Prompt One: The American Renaissance movement, from circa 1830 to the Civil War, emerged from New England and was a time that authors found a unique American voice (see more this week’s readings). Two American Renaissance authors are Dickinson and Whitman, who wrote primarily about themselves and their feelings. From reading their poetry, what did you learn about these authors and their search for inner truth (make sure to connect to specific examples in the poetry)? ? Also, what clues do they reveal about their disenchantment with the traditional ethics, institutions, and creeds of society? Be sure to support your ideas with specific examples and quotes from poems from BOTH poets. Remember, a well-developed response should be around 100 words.
Prompt Two: Dark Romanticism/Gothicism, a sub-genre of the American Renaissance movement, emphasized evil and self-destruction (read more here). Choose an assigned reading from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, or Charlotte Perkins Gilman and discuss specific Dark Romantic/Gothic elements. You may also consider the point of view of the narrator in these stories. How does that viewpoint contribute to the reader’s experience? The live session will help!
Prompt Three: Naturalism is a branch of Realism which explores the idea of determinism, that our fates are determined by the environment around us (read more in our textbook on p. 1732). Find elements in Jack London’s story “To Build a Fire” which demonstrate this literary movement. The live session will help!
OR (choose one option for Prompt Three)
Prompt Three: Transcendentalism is a literary movement that emerged out of New England in the 1820s and 30s which focused on spirituality, the individual, and self-reliance (read more here). Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are two are the major figures. Discuss transcendental features in assigned readings by either Emerson or Thoreau.
Be sure to respond to each prompt fully (min 100 words per prompt), cite evidence in your posts.