Nov 04, 2021 Uncategorized

Nature in Early American Literature


The exact number of sources does not matter, but one of them should definitley be The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Ninth Edition) (Vol. 1), because all of the works we have read are in this textbook, and the quotes and other materials needed for this essay are in this textbook. The exant number of words does not matter, but it should be 5-6 pages. I have attatched my outline with the prompt at hte top.

Prompt:   1.) Nature

Emerson extols the benefits of being in tune with Nature in his essay.  He reminds us that “in the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life . . . which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground – my bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space – all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all.  The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me. I am part and particle of God.” 

He also says tells us:  “to go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society.” So. Get thee to the woods. Unplug. Spend an extended amount of time in nature and use your experience there as a cornerstone to discuss the importance of nature and of landscape to early American literature (using at least threeother works and your personal experience).

  • Thesis: The aspect of nature and use of landscaping were extremely important in further describing the setting of most early American literary tales.
  • Introduction: An overview of my time spent out in nature, as well as what role nature and landscapes played in early American literature.
  • Paragraph 1:
    • Topic: My experience in nature, overview of landscape/nature in early American literature.
    • Quote: Possibly a general quote about landscapes/nature from a writer from this time period.
      • Commentary: How this quote relates to my time in nature and what aspects of my experience are similar to aspects of many works of literature in this time period.
  • Paragraph 2
  • Topic: How nature is described by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his work, “Nature”
    • Three different quotes from this work of literature that encompass Emerson’s view on what nature means to him, and my own commentary referencing my take on nature through my experience.
  • Paragraph 3:
    • Topic: Specific examples of nature and landscapes used in early American literature and how they added elements and made the stories much better
    • Quote: A nature/setting quote from “The Fall of the House of Usher”
      • Commentary: How the setting/landscape furthered the descriptiveness of the story
    • Quote: A quote regarding nature from Walden by Henry David Thoreau
      • Commentary: An in-depth analysis of the quote and how this quote reflects my time out in nature.
    • Quote: A Nathaniel Hawthorne quote about his ideas regarding nature
      • Commentary: In depth analysis of the quote and how/if I experienced the same feeling while I was alone in nature.
  • Conclusion: Wrap up how early American literature was greatly influenced by writers’ specific views on nature and how they used landscapes to add to the descriptiveness of their stories.

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