Extra Credit!!

The final project could be improved by having a list of questions to think about in addition to what makes this American Literature? Such as what are the reoccurring themes in the book, what is the setting and how does that relate to the plot? Why is does the setting matter? In fact to be honest I would have liked a list of general questions or things to be paying attention to when reading the literature. I would read the assigned stories and get to class, and 90% of what you said in class I didn’t get until you brought it up. That being said I am a business major and haven’t taken a literature class in many years, so maybe everyone else knew how to analyze a story.

Thank you for making my last semester of college interesting I learned a lot in this class!

I hope everyone has and wonderful holiday season and a fabulous 2015!!!


Sarah Orne Jewett, “A White Heron”

white heron

Sylvia a quiet ten year old child, has a choice to make, tell the taxidermist hunter where the heron nest is for $10.00 or keep quiet and let the herons live.  Although she is only 10 years old, she is a very smart child. She understands that if she tells the man where the nest is he will kill the birds. She also knows her grandmother really wants the $10.00. Her silence is what made her mother give her to her grandmother to live a quiet beautiful place, so she decides to keep quiet and let the birds live.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

Quote “…and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”

This is the part in the story where Douglass, strikes back at Mr. Covey’s beatings and to his surprise he isn’t whipped for doing so.  Something broke inside Douglass when working on the farm with Mr, Covey all day, without proper clothing, sleeping on the floor at night with no blanket, death would be better than living this life. At that point he really had nothing to lose.

After being given back to Mr. Freeland,  Douglass begins teaching other slaves to read and write, to also give them the idea of freedom.  He felt a sense of loyalty to the other slaves and wanted them to get out of the desperate situation just as much as he wanted to.  He wanted the other slaves to be educated like he was to in order to fight back against “the religion” of the slaveholders.  Until there escape plane was discovered and Douglass was sent to jail.

He went to Baltimore to become a caulker and earn a trade.  I found this part of the story very interesting with the tension of the white workers and the slaves.  They didn’t want the slaves in there jobs just as much the slave didn’t want to be working for free.  The job shows Douglass that he can earn a wage and solidifies his need to be free.  When Mr. Hugh’s refuses to let him hire himself out because he turned in his wages on Sunday morning, he didn’t work for an entire week.  Then when Mr Hugh’s asked for the money he told him he didn’t  have any money because he would let him work.  He now had some control over Mr Hugh.

I thought another interesting part was when he got to New Bedford and thought that the North would be uncivilized and not as advanced as the States with slavery, only for him to find a thriving city without the need of slaves.


“Barbaric Yawp.”

“I too am not a bit tamed . . . . I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
At the end of the poem, I picture Walt Whitman, naked standing on the top of a mountain with carved wooden cane, looking out on to the world, ejaculating all over it.
At this point he has felt the feelings of all the world, and he is releasing them through his yawp for all of us to hear and feel.  Let the sound resonate through the world, as we hear the sound let all of the feelings of the world enter our minds and bodies, and we can all begin to sympathize and understand each other.  We can all love each other.
man on mountain


Song of Myself

“The hiss of the surgeon’s knife and the gnawing teeth of his saw,
The wheeze, the cluck, the swash of falling blood…..the short wild scream, the long dull tapering groan,”

During most of the poem I picture Walt Whitman flying over observing the world around him and describing all that he sees and wants to see. The above caption stood out because it is so gruesome and vivid, I can actually hear the scream of agony and picture the limb falling to the ground. This part of the poem was similar to the writings of Poe, very descriptive, full of adjectives and adverbs, and dark.


“When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men’s transcripts of their readings.”

Undoubtedly there is a right way of reading, so it be sternly subordinated. Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Books are for the scholar’s idle times. When he can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men’s transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, — when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining, — we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, “A fig tree, looking on a fig tree, becometh fruitful.”

This entire paragraph confuses me.  What I think Emerson is saying, is American Scholars should be out living, and experiencing life not sitting in libraries reading books.  By the introduction to the paragraph it appears that he is talking about  the right way of reading, but he seems to now speak poetically instead of factually on how a Man thinking reads.  I am confused as to when someone can read God directly?  Is he talking about reading the bible?  Or is God a reference to nature and life experience.  What is other men’s transcripts of their readings?  Is that referring to criticism of the books they read or is he saying that all books are a reinterpretation and nothing is original anymore because every educated person reads the same literature so its all the same?  I think the intervals of darkness may refer to difficult times in ones life or he could just be referring to night when the mind is asleep.



I am currently taking my last two classes in order to get my degree in International Business!!

I work as a Executive Assistant for an Investment Banking Firm in San Francisco. I have been married for 11 years and have 2 boys aged 8 and 11.  I dropped out of school when I was 23 and started working but I have now reached the limit of where I can go in my career without a degree, so I am here to finish up.   

I was born in Wisconsin but have lived in San Francisco for the past 20 years,  I can’t imagine living in any other city.