it so if you will; but, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain.

When the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence, and, with his hand on the open Bible, of the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable, then did Goodman Brown turn pale, dreading lest the roof should thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers. Often, waking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away.

And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom. Young Goodman Brown” (1835) is a short story by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in 17th century Puritan New England, a common setting for Hawthorne’s works, and addresses the Calvinist/Puritan belief that humanity exists in a state of depravity, exempting those who are born in a state of grace.

Hawthorne frequently attempts to expose the hypocrisy of Puritan culture in his literature and is an over bearing theme in several of his works. In a symbolic fashion, the story follows Young Goodman Brown’s journey into self-scrutiny which results in his loss of faith. Themes and style”Young Goodman Brown” is often characterized as an allegory about the recognition of evil and depravity as the nature of humanity. [4] Much of Hawthorne’s fiction, such as The Scarlet Letter, is set in 17th-century colonial America, particularly Salem, Massachusetts. [5] In order to convey the setting in his work, he used literary techniques such as pecific diction, or colloquial expressions, as in “Young Goodman Brown” in which language of the period is used to enhance the setting. Hawthorne gives the characters, specific names that depict abstract pure & wholesome beliefs such as; Young Goodman Brown, and Faith. The characters names’ ultimately serve as a paradox in the conclusion of the story. The inclusion of this technique was to provide a definite contrast and irony. Hawthorne aims to critique the ideals of Puritan society and express his disdain for it thus illustrating the difference between the appearance of those in society and their true identities. 6] Literary scholar Walter Shear writes that Hawthorne structured the story in three parts. The first part shows Goodman Brown at his home in his village integrated in his society. The second part of the story is an extended dreamlike sequence in which Goodman Brown is in the forest for a single night. The third part shows his return to society and to his home, yet he is so profoundly changed that in rejecting the greeting of his wife Faith, Hawthorne shows Goodman Brown has lost faith and rejected the tenets of his Puritan world during the course of the night. 7] The story is about Goodman Brown’s loss of faith as one of the elect writes Jane Eberwein in “My Faith is Gone! “. Believing himself to be of the elect, Goodman Brown falls into self-doubt after three months of marriage which to him represents sin and depravity as opposed to salvation. His journey to the forest is symbolic of Christian “self-exploration” in which doubt immediately supplants faith. At the end of the forest experience he loses his wife Faith, his faith in salvation, and his faith in human goodness. 8] [edit] Critical response and impactHerman Melville said “Young Goodman Brown” was “as deep as Dante” and Henry James called it a “magnificent little romance”. [9] Hawthorne himself believed the story made no more impact than any of his tales. Years later he wrote, “These stories were published… in Magazines and Annuals, extending over a period of ten or twelve years, and comprising the whole of the writer’s young manhood, without making (so far as he has ever been aware) the slightest impression on the public. [10] Contemporary critic Edgar Allan Poe disagreed, referring to Hawthorne’s short stories as “the products of a truly imaginative intellect”. [11] One of Hawthorne’s good friends, Herman Melville comments on the underlying depth of the story “you would of course suppose that it was a simple little tale, intended as a supplement to ‘Goody Two Shoes’ Whereas it is as deep as Dante. “1 [12] Moderns scholars and critiques generally view the short story as an allegorical tale written to expose the contradictions in place concerning Puritan beliefs and societies.

However, there have been many other interpretations of the text including those who believe Hawthorn sympathizes with Puritan beliefs. Author Harold Bloom comments on the variety of explanations; “Young Goodman Brown has been presented as an allegorical revelation of human depravity, as a symbolic study of sexual initiation, as an inquiry into generational conflict, as a demonstration of Puritan hypocrisy, as evidence of Hawthorn’s sympathy towards Puritan society, and even just as an artfully designed short story making no essential reference beyond itself”

The Raven [First published in 1845] Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. `’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door – Only this, and nothing more. ‘ Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore – For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore – Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating `’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door – Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; – This it is, and nothing more,’

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, `Sir,’ said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; – Darkness there, and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore! This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore! ‘ Merely this and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. `Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore – Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; – ‘Tis the wind and nothing more! ‘ Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door – Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door – Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door – Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as `Nevermore. ‘ But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only, That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered – Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before – On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before. ‘ Then the bird said, `Nevermore. ‘ Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, `Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore – Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of “Never-nevermore. “‘ But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore – What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking `Nevermore. ‘ This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. `Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore! ‘ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ `Prophet! ‘ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! – Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted – On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –

Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore! ‘ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ `Prophet! ‘ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore – Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore – Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore? ‘ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ `Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend! ‘ I shrieked upstarting – `Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! ‘ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted – nevermore!

The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student,[1][2] is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.

Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. [3] Poe borrows the complex rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett’s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship”, and makes use of internal rhyme as well as alliteration throughout. “The Raven” was first attributed to Poe in print in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845.

Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, though it did not bring him much financial success. Soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated, critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s status, though it remains one of the most famous poems ever written The Raven” follows an unnamed narrator who sits reading “forgotten lore”[6] as a method to forget the loss of his love, Lenore. A “rapping at [his] chamber door”[6] reveals nothing, but excites his soul to “burning”. [7] A similar rapping, slightly louder, is heard at his window.

When he goes to investigate, a raven steps into his chamber. Paying no attention to the man, the raven perches on a bust of Pallas. Amused by the raven’s comically serious disposition, the man demands that the bird tell him its name. The raven’s only answer is “Nevermore”. [7] The narrator is surprised that the raven can talk, though it says nothing further. The narrator remarks to himself that his “friend” the raven will soon fly out of his life, just as “other friends have flown before”[7] along with his previous hopes. As if answering, the raven responds again with “Nevermore”. 7] The narrator reasons that the bird

Note for American Literature

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