Class: First Year Seminar 125G Instructor: Chocos, Theodora & Welsh, Polly Name: Xianglong Tao 10/25/09 Journal7 AB notes for part2 About Bronson Alcott i. Before Henry David refused to pay tax, Bronson Alcott also did not pay tax. ii. Bronson Alcott was interested in education, “born in unpleasant circumstances on a farm in Northern Connecticut, Alcott fancied himself an educational philosopher even as a schoolboy” (60). iii. Bronson Alcott ever got his real education in Tidewater, “He saw freedom of the wealthy and decided to adopt it for himself” (60). iv. He was a kind man though “he thought that his daughter Louisa was naughty because of her dark eyes and hair”(60). However, “he sheltered runaway slaves in his house”(61) v. Ralph Waldo Emerson ever admired Bronson Alcott, “His discourse soars to wonderful height, so regular, so lucid, so playful, so new and disdainful of all boundaries of tradition and experience” (61). Though compared to his friends, his education background was not as strong as them, “his writing sometimes seems to use ornate pedantry to make up for his lack of education. vi. Bronson Alcott ever wrote his views about education in the book Conversations with Children on the Gospels, this book was against society’s view. vii. Bronson Alcott opened a school named Temple School, “where children could be educated as if their interest were important, and men and women could live in harmony” (62) viii. Bronson Alcott believed that private property was wrong; he got support from the journalist Charles Lane. ix. “In 1843, Alcott and Lane began the “consociate” community in which their ideas could be put to the test.” (63) They started a experiment which was named “Fruitlands.” x. “Alcott’s ideas prohibited any exploitation of animals” (64). People in this experiment were away from the real society. In other words, they did not have any private property. xi. This experiment started in July 1843 and failed in December. “In most of those communities, sex was regarded as a portion of the lowly physical part of human endeavor. In some, it was practiced completely without regulations-the freedom was direct.”(66) However, “Bronson never seems to have decided exactly what role sex should play in his consociate society ….his spiritual freedom”(67). About Louisa May Alcott i. Louisa May Alcott, “who at age of ten was already considerably more adult and more observant than her dreamy father as the family moved out on this great mystic adventure” (63) ii. Alcott wrote her opinion about God in her journal, “Father asked us what was God’s noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad; babies never are” (64) iii. When her father Bronson Alcott did the “Fruitlands”, she wrote her view about it. “ Later in life when she was rich and successful and could write what she wanted, she made fun of the whole thing in her short 1873 memoir Transcendental Wild Oats”(63). About Thoreau “Thoreau was always a lucky fisher man”(75) “ he sometimes seemed careless about human world than animal world” (72) i. By 1843, Emerson tried to find a work for Thoreau, “Emerson wrote to his cousin William Emerson, who lived on Staten Island, New York, asking if he needed a tutor for his children. Thoreau got the job” (72) ii. Thoreau could not feel happy by doing this job, “I can remember when I was more enriched by a few cheap rays of light falling on the pond-side than by this broad sunny day” (72) iii. Thoreau missed his friends, family, the scenery in Concord so much, “He was homesick for Concord” (73). He learned building skills from his father, and he decided to build his first house, “their homes, including the Parkman House, which is now the Concord Free Public Library” (74) iv. Thoreau and his friends Hoar were laughed as “thoughtless and careless” in the local paper Concord Freeman because they made mistake in hunting. v. Thoreau always got helps from Emerson, “Emerson would once again provide the solution for his indigent, inconvenient friend Thoreau” (76) About Margaret Fuller i. Fuller’s friend Sarah Clarke wrote about Fuller, “She not only did not speak lie after our foolish social customs,…..Your outworks fell before her first assault and you were at her mercy”(81) ii. “Many men became entangled with Fuller’s combination of erotic power and sexual confusion, but few more than Hawthorne and Emerson” (81). “Fuller was unafraid, unafraid of her own brilliance and not afraid to be bitchy” (81). iii. Fuller ever worked with Emerson together on the first issues of The Dial, and Fuller visited Emerson’s house for few weeks. iv. Fuller was an attractive woman, “Although Hawthorne was secretly engaged to Sophia Peabody, his ambivalent about marriage in general” (81). “Fuller got an imaginative ferment and light into the lives of the Emerson and Hawthorne families” (82). Emerson’s wife Lidian and Sophia doubted their husbands loved fuller. “But the middle of the nineteenth century was a time when sexual energy was pent up in the country, and all these people were high-minded prudes, usually too wrapped up in Geothe to be thinking about the carnal aspect of love.”(85) v. “Forming her feminist views, Fuller was outspokenly aware of the way marriage was a trap for the women she knew” (84) Fuller did not think her and her brethrens’ lives could be happy if their do not have work, power. “With the intellect I always have always shall overcome, but that is not half of the work. The life, oh my God! Shall the life never be sweet?”(84). vi. In 1846, Margaret Fuller became the first woman editor of Horace Greeley’s Tribune in New York City. About Emerson i. Emerson “was a complicated character, a sorrowing man of many losses, a brilliant intellect who could distill experience into startling essays, an unhappy husband, a great lecturer and teacher”(86). ii. When people attacked Bronson Alcott’s view about education, Emerson bravely expressed his opinion, “I hate to have all the little dogs barking at you….For you have something better to do than attend them: but every beast must do after its kind,& why not these” (61) iii. His nice personality and thoughts attracted many people joined his transcendentalism club such as Bronson Alcott, “a loose-knit group of men and women who got together to discuss important things whenever the Reverend Frederic Hedge…” (101). iv. Emerson trust himself that his thinking about god and human nature was right. “Emerson was not admired by everyone-someone thought his lectures absurdly overblown” (104). v. Emerson still have close relationship with Fuller, they ever worked together on The Dial. About Melville i. “Herman Melville-a writer famous for his shipboard dramas-who was staying in nearby Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at a farm owned by his cousin” (96). He was close friend for Hawthorne. Melville influenced Hawthorne on his writing. ii. “Melville, a successful writer of books that combined adventure with travel, based on his own firsthand experience, had already embarked on a book about whaling that was to be based on his time on the Acushnet and on other whalers’ account” (97). iii. Melville travelled a lot of places, and he communicated with Hawthorne and expressed his experience, “Melville had already been around the world, fallen in and out of love with islands and their inhabitants, weathered moral and climatic storms that were somewhere beyond even Hawthorne’s imagination.”(98) iv. “Melville was on top of the world, the most generous of men, able to love men and women, a man who had experienced all kinds of things and couldn’t wait to experience more.”(99) About Sex i. “In the 1840s, it was not permitted for women to enjoy sex, but in the Transcendental world of bohemian life with financing often tenuous and poverty haunting everything, sexual favor seem to have sometimes been bartered for security.”(68) ii. Hawthorne was aware of the thrills and guilt’s of sexual relationship outside of marriage. He was “aware of the power of sex to ruin lives, as it does in The Scarlet Letter” (69). iii. Emerson, Alcott, and Hawthorne married women “who would help them financially or emotionally or both. Still, all these men were also modern enough to think of their needs outside of marriage as important” (69) Three men considered about their marriages, their emotions, and their views about the relationship between men and women.
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