History of English and American Literature1

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History of English and American Literature: 

History of English and American Literature Teaching Design by 朱法荣 College of Foreign Languages

Teaching Plan: 

Teaching Plan The 1st 12weeks : History of English Literature; The rest 8 weeks: History of American Literature.

History of English Literature: 

History of English Literature 1st week: Part I ,II ,III The Ancient and Middle English period; 2nd –3rd week : Part Iv The Renaissance and Shakespeare; 4-5th week: Part V ,VI The 17th Century and 18th century; 6th –7th week: Part VII Romantic Period ; 8-9th week: Part VIII Victorian Age and Critical Realist; 10-11th week: Part IX 20th Century Literature. 12th week: mid-term paper;

History of American Literature: 8 weeks: 

History of American Literature: 8 weeks 12th week: Part I ,II Puritan Thoughts and The Literature of Reason and Revolution; 13-14th week: Part III Romanticism; 15-16th week: Part IV Realism; 17-18th week: Part V 20th century; Final Examination.

Focus of the Final Examination: 

Focus of the Final Examination I Fill in the blanks(20%) . II Match the author and the works(10%). III Term explanations(20%). IV Analyze the selections of the fiction or poetry(30%). V Translation of English poetry into Chinese(20%).

Goal:2 long novels,5-6short ones recite 5-6poems,finish 2 papers.: 

Goal:2 long novels,5-6short ones recite 5-6poems,finish 2 papers. Requirements: 1、Class Attendance no less than 17weeks; 2、Finish assignments on time; 3、Read as widely as possible, even do some further research.

Teaching Ideas : 

Teaching Ideas 1、1/3 of the class time : History Review; 2、2/3 of the class time: Literature reading and class talking; 3、After class: Further reading and writing; 4、Use Library and Internet.

1st Week:: 

1st Week: Part I ,II ,III The Ancient and Middle English period_ Beowulf,Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales ,Popular Ballads. Class focus: I、History of Roman Occupation, Danish Invasion and Normandy Conquest; II、 The Influence of these 3 invasions; III、Class reading of Beowulf and Geoffrey Chaucer’s General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales .

I History of Roman Occupation, Danish Invasion and Normandy Conquest : 

I History of Roman Occupation, Danish Invasion and Normandy Conquest

Ancient Pictures: 

Ancient Pictures

Before 3 Invasions:: 

Before 3 Invasions: 2,000----1,500BC, in the Stone Age, erect huge monuments, henges of giant rock slabs,for religious purposes ——Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain, exactly in Wiltshire, neighbor of Dorset, Thomas Hardy’s hometown. 700BC,Celtic people from north-western Europe,bringing iron-working, Gaelic language.

55BC_411AD, Roman Invasion:: 

55BC_411AD, Roman Invasion: Left behind: Hadrian’s Wall,laws,architecture,social system,Latin and 1st written records of history,more important ____ Christianity,churches(pictures in A disc) .

Anglo-saxon , Danish Invasions and Heptarchy period: 

Anglo-saxon , Danish Invasions and Heptarchy period 450—600AD,Angles,Saxons and Jutes,from now Denmark and northern Germany; 8---9th centuries, Danish Invasions and occupations. 7 kingdoms: Wessex,Sussex,Essex, Left behind rich Danish legends and Northern-European myths(warriors,half-human monster,fate goddess…….), inspiring the following writers,such as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, prince of Denmark.

1066,Normandy Conquest and the influence from Eropean continent: 

1066,Normandy Conquest and the influence from Eropean continent The Battle of Hastings in Sussex, killing the last Saxon king Harold; Left behind : French language and living styles, revival of Roman civilization; More important, mature Literature and truly great writer_-_Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales.

Literature readings: 

Literature readings 1. Heroic Epic:a long poem telling the story of the deeds of gods and great men and women, or the early history of a nation. The Song of Beowulf: created in the 10th century(Danish occupation period),discovered in 1705,consisting of 3182 lines,essentially pagan in spirit and matter,but added to some Christian interpretation. Style of alliteration: the appearance of the same sound or sounds at the beginning of 2 or more words that are next or close to each other.

Outline of The Song of Beowulf: 

Outline of The Song of Beowulf Teutonic hero Beowulf, the nephew of the king of the Denmark,Hrothgat,helped to kill the monster half-human ,Grendel as well as his vicious mother. With his heroic deeds,he was made the king of Scyldings (Sweden)for 50 years. Then in order to gain more treasure for his people ,he fought hard with a fiery firedrake and was deadly wounded ,eventually died .His last will was to ask his people to build his tomb into a beacon for the seafarers who sailed along the coast.

Class reading about the mourning dirge.: 

Class reading about the mourning dirge. 最可爱最可敬的勇士, 你对人民总是最仁爱最热心, 你最渴望的就是人民对你的赞扬。 人民悼念你,按你所说, 用盾和剑为你立起了一座丰碑。 把你安放在昔日勇士的中间, 在墓地上,勇士们点燃熊熊焰火, 浓烟从瑞典松林里冉冉升起。 哭声同火焰资滋声混成一片----- 弥漫了整个天空。 然后朝巍巍山峦飘去, 直至大海尽头。

在为您修造陵宫的短短十天里, 人们用最能表达他们哀思的想法,: 

在为您修造陵宫的短短十天里, 人们用最能表达他们哀思的想法, 把你陵宫修造, 从储藏室拿过戒指、珠宝和其他一些财物, 他们为你留下了财富, 留下了伯爵往日的欢笑, 大地托着黄土,依然无精打采。 坟墓周围,勇士们骑着战马, 为逝去的国王唱起挽歌, 高赞你的懿德,分享你的恩泽,哀叹你的陨落, 人们称你为最可亲最可敬的国王, 你对人们总是最仁爱最热心, 你最渴望的就是人们对你的赞扬。

Class reading II Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales : 

Class reading II Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales Chaucer’s noble birth, Oxford and Cambridge study,company with court ,wide traveling to Europe, with King’s pension , no wander to be the “Father of English Poetry”,buried in Westminster Abbey.

Great Contributions: 

Great Contributions Introduced French Romance and legends as well as Italian Human literature,especially Boccaccio, praising man’s energy,intellect, quick wit and the love for life. Found the English literary language,the basis of which was formed by the London dialect ; Realistic writing style and mild satire; Heroic couplet:2 lines of poetry ,one following the other, that are of equal length.

Outline of The Canterbury Tales It opens with a general prologue where we are told of a company of pilgrims ,32 ones that gathered at : 

Outline of The Canterbury Tales It opens with a general prologue where we are told of a company of pilgrims ,32 ones that gathered at Tabard Inn in Southwark, a suburb of London.They are on their way to the shrine of St.Thomas Becket at Canterbury.They set out together with the jolly innkeeper,Harry Baily,who proposed that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more on the way back.But , totally only 24 tales are finished.The pilgrims are from various parts of England ,representatives of all walks of life and social groups, knights,monks,widows and priest ect.His work showed a strikingly brilliant and picturesque panorama of his time and his country.

Class reading about General Prologue: 

Class reading about General Prologue Language style: pentameter:the arrangement of words or syllables in poetry into strong or weak beats change 5 times in a line. Eg.As soon/ as Ap/ril pier/ces to /the root The drought /of March,/and bathes /each bud/ and shoot Heroic couplet: Language difficulties;


Assignments: 1. Find at least 2 pieces of Northern-European myths and make an oral report next class; 2. Finish reading General Prologue and choose one pilgrim to describe his or her appearance ,language and characters . 3.See the movie King Arthur in spare time,attention to it’s background and Knights’ virtues. 4.Read something written by Shakespeare.

2nd –3rd week : Part Iv The Renaissance and Shakespeare; : 

2nd –3rd week : Part Iv The Renaissance and Shakespeare; 1. The Decline and Fall of Rome 2.Medieval Age and Christianity 3. Historical Background of Renaissance 4. Shakespeare’s Life and His Tragedy 5. The Movie and the Talk of Hamlet

. The Decline and Fall of Rome: 

. The Decline and Fall of Rome One of the reasons for the success of the Roman Empire was that the Romans treated their Empire as the world. In other words, the world was equated with the Empire. This belief formed the social cement which kept the Empire sustained. However, this bond, this social cohesion, was temporary at best. There were, after all, forces outside the Roman Empire which were eating away at the Empire itself.


And regardless of whether we accept the fact that Rome fell as a result of internal pressure or invasions from the outside, or both at one and the same time, one thing is abundantly clear: Rome fell, and did so with a loud noise. It would take Western Civilization nearly ten centuries to recover and refashion a world which could be the rival of the civilization of Rome.

Medieval Age and Christianity : 

Medieval Age and Christianity


1. The Byzantine Empire:Justinian I(527-565),a deeply religious society, architecture,Santa Sophia church. In 717-718,under the siege of Muslims. 11th century,weakened by Turks. 1) a church-state---Symphonia; 2) monastics: dedicated to the contemplative life,a mystical union with God.


2. Western Europe: 1) the Papacy(of the Pope/bishop) 2)expand to Northern Europe; 3. The Islamic Empire: by 750, N Africa,the Holy land,the Far East,Persia,Spain,Arabia,Asia Minor; Muhammad(570-632),Allah, Koran,Muslims,Islam(a highly ethical religion); Love,charity,justice and mercy.

4. The Crusades: 

4. The Crusades Military ventures against the Muslims to free the Holy Land from their dominance. Crusading spirit:devoting and seek forgiveness for sins.(Children Crusade) 1095-1099,the 1st;1144-1187,2nd;1270 later,no more. Increase the trade,cross communication with M and Jewish; capture Spain and Sicily.

III Historical Background of Renaissance: 

III Historical Background of Renaissance 3.1 Religion Reform 3.2 Manufactories developing and the class of bourgeoisie: Wool trade and enclosure movement Sheep devoured men----Thomas More; King Henry VIII ‘s reform(1509-1547); The reign of Queen Elizabeth(1558-1603); Spanish Invincible Armada;skilled protestants;nationalism;

3.3 The Renaissance and Humanism: 

3.3 The Renaissance and Humanism The term originally indicated a revival of classical arts and science after the dark ages of medieval obscurantism.Indeed , a great number of the works of classical authors were translated into English during the 16th century.The study and propagation of classical learning and art was carried o n by the progressive thinkers of the humanists.They held their chief interest not in ecclesiastical knowledge,but in man, his environment and doings and bravely fought for the emancipation of man from the tyranny of the church and religious dogmas.



William Shakespeare(1564-1616): 

William Shakespeare(1564-1616)

Shakespeare’s life: 

Shakespeare’s life April 23rd,1564----1616, in Stratford-on-Avon,Warwickshire,son of John Shakespeare,in business of gloves and wool and leather articles;1577,dropped from school; 1582,Nov,28,married Anne Hathaway,1583,May,26th, Susanna,1585,twins,Hamnet and Judith(1662).1596,Hamnet died.

Shakespeare’s works: 

Shakespeare’s works 37 plays,2 narrative poems,154 sonnets; 1st period(1590-1600): historical plays; Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,The Merchant of Venice,As you Like It; 2nd period(1601-1608): tragedy; Hamlet,prince of Denmark; Othello,the Moore of Venice; king Lear; The Tragedy of Macbeth; Antony and Cleopatra; 3rd period(1609-1612):romance; The Winter’s Tale; The Tempest;


Homework The homework is to read Hamlet and Sonnet 18; and prepare for the next class’ report about Renaissance.

4-5th week:Part V ,VI The 17th Century and 18th century; : 

4-5th week:Part V ,VI The 17th Century and 18th century;

I The Revolution of the 17th century: 

I The Revolution of the 17th century The English Civil War was as much the response to the effects of the Reformation as it was a response to the needs of the rising middle classes, the landed gentry. The war itself involved the king, Parliament, the aristocracy, the middle classes, the commoners, and the army. The War tested the prerogative of the king and challenged the theory of divine right. War raged between Parliamentarians, Royalists, Cavaliers and Roundheads and every religious sect in England.

1.1 James I’s Divine Right: 

1.1 James I’s Divine Right Monarchy was a divinely ordained institution -- the king was accountable to God only and was above the law. This manner of thinking brought James into frequent conflict with Parliament in 1604. Did the Commons have the right to determine the disputed elections of its own members? James was also faced with Puritans who wanted to reform the Anglican Church through legislation as well as the gentry, who wanted to extend their influence in politics. And in 1609, James delivered a series of SPEECHES to Parliament in which he laid down his claim to rule by divine right.

1.2 Charles I’s War: 

1.2 Charles I’s War like his father, Charles believed in the divine right theory of kingship. This court convinced him of the righteousness of his actions. But Charles was even more pro-Catholic and anti-Puritan that his father. He also had a French wife, Henrietta Maria. Charles raised his standard at Nottingham on August 22, 1642. At first, Parliamentary forces were routed until 1644, at Marston Moor, where the Kings forces were checked. In 1645, the "New Model Army" defeated the forces of Charles at Naseby and Langport.

1.3 Cromwell: 

1.3 Cromwell Cromwell was a solid member of the gentry and lived the life of a country gentleman. He spent a year at Cambridge where he studied mathematics and law. He was brought up a Puritan and experienced his spiritual conversion at the age of twenty-eight. He belonged by birth to the English ruling class and came from a family that did not really have a great amount of wealth but certainly wielded much power. The New Model Army was based on a soldier’s ability rather than on his position within society. Merit not birth or wealth became the only criteria for membership -- social class meant nothing.

1.4 Post-war: 

1.4 Post-war On January 1, 1649, Charles I was charged as a "tyrant, traitor and murderer; and a public and implacable enemy to the Commonwealth of England." Of the 135 judges who were supposed to hear evidence, only half that number showed up. The Long Parliament was dissolved and in 1653, Cromwell adopted the Instrument of Government and became "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth."

1.5 Charles II’ Restoration: 

1.5 Charles II’ Restoration Charles II (1630-1685, r.1660-1685) returned from the Spanish Netherlands without bloodshed. Thus ended the Civil War and began the era of the Restoration. He was not a popular king. He was absorbed into the opulent life at court, had numerous mistresses and was probably a Roman Catholic. Question: Why do they accept another King?

1.6 Glorious Revolution: 

1.6 Glorious Revolution 1688, Orange house from Holland. William & Mary Stuart, joint reign. 1701,Act of Settlement,excluding James’s catholic son from the succession. 1701-1714-1902,Victorian Era.

Significance of the revolution: 

Significance of the revolution One of the major accomplishments of the English Civil War occurred in the area of religion but with political consequences. But actually, this accomplishment was the idea of a free Church, which was the result of work by the Independents, who were against the Presbyterians and their belief in a solemn union between Church and State. The idea of a free church involved the belief in religious toleration.


Despite the incompetence of the Puritan Revolt, the Revolt was rejected by almost all English people in 1660. The idea of freely associated groups served also as a model for future political organization, eventually leading to the formation of political associations during the last half of the 18th century.

II The 18th century and Industrial Revolution: 

II The 18th century and Industrial Revolution

2.1 The background of I R: 

2.1 The background of I R The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was revolutionary because it changed -- revolutionized -- the productive capacity of England, Europe and United States. But the revolution was something more than just new machines, smoke-belching factories, increased productivity and an increased standard of living. It was a revolution which transformed English, European, and American society down to its very roots.


Like the Reformation or the French Revolution, no one was left unaffected. Everyone was touched in one way or another -- peasant and noble, parent and child, artisan and captain of industry. The Industrial Revolution serves as a key to the origins of modern Western society. As Harold Perkin has observed, "the Industrial Revolution was no mere sequence of changes in industrial techniques and production, but a social revolution with social causes as well as profound social effects" [The Origins of Modern English Society, 1780-1880 (1969)].


Aided by revolutions in agriculture, transportation, communications and technology, England was able to become the "first industrial nation." This is a fact that historians have long recognized. However, there were a few other less-tangible reasons which we must consider. These are perhaps cultural reasons. The English, like the Dutch of the same period, were a very commercial people. They saw little problem with making money, nor with taking their surplus and reinvesting it. Whether this attribute has something to do with their "Protestant work ethic," as Max Weber put it, or with a specifically English trait is debatable.


Homework Read Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and compare with Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

6th –7th week: Part VII Romantic Period : 

6th –7th week: Part VII Romantic Period

Teaching Plan: 

Teaching Plan I The Term of Romanticism; II Characteristics of Romanticism; III Class readings on William Wordsworth and P。B。Shelley;John Keats and Jane Austen; IV VCD Pride and Prejudice。 Homework: 1. To recite 2 poems; 2. Read the novel Pride and Prejudice.

I Romanticism: 

I Romanticism As a literary movement it came earliest in Germany, with the “Sturm and Drang” (Storm and Stress) of the late 18th century; it began in England a little later, with the romantic precursors in late 18th century and then the great romantic poets in the last years of the 18th century and the first two decades of the 19th ; and it arrived last in France, flowering in the early 19th century, with Victor Hugo and Lamartine.


It revolts against the Enlightenment of the 18th century as well as the Neoclassicism of the previous centuries. It is either defined as "literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form" or as "liberalism in literature". Imagination, emotion, and freedom are certainly the focal points of romanticism.

II Characters of Romanticism: 

II Characters of Romanticism Imagination Nature Symbolism Individualism The Everyday Other Concepts


2.1 Imagination The imagination, instead of “reason”, was elevated to a position as the supreme faculty of the mind, the primary faculty for creating all art. 2.2 Nature "Nature" itself is a work of art, a healing power, nature as a source of subject and image, nature as a refuge from the artificial constructs of civilization. It was viewed as "organic," rather than, as in the scientific or rationalist view, as a system of "mechanical" laws.


2.3 Symbols the desire to express the "inexpressible"--the infinite--through the available resources of language . 2.4 Individualism The Romantics asserted the importance of the individual, the unique, even the eccentric.


2.5 The Everyday Artists often turned to the noble savage for their symbols ------to folk legends and older, "unsophisticated" art forms, to contemporary country folk who used "the language of common men," and to children (for the first time presented as individuals, and often idealized as sources of greater wisdom than adults). Other Concepts The emotions ,intuition, instincts, and feelings, "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" . The interior journey and the development of the self recurred everywhere as subject material for the Romantic artist. The artist-as-hero is a specifically Romantic type

III Class readings on 3 Romantic poets: 

III Class readings on 3 Romantic poets


Homework 1. To recite 2 poems; 2. Read the novel Pride and Prejudice.

8-9th week: Part VIII Victorian Age and Critical Realist; : 

8-9th week: Part VIII Victorian Age and Critical Realist;

Teaching Plan: 

Teaching Plan I Traditions of Victorian Age; II The term of realism; III Charles Dickinson and VCD David Copperfield; IV Bronte sisters and VCD Jane Eyre; Homework : Read another Dickinson’s novel and make a report.

I Traditions of Victorian Age (1837-1901): 

I Traditions of Victorian Age (1837-1901) ---- established society with rigid traditions; -----religion-dominated ,male-dominated; -----highly industrialized and the workshop of the world; -----rapid progress in arts,science, invention; -----public education; and workshop for the poor; -----awakened the social conscience & reform.

II Realism: 

II Realism Actually, realism is a literary technique broadly defined as "the faithful representation of reality " or “ verisimilitude. " A reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the systematizing of the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy all affected the rise of realism.


------Renders reality closely and in comprehensive detail. -----Character is more important than action and plot; -----Characters appear in their real complexity of temperament and motive;. -----Class is important;


--Events will usually be plausible; --Diction is natural vernacular, not heightened or poetic; --Objectivity in presentation becomes increasingly important; --Interior or psychological realism a variant form.


III British Realistic Writers


homework 1. Read Dickinson’s novel of David Copperfield; 2. Read Jane Eyre; 3. Or to read The Wuthering Heights.

10-11th week:Part IX 20th Century Literature.: 

10-11th week:Part IX 20th Century Literature.

Teaching Plan: 

Teaching Plan I 2 world wars and modernism; II Thomas Hardy and VCD Tess of D’urbervilles; III Oscar Wild and Aesthetic Movement; IV D H Laurence and Sons and Lovers; V V. Wolfe and Stream of Consciousness。

I. Two world wars and modernism: 

I. Two world wars and modernism 1.1 WWI (1914-1918) Pre-war ---over-supplied energy; over-confident; ---over-greedy;over-enthusiastic; ---imperialist ideas; ---colony-dismembered in the world.

1.2 WWII(1939-1945): 

1.2 WWII(1939-1945)

1.3 Modernism: 

1.3 Modernism the mechanical world of Newton was modified and then shattered by Max Planck and Niels Bohr. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, according to one modern historian, "formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture."


The sense of being lost, adrift, weightless, aimless. It's all so absurd, without meaning. We drift. And then there was Freud, ah Freud. What Freud did was nothing less than call the entire foundation of western thought and behavior into question. Reason was now on trial. Where the 18th century powdered wigs would sit back and smugly assert that "the rational is real and the real is rational," Freud said no. Man is not an entirely rational animal. He is irrational. Whether we accept it or not, we are all Freudians. We live today with Freud literally breathing down our necks.


And Nietzsche. With three simple words: "God is dead," Nietzsche sent his readers into despair Lastly, the period 1880-1920 witness an artistic and cultural cataclysm which distorted and then destroyed 500 years of artistic style and principle. The Renaissance was cast aside. So too were its rules of artistic endeavor. What replaced it was accurately called modernism.

II Readings on Modernist Writers: 

II Readings on Modernist Writers


Homework 1. Thomas Hardy ‘s Tess of D’urbervilles; 2. Oscar Wild ‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray; 3. D H Laurence’s Sons and Lovers;

12th week: Part I ,II Puritan Thoughts and The Literature of Reason and Revolution; : 

12th week: Part I ,II Puritan Thoughts and The Literature of Reason and Revolution;

I A puritan religion-dominated country : 

I A puritan religion-dominated country Puritan thoughts and Franklin’s Autobiography; ---a would-be-purifier; ----Restore simplicity to church services and the authority of the Bible to theology; ---look upon themselves as a chosen people and be intolerant of the others; ----suspect joy and laughter as sin; ---- emphasize the image of a wrathful

II Read The Declaration of Independence War: 

II Read The Declaration of Independence War Homework 1. The American Crisis; 2. Philip Freneau’s poetry;

13-14th week: Part III Romanticism; : 

13-14th week: Part III Romanticism; Teaching Plan I Nationalism and legendary ——Washington Irving and Allan Poe; II Transcendentalism —— Emerson and Thoreau; III Puritan Writers——Hawthorne and Melville; VCD The Scarlet Letter; VCD Moby Dick。

I Nationalism and legendary: 

I Nationalism and legendary 1.1 Both Napoleon War and Industrial Revolution as well as westward movement helped create a new trend. 1.2 Andrew Jackson’s election as the president produced an Age of the Common Man; 1.3 Washington Irving’s Myth-making and history-making helped to cultivate the imaginations.

Washington Irving and Allan Poe; : 

Washington Irving and Allan Poe;

II Transcendentalism(1830-1860): 

II Transcendentalism(1830-1860) The term “transcendentalism” is derived from the Latin verb transcendere meaning, to rise above, or to pass beyond the limits. Transcendentalism has been defined as the recognition in man of the capacity of acquiring knowledge transcending the reach of the five senses, or of knowing truth intuitively, or of reaching the divine without the need of an intercessor.


Characterisitics As romantic idealism, it placed spirit first and matter second. Spirit transcended matter, and the permanent reality was the spiritual one. It stressed essence behind appearance


It took nature as symbolic of spirit of God. All things in nature were symbols of the spiritual, of God’s presence. Nature was alive, filled with God’s overwhelming presence. As the individual soul could commune with God, it was, therefore, divine. With the assumption of the innate goodness of humanity, it held that the individual soul could reach God without the help of churches or clergy.

III Conflicting Writers: 

III Conflicting Writers Hawthorne and Melville

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