LITR 4328 American Renaissance
lecture notes

 

 
 

1. Identify the gothic adapting to an industrial site! What other American Renaissance or Romantic styles appear? Consider: Transcendentalism, Evangelical Christianity?

2. After the Civil War, Romantic literary styles and subjects were succeeded by Realism. How does Life in the Iron Mills seem Realistic, and how does it cling to Romanticism?

3. What are the different appeals to each? How do the two styles respond to different historical contexts?

 

 

1. Identify the gothic  adapting to an industrial site! What other American Renaissance or Romantic styles appear? Consider: Transcendentalism, Evangelical Christianity?

40 gothic lighting?

41 vast machinery

44 devil's place [variations on the gothic

45 hunchback as grotesque?

 

65 like Dane's Inferno [gothic]

 

186, 190 witch people, witch dwarfs

 

216 gothic pile, for other class [gothic as fashion, age, prestige]

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. After the Civil War, Romantic literary styles and subjects were succeeded by Realism. How does Life in the Iron Mills seem Realistic, and how does it cling to Romanticism?

Romantic

2 Its dream of green fields and sunshine is a very old dream,—almost worn out, I think.

9 pure, unmixed blood [cf. Uncas, Hawkeye]

55 no Romanticism?

55 his nature to be kind [interior self]

56 the finer nature of the man [inner self]

56 the dark blue eyes and lithe figure of the little Irish girl

58 Wolfe separate from masses [objective 1a]

60 Think that God put into this man's soul a fierce thirst for beauty,—to know it, to create it; to be—something, he knows not what,—other than he is. [anything but here and now] Transcendentalist / Romantic paradigm; correspondence

110, 114 she be hungry, not for meat

143 "Do you know, boy, you have it in you to be a great sculptor, a great man? do you understand?" (talking down to the capacity of his hearer: it is a way people have with children, and men like Wolfe,)—"to live a better, stronger life than I, or Mr. Kirby here? A man may make himself anything he chooses.

165  . . . a Man all-knowing, all-seeing, crowned by Nature, reigning

174 A hope, trifling, perhaps, but very dear, had died just then out of the poor puddler's life, as he looked at the sleeping, innocent girl,—some plan for the future, in which she had borne a part. He gave it up that moment, then and forever.

186 one of the witch people

190 witch dwarfs

219 If the son of the carpenter had stood in the church that night, as he stood with the fishermen and harlots

278 Quaker woman, vase of wood-leaves and berries

286 "Thee sees the hills, friend, over the river? Thee sees how the light lies warm there, and the winds of God blow all the day? I live there,—where the blue smoke is, by the trees.

288 thee shall begin thy life again,—there on the hills.

289 sunshine, and fresh air, and slow, patient Christ-love, needed to make healthy and hopeful this impure body and soul. There is a homely pine house, on one of these hills, whose windows overlook broad, wooded slopes and clover-crimsoned meadows,—niched into the very place where the light is warmest, the air freest. It is the Friends' meeting-house.

 

Realistic

3 Masses of men [contrast heroic individualism]

10 is that all of their lives? [limits, here and now]

57 A reality of soul-starvation, of living death, that meets you every day under the besotted faces on the street,—I can paint nothing of this, only give you the outside outlines of a night, a crisis in the life of one man

69 Young Kirby looked curiously around, as if seeing the faces of his hands for the first time. > 71 net profits (property rights over human rights)

76 plutocracy

123 none of my business, our American system, a ladder any man can scale

125 these men who do the lowest part of the world's work should be machines,—nothing more,—hands*

129 I wash my hands of all social problems,—slavery, caste, white or black. My duty to my operatives has a narrow limit,—the pay-hour on Saturday night.

 

 

 

3. What are the different appeals to each? How do the two styles respond to different historical contexts?

Use sentence from Edgar Huntly for Romanticism

8.76 I can still weep over the untimely fall of youth and worth.

 

134 Evangelism + Realism

 

exhaustion of Civil War, moral struggle, loss, sickness--cf. Vietnam War

 

 

2 Its dream of green fields and sunshine is a very old dream,—almost worn out, I think.

3 Masses of men [contrast heroic individualism]

4 addresses reader (cf Stowe; moral?)

4 amateur psychologist [professionalization of social sciences in late 1800s]

5 a story of this house

7 prophecy / story

8 secret, underlying sympathy

9 pure, unmixed blood [cf. Uncas, Hawkeye]

10 is that all of their lives? [limits, here and now]

21 some love or hope

40 gothic lighting?

41 vast machinery

44 devil's place

45 hunchback as grotesque?

54 not an unfitting figure, type

55 no Romanticism?

55 his nature to be kind

56 the finer nature of the man [inner self]

56 the dark blue eyes and lithe figure of the little Irish girl

57 A reality of soul-starvation, of living death, that meets you every day under the besotted faces on the street,—I can paint nothing of this, only give you the outside outlines of a night, a crisis in the life of one man

58 Wolfe separate from masses [objective 1a]

59 Out of the blocks of this korl, Wolfe, in his off-hours from the furnace, had a habit of chipping and moulding figures,—hideous, fantastic enough, but sometimes strangely beautiful

60 lowest of his kind

60 Think that God put into this man's soul a fierce thirst for beauty,—to know it, to create it; to be—something, he knows not what,—other than he is. [anything but here and now] Transcendentalist / Romantic paradigm; correspondence

63 rails for railroad

63 nearly Sunday morning

64 something unusual

64 this mysterious class that shone down on him perpetually with the glamour of another order of being. What made the difference between them? That was the mystery of his life.

65 like Dane's Inferno [gothic]

69 Young Kirby looked curiously around, as if seeing the faces of his hands for the first time. > 71 net profits

75 synecdoche

76 plutocracy

77 Mitchell as gentleman

79 animal vs. refinement

80 Never!--great gulf

81 the risen Savior was a key-note to solve the darkest secrets of a world gone wrong

88 white figure of a woman faced him in the darkness,—a woman, white, of giant proportions, crouching on the ground, her arms flung out in some wild gesture of warning.

101 the wild, eager face, like that of a starving wolf's

104 A working-woman,—the very type of her class."

110, 114 she be hungry, not for meat

123 none of my business, our American system, a ladder any man can scale

125 these men who do the lowest part of the world's work should be machines,—nothing more,—hands*

129 I wash my hands of all social problems,—slavery, caste, white or black. My duty to my operatives has a narrow limit,—the pay-hour on Saturday night.

132 "What has the man who pays them money to do with their souls' concerns, more than the grocer or butcher who takes it?" [reference to Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations 1776]

134 the awful question, "What shall we do to be saved?" [cf. Acts 16:30] Only Wolfe's face, with its heavy weight of brain, its weak, uncertain mouth, its desperate eyes, out of which looked the soul of his class

139 You quote scripture freely!

143 "Do you know, boy, you have it in you to be a great sculptor, a great man? do you understand?" (talking down to the capacity of his hearer: it is a way people have with children, and men like Wolfe,)—"to live a better, stronger life than I, or Mr. Kirby here? A man may make himself anything he chooses.

[145] "Make yourself what you will. It is your right.”

[146] "I know," quietly. "Will you help me?"

152 "That is it? Money?"

158 "it would be of no use. I am not one of them."

164 His squalid daily life, the brutal coarseness eating into his brain, as the ashes into his skin: before, these things had been a dull aching into his consciousness; to-night, they were reality.

165 In his cloudy fancy he had pictured a Something like this. He had found it in this Mitchell, even when he idly scoffed at his pain: a Man all-knowing, all-seeing, crowned by Nature, reigning

174 A hope, trifling, perhaps, but very dear, had died just then out of the poor puddler's life, as he looked at the sleeping, innocent girl,—some plan for the future, in which she had borne a part. He gave it up that moment, then and forever.

186 one of the witch people

190 witch dwarfs

206 his right!

209 nothing of which he was certain, except the mill and things there. Of God and heaven he had heard so little, that they were to him what fairy-land is to a child

211 to him a true life was one of full development rather than self-restraint?

212 The Something . . . loved his children alike

215 free to work, to live, to love! Free! His right! He folded the scrap of paper in his hand.

216 gothic pile, for other class

217 Christian reformer, sublime, another class of culture

219 If the son of the carpenter had stood in the church that night, as he stood with the fishermen and harlots

220 The trial-day of this man's life was over, and he had lost the victory.

226 for example's sake (cf. Douglass 4.7)

230 "I think I'll get out."

238 something, a new horror

241 market-day

241 Somehow, the sound, more than anything else had done, wakened him up,—made the whole real to him. He was done with the world and the business of it.

242 Why, the very vilest cur, yelping there in the gutter, had not lived his life, had been free to act out whatever thought God had put into his brain; while he—No, he would not think of that!

266 something

278 Quaker woman, vase of wood-leaves and berries

286 "Thee sees the hills, friend, over the river? Thee sees how the light lies warm there, and the winds of God blow all the day? I live there,—where the blue smoke is, by the trees.

288 thee shall begin thy life again,—there on the hills.

289 sunshine, and fresh air, and slow, patient Christ-love, needed to make healthy and hopeful this impure body and soul. There is a homely pine house, on one of these hills, whose windows overlook broad, wooded slopes and clover-crimsoned meadows,—niched into the very place where the light is warmest, the air freest. It is the Friends' meeting-house.

289 her eyes turned to hills higher and purer than these on which she lives, dim and far off now, but to be reached some day

290 "Is this the End?" they say,—"nothing beyond? no more?"

291 While the room is yet steeped in heavy shadow, a cool, gray light suddenly touches its head like a blessing hand, and its groping arm points through the broken cloud to the far East, where, in the flickering, nebulous crimson, God has set the promise of the Dawn.