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Nature in Pre-civil war American Literature

In the early works of the course, we see Nature presented in multiple ways. The elements, animals, and nature are mentioned by the Iroquois as they outline their political process; "nature" has a very different meaning to Jonathan Edwards—a Puritan discussing philosophical and religious living— in A Divine and Supernatural Light and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God; later, American writers present nature when discussing their spiritual beliefs and how to go about living in the world.

In this assignment, you will compare and contrast the concept of "nature" from the earliest writings (The Iroquois League & the work of Jonathan Edwards) to the later American idea of nature found in the work of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman.

This assignment should reflect your understanding of the works you've chosen to discuss, and explain—based on research—how the earlier work influences the later pieces, and analyze how the literature reflected the culture of the time. Historical context is discussed in the textbook, and can be used as supporting material in your paper.

I am not looking for a complete paper. I need a detailed outline of ideas.

Required reading:

Thomas Hariot's "A Brief and True Report of the Newfound Land of Virginia." pp. 19 - 24
"The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton November 1637."
"The Constitution of the Five Nations."
Jonathan Edwards' "Sarah Pierrepont", from "A divine and Supernatural Light", and "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." pp. 148-167
Benjamin Franklin from "The Autobiography."
Thomas Paine.
Red Jacket. "The Indians Must Worship the Great Spirit in Their Own Way."
Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Nature," "Self-Reliance," and "Concord Hymn."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life," "The arsenal at Springfield," & "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport."
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Harriet Ann Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," & "Second Inaugural Address."
Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."

Solution Preview

In the subject of 'Nature' I have picked Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. In dealing with the subject of nature the Iroquois League and their story of the creation nature is seen as the good mind and the bad mind. It is how the humans can work with what nature gives them. It is also about the challenges and experiences that humans have with nature. We are still working with the good and bad side of ourselves and what nature throws at us during various times in our lives. In comparing Walt Whitman's Song of Myself nature is seen as part of the human body and our acceptance of ourselves and the causality of living and the celebration of life. It is all about how we learn to deal with what is going on and accepting it. "Search out the wisdom of nature... there is depth in all her doings." (Whitman) It is in how we think about being human and still being a part of nature.
In Emerson's "Nature", "Self-Reliance" and ...

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