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15 American Romantism N Hawthore H Essay

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15. American Romantism. N. Hawthore. H. Melville
In America Romanticism(1820-1860) emerged 30 years later than it did in England or France due to the peculiarities of American history. American Romanticism had much in common with European. The development of the self became the mayor theme(self-awareness), self and nature were one Ch-s:values feelings and intuition over reason, places faith in inner experience and the power of the imagination, nature, prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication, individual freedom, looks backwards to the wisdom of the past, finds inspiration in myths, legends and folk culture Nathaniel Hawthorne His greatest work is "The Scarlet Letter" which is based on real events of the 17th century. It deals with problems of crime & repentance, confession, sexual & spiritual repression. The author showed how the puritanical fanatism ruined the life of noble (благородные) & decent (порядочные) people. Herman Melville

His greatest work was the novel "Moby Dick; or, White Whale" It's an adventure novel full of exotics of the sea. Secondly, it's a realistic n о v e 1, for the reader learns a lot about the whaling business in the 19th c. It's also a philosophical novel dealing with issues of life, its objectives & other moral matters.

Rip Van Winkle
By Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Plot Summary
.......At the foot of the Catskill Mountains of New York was a picturesque village founded by Dutch colonists. Approaching it, one would see gabled homes with smoke curling up from the chimneys and shingle roofs reflecting the sunlight.  .......A simple, easygoing man named Rip Van Winkle lived in this village, in a weather-beaten house, at the time when New York was an English colony. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who served with distinction under Peter Stuyvesant in his struggles against Swedish settlers at Fort Christina (in present-day Delaware).  .......Because he was kind and gentle, Rip was popular with all of his neighbors. Children especially loved him, for he would play with them, make them toys, and tell them stories. No one had a cross word for Rip–except his wife, who, taking advantage of his meekness, regularly nagged him. Her treatment of him earned Rip the sympathy of other wives.  .......His only weak point was his inability to work for profit. It was not that he lacked patience or perseverance; for, as the narrator points out, “He would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar’s lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble.” Moreover, he was always ready to help a neighbor with hard work and frequently ran errands and did odd jobs for housewives. But when it came time to tend his own farm and keep up his own property, he was of little use. Fences would collapse, a cow would run off, and rain would fall at the very moment he decided to work. The only plants that thrived on his farm were weeds. Consequently, he had the least productive and least attractive farm in the area. .......One of his children, little Rip, seemed to take after his father. Not only did he look like the elder Rip but he also wore Rip’s hand-me-down clothes, including a pair of galligaskins (loose-fitting trousers) which he would continually hitch up with one hand.  .......Dame Van Winkle ceaselessly browbeat Rip for his failings, saying he was bringing the family to ruin. Rip would shrug and go outside, out of range of her scolding tongue. She treated his dog, Wolf, the same way, and Wolf began to resemble Rip in submissiveness. Rip often sought refuge with a village group that convened on a bench in front of an inn to gossip, tell stories, and on one occasion discuss events reported in a newspaper left behind by a traveler. The village schoolmaster, Derrick Van Brummel, would read the newspaper accounts. Old Nicholas Vedder, the owner of the inn, was the gray eminence of this group, guiding its thought and conversation even though he did little more than smoke his pipe and shift his position on the bench to remain in the shade of a tree. Unfortunately for Rip, Dame Van Winkle would sometimes come to the inn for him and haul him off, all the while her tongue lashing him and his compatriots, including Vedder.  .......To escape his wife and the drudgery of his farm, Rip would sometimes head into the woods with Wolf and his gun. One day, high in the Catskill Mountains, he hunted squirrels, firing one shot after another. Hours later, tired from all the activity, he decided to lie down for a rest on a green knoll overlooking the rich forests and the Hudson River in the distance. When evening neared, he got up to return home, heaving a sigh at the thought of Dame Van Winkle and the terror of her tongue. At that moment, a man came up the mountain, calling out Rip’s name. Rip and Wolf both came to attention. As the man neared, Rip noticed that he was short and squat, with a beard and bushy hair, and wore old-fashioned Dutch clothes with buttons down the sides of his breeches. He was carrying a keg–probably liquor, Rip thought–and beckoned for Rip to help him. Always ready to assist others, Rip did so. As they ascended the mountain, Rip heard rumbling, like thunder, coming from a ravine. After they passed through it, they came to a hollow bordered by cliffs with overhanging trees; it resembled an amphitheater. There, Rip saw bearded men–all dressed like his companion and all of odd appearance, one with a large head and one with a large nose–playing ninepins. They neither spoke nor smiled. When they rolled their balls toward the pins, Rip again heard peals of thunder. .......Upon the arrival of Rip, the players stopped and stared at him, unnerving him. His companion opened the keg and emptied it into flagons, then motioned for Rip to serve the players, which he did. After the strange men resumed their game, Rip began to feel at ease and decided to sample the brew. It was excellent. He drank another, then another and another. By and by, the liquor had a heavy effect, and he drifted into a deep sleep.  .......When he woke up to a sunny morning, he was on the same green knoll upon which he rested when he first saw the man with the keg. His mind reviewed the events of the night before–the men, the ninepins, the liquor. Dame Van Winkle would give him a severe scolding this time. He reached out for his gun but was surprised to find that its barrel was rusted and its stock eaten away by worms. Perhaps those bowlers had stolen his gun and replaced it with a sorry old firelock. Wolf was nowhere to be found. When he arose to return to the place of the previous night’s revels to look for Wolf and retrieve his gun, he discovered that he was stiff in the joints.  “These mountain beds do not agree with me,” thought Rip, “and if this frolic should lay me up with a fit of the rheumatism, I shall have a blessed time with Dame Van Winkle.” .......However, the path he had walked with the strange man was now a mountain stream. Moreover, at the place where he entered the ravine, there was now only a wall of rock. Dumfounded, he returned to the village but was further puzzled when he saw people he did not recognize, all wearing strange fashions. Stroking his chin in bewilderment, he discovered that he had a beard a foot long.  .......The village was larger than when he left it, with more people. He saw strange houses with strange names over the doors. Dogs barked at him and children made fun of him. When he reached his house, he saw an old, deteriorating dwelling with broken windows and a collapsed roof. An old dog outside–was it Wolf?–growled at him. Inside, he looked about but found only emptiness. Immediately, he walked over to the inn–but it was gone. In its place was a ramshackle building with these words painted on the door: “The Union Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle.” There were men outside–but none that he recognized. One man was speaking loudly about “rights of citizens–election–members of Congress–liberty–Bunker’s Hill–heroes of ’76–and other words, that were a perfect Babylonish jargon to the bewildered Van Winkle.” .......The men gathered around him and eyed him, for he was a strange sight to them. Women and children from the village also came to look at the peculiar man with the long beard and odd clothes. One man asked him how he voted. (Apparently, it was election day.)  Another asked whether he was a Federal or a Democrat. A third man with a cane, seeing the ol...

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