Homework: Rowson, “Charlotte, A Tale of Truth” & Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
Directions: Complete the reading listed below. Then type out your answers to the questions. You should submit your answers to Canvass and be prepared to discuss your answers to these questions in class on the day they are due.
1) Document 20, Susanna Haswell Rowson, “Charlotte, A Tale of Truth” (1794) [pp. 189-205]
reading found in the Eve Kornfeld, Creating an American Culture book.
2) Whitman, Leaves of Grass [excerpts]
Answer the following questions:
- Kornfeld contends that sentimental novels like Charlotte contained a “subversive feminist subtext.” Is Kornfeld right about this? Is Charlotte, A Tale of Truth a secret, proto-feminist story or is it a straightforward tale embracing patriarchal and misogynistic standards of the day?
- In the aftermath of the American Revolution, the Republican Elite wanted to use epic poetry to help fashion a new American culture, one which would pay particular deference to the Republican Elite themselves. [if you don’t know what “deference” means…look it up]. In Whitman’s Leaves of Grass we have a truly and uniquely American epic poem. What would the Republican Elite have made of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? Would they have liked it or not and why? Is Whitman’s Leaves of Grass subversive in a similar way as Charlotte, A Tale of Truth?