198 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. A Law More Nice Than Just

      Works Cited

      Moses, C. “The Domestic Transcendentalism of Fanny Fern”. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 50, no. 1 pp. 90-119. https://doi.org/10.1353/tsl.2008.0003 Accessed 21 April 2017

      Wright, E. “’Joking Isn’t Safe’: Fanny Fern, Irony, and Signifyin(g)”. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 2. pp. 91-111. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3886077 Accessed 21 April 2017

    2. How strange it all seems to me, the more I ponder it, that men can’t, or don’t, or won’t see that woman’s enlightenment is a man’s millenium.

      Fanny Fern has hit the nail on the head. Fear is often the paralyzing factor in social movements; fear that equality will then lead to domination. Women weren't fighting to be in control of men or to govern men-- they still aren't-- only to be equally afforded the same rights that men had and the same opportunities. Some men, and even men that supported the movement, failed to see that.

    3. Is this all life has for me?

      This piece, reflects the more sentimental and sincere side of Fanny Fern. Carole Moses argues that this aspect of Fern's writing is because of her transcendental influences: "[Fern's] sentimentalism [i]s a ploy...she used the feminine stereotype to pave the way for more daring work" (Moses, para. 3). This explains the duality that seems to be found within Fanny Fern; in some pieces she is biting and sarcastic, while in others she is sincere and sentimental.

    4. things which God made for female as well as male eyes to see

      Here, again, Fern is bringing up the idea of natural right or equality. God created nature for men and women; women have a natural right to see the mountains and rivers etc. just as men do.

    5. a right

      In this line, Fern is not only exaggerating the stereotype of women to prove a point, she is also highlighting the idea of a natural right. If women have the natural right to "preserve their bodies", what else do they or should they have the right to do?

    6. Well, Mr. Fern seized his hat, and out we went together.

      It is important to note that, while he initially laughed, Mr. Fern does walk with her and seems to support her excursion in men's clothing. Carole Moses, in her discussion of the "domestic transcendentalism, of Fanny Fern dicusses the sentimatlity that Fern can show even within her social criticisms: "even her sentimental musings are tinged with social conscience" and I think the argument works in the reverse (Moses, para 2). Even in her discussion of women's dress laws, Fern still inserts a supportive and sweet husband that clearly loves his wife. Fern seems to want to point out that not all men are against women's rights, but also is including a sentimental moment.

    7. if I don’t have a nicely-fitting suit of my own to wear rainy evenings, it is because—well, there are difficulties in the way. Who’s the best tailor?

      This is another good example of Wright's concept of "protective irony". Fanny is playing on the stereotype of women during this time: she states that they only reason she doesn't have a nice fitting suit is because she can't decided which taylor to use. This would've been something that women were expected to care about, but ironically that is not the reason she doesn't have a suit. Fern doesn't have a suit because it is illegal for her to wear one in public. This use of irony highlights the female stereotype and the ridiculousness of the law.

    8. vociferous

      According to Webster's dictionary, "vociferous" means an vehement insistant outcry. "Vehement" means with forceful energy : powerful, intensely emotional or impassioned; fervid. Here, the words are being used to describes Mr. Fern's laughter when he sees her dressed as a man. He is laughing so forcefully and emotionally that Fanny is slightly offended. This seems to be a larger metaphor for how men react to women "acting" like men or attempting to work in fields that were typically male.

    9. at least, not till the practice is amended by which a female clerk, who performs her duty equally well with a male clerk, receives less salary, simply because she is a woman.

      This is still something women are fighting for today. While women are allowed to wear pants, they are still not paid equal pay for equal work. Fanny Fern must be rolling over in her grave: the more important concession has not been made even in the 21st Century.

    10. I’ve as good a right to preserve the healthy body God gave me, as if I were not a woman.

      The brass and opinated persona, in some instance, seems to be more a charcter than a person. Fanny Fern is saying out loud all the things every woman in her audience is thinking: this is part of her appeal. Elizabeth Wright, in her artilce "Joking Isn't Safe", argues that Fern creates this persona through the use of "protective irony" and that this technique is what makes her popular with her audience: " Fern's irony allows her to gain a certain amount of control over her audience and societal norm" (Wright, 92). Fern's use of irony is effective and distinctive.

    11. Perhaps you ask, why do not these girls go out to service? Surely it were better to live in a clean, nice house, in a healthy atmosphere, with respectable people, who might take other interest in them than to wring out the last particle of their available bodily strength. It were better surely to live in a house cheerful and bright, where merry voices were sometimes heard, and clean, wholesome food was given them. Why do they not? First, because, unhappily, they look down upon the position of a servant, even from their miserable stand-point. But chiefly, and mainly, because when six o’clock in the evening comes they are their own mistresses, without hinderance or questioning, till another day of labor begins. They do not sit in an under-ground kitchen, watching the bell-wire, and longing to see what is going on out of doors. More’s the pity, that the street is their only refuge from the squalor and quarrelling and confusion of their tenement-house home. More’s the pity, that as yet there are no sufficiently decent, cleanly boarding-houses, within their means, where their self-respect would not inevitably wither and die.

      I love how she addresses the argument of why women choose not to take the cushy serving job. It's almost a subtle comparison to slavery. But she says well by choosing to live their own lives and not seve someone like a glorified slave they are treated to horrible conditions.

    12. Walt Whitman, the world needed a Native American of thorough, out-and-out breed—enamored of women not ladies, men not gentlemen; something beside a mere Catholic-hating Know-Nothing; it needed a man who dared speak out his strong, honest thoughts, in the face of pusillanimous, todeying, republican aristocracy; dictionary-men, hypocrites, cliques, and creeds; it needed a large-hearted, untainted, self-reliant, fearless son of the Stars and Stripes, who disdains to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage; who does Not call one greater or one smaller, That which fills its period and place being equal to any; who will Accept nothing which all cannot have on their counterpart of on the same terms.

      I really liked this little paragraph because she discusses how Whitman made a Native American who was very much the Catholic version of a Native American. She calls him out for not recognizing the fact in Native culture men and women were equal and had equal responsibilities. It's a nod to our earlier readings.

    13. Cut the string, gentlemen, and see what you shall see! Pooh! you are afraid to knock that chip off our shoulder

      "Cut the string" implies freeing the "tied" hands men impose on women. Fern is bluntly stating that the reason men "limit" women is because they are afriad that women will do the jobs of men better! ("knock the chip off our shoulder"). Women, truely free, will contest with male dominance.

    14. asp of sensuality likes coiled amid rhetorical flowers

      This is a wonderful simile. Fern is comparing an "asp" or "a small, venomous, hooded serpent, found in Egypt and Libya" (OED) to sensuality within Whitman's work. Fern, in context, notes the "sensuality" located in Whitman's poetry to be "amid rhetorical flowers" implying that Whitman's work (which is seemingly beautiful and captivating like flowers), can additionally contain hidden "poisonous" (conveying corruption) sensuality.

    15. happiness was born a twin, and so I would fain share with others the unmingled delight which these Leaves have given me.

      This is a very powerful, optimistic passage stated by Fanny Fern. Her statement, "happiness was born a twin" implies happiness's "contagency" through others. This implication is verified in the remaining second half of the sentence when she compares the joy or "happiness" Walt Whitman's work Leaves of Grass has given her and how she hopes to pass that happiness/joy on to others.

    16. at least, not till the practice is amended by which a female clerk, who performs her duty equally well with a male clerk, receives less salary, simply because she is a woman.

      Fanny Fern was an author way ahead of her time. This is just another example where Fern is addressing an issue, or double-standard toward women that is still around today. Women are still not paid equally for equal work in today's society.It is powerful and a testament to the vision of Fern that she addresses a problem that is still relevant today.

    17. the Coming Man.

      "The Coming Man" may be a reference to Abraham Lincoln, who was just three years from beginning his presidency when Fern wrote this piece. This nickname for Lincoln is referenced in the political cartoon from Harper's Weekly in 1960 that represents Lincoln walking with with an African American man on his shoulders, while carrying a stick marked "Constitution". Here, Fern is referencing the double-standards for women that exist and may be connecting them to the rights of African Americans. http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/civil-war/transition-to-presidency/coming-mans-presidential-career-la-blondin/

    18. vociferous

      This word means "crying out noisily; clamorous" or using vehement speech. While this is clearly a criticism of Fern, the same word could be used to describe a preacher during that time. Fern's father was a Calivinist preacher and they were known for preaching fire and brimstone and focusing on sins and emphasizing the dangers of hell. A Calvinist preacher, like her father, may have been praised for being "vociferous", while Fern is criticized for the same quality because she is a woman.

    19. consumption

      Another name for tuberculosis; a disease that can be potentially fatal, and can affect nearly any part of the body, although it most commonly attacks the lungs. In the time period that this was written, there was no knowledge of antibiotics, and therefore no cure for this disease. The only way to control the spread was to isolate those infected. Tuberculosis was the single most common cause of death around the year 1900. The first antibiotic effective against the disease was discovered in the 1940s.

      For Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine: "Consumption (disease)." Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. 2008. The Gale Group, Inc. 2 Apr. 2017 http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Consumption+(disease)

    20. As to Fanny Fern’s grammar, rhetoric, and punctuation, they are beneath criticism. It is all very well for her to say, those who wish commas, semi-colons and periods, must look for them in the printer’s case, or that she who finds ideas must not be expected to find rhetoric or grammar; for our part, we should be gratified if we had even found any ideas!

      This is reminiscent of Sojourner Truth's “Ar'nt I a Woman?” This passage is suggesting that Fanny Fern's grammar and writing style is not even worht criticism. It's knocking her intellect, which is what Truth mentions in her speech. Her demand was that everyone should be equal despite their intellectual level. In this passage, the lack of correct grammar is seeming to imply that there are no good idea's in Fanny Fern's writing either.

    21. pugilistic

      n. a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.

      This is used metaphorically to show that Fanny Fern has fought her way through many difficulties, and though her admirers may view her as courageous, it may come back to bite her, so to speak. There's a threat that her agressiveness may not be forgiven in the long run.

      "pugilist". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 3 Apr. 2017. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pugilist>.

    22. When we take up a woman’s book we expect to find gentleness, timidity, that lovely reliance on the patronage of our sex which constitutes a woman’s greatest charm. We do not wish to be startled by bold expressions, or disgusted with exhibitions of masculine weaknesses. We do not desire to see a woman wielding the scimitar blade of sarcasm.

      Here, the blatant sexism in the writing industry is being brought to light. Men's writing was taken seriously, while women were not expected to "measure up." Women's writing was to be gentle and reliant on men in order to make it worthwhile. It was unusual for a woman to be strong-minded in their writing, and it was seen as dangerous when it did occur.

    23. never challenging attention

      At this time, it was expected that women do not "challenge attnetion." They must stand by a man's decision- and make no opinions or objections of their own.

    24. prie-dieu

      -a piece of furniture used for prayer. Knees go on the seat and the top of the chair can be padded for arms.

    25. We imagine her, from her writings, to be a muscular, black-browed, grenadier-looking female, who would be more at home in a boxing gallery than in a parlor,—a vociferous, demonstrative, strong-minded horror,—a woman only by virtue of her dress

      It is interesting how strong minded people seem to be stereotyped and imagined like this- they are characterizing Fanny Fern to be strong minded and demonstrated, and they have imagined her to be a bigger boned, dark haired, ferocious looking woman. Had she been described as a gentle, sweet talking woma, she might have been imagined to be thin, blonde, or faired skin perhaps.

    26. mere Catholic-hating Know-Nothing

      -possibly referring to Protestantism?

    27. milk-and-water wife

      The term "milk-and-water" usually refers to someone that can be described as weak, or wishy-washy.

    28. I like that, when he coolly permits his wife and daughters to waltz at public places, with the chance male acquaintance of a week or a day.

      This sentence is striking to read in the present day. Now a days, women prefer to be independent of a man a lot of times, and also perhaps find it offensive otherwise. However, Fern shows through this thought that she is admiring the men who "allow" their women to go wonder in public places unacquainted and to come in contact with other men.

    29. Bah—you know I can’t. Free! Humph!

      This entire piece explains her bitterness towards the lack of independence women have at this time. She creates many scenarios and writes of them, comparing womens' independence from mens'. The last couple words of the piece though are most important, as they completely show her feelings and the message behind the entire work. ""Free!" Humph," she says, demonstrating how clear it is that she feels that she has no freedom at all.

    30. crinoline

      Crinoline is the name of a stiff fabric made of a mix of threads and horsehair. It is most often used for giving structure to petticoats and is a common lining for garments. Hoop skirts are also referred to as a crinoline, due to the majority of its frame support being comprised of the material. Strips of crinoline would be attached to a starting hoop (normally the top hoop that sits at the waist) with heavy thread, wire, or rope. Subsequent hoops of increasing size could be attached while the crinoline is bent down and outward to achieve a noticeable “bell” shape. Cheaply made frames could be fragile and easily damaged by applying pressure to the structure, making sitting and moving around a constant concern for the wearer. Stronger frames were more expensive, but were also much heavier due to the types of materials used. Where lighter frames could be made of soft wood or leather hoops, others were made of whalebone or steel, making for a very cumbersome garment.

      Moving in one of these stronger frames would be even more difficult, not only does the weight slow down the wearer; the unbending frames often make sitting or even passing through narrow openings nearly impossible. Though certain artisans could make changes and generate more user friendly designs, these crinolines would remain burdensome. Many women began to forgo them for lighter and more open options, sometimes referring to them as cages or weights. There are even notable print and stage parodies of these frames that highlight the bulky nature of the frames. Characters comically bump into others, knock over furniture, get stuck in odd places, or are vain caricatures with impossibly wide frames that match their egos.

    31. pusillanimous

      Pusillanimous is an adjective that means showing a lack of courage or determination. Fanny Fern used this word to describe the world in which she lived. She believed that people were too afraid to speak their mind.

    32. It was the work of a moment, with such a challenge, to fly up stairs and overhaul my philosopher’s wardrobe.

      Fanny Fern went against what everybody believed and did what she was comfortable doing. She did not agree with the laws saying she couldn't dress in male attire, so she went out and did it. She was not one to comform to the unjust rules of society.

    33. see the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them

      Matthew 4:8 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them." In this Bible verse, Jesus has rejected Satan's second temptation, so Satan has sent him to a certain place to see all of the glory's of the world. Fern is saying how she is disappointed in herself for essentially rejecting her own temptations to do what she feels is right.

    34. termagant

      Literally just a word for a “violently” scornful woman, in this context it is probably poking at a demeaning prudishness. However, in other literary sources that predate Fern, “termagant” appears to reference ranting in a belligerent manner, like that of a nag or a bully. There are even references to old medieval plays, where a fictional deity embodies the more negative aspects of the term by asserting itself as a moral authority whilst acting shrewdly.

    35. Turkish trousers

      “Turkish trousers” are the European name for the culturally adopted Ottoman dimije. Dimije are baggy pants that gather just above the ankle, which aid in dispelling heat with their flowing material and breezy nature. Normally worn by common folk in the areas of Turkey, India, and the Middle East, the European empires had influenced widespread cultural mixing via trade and colonization that brought many new styles back West. Fashion began to shift into being a form of self-expression (more like our modern interpretation of the use of clothing) instead of a marker of class level. Women’s movements took in these new cultural styles in order to address oppression by linking traditional clothing models to ideas of confinement, restriction, and encumbrance. These changes of clothing were like shedding of shackles, they became visual political statements that can be made publicly that could harken to the larger movements passively.

    36. forbidden to crinoline, and hold conversations with intelligent men, who supposing you to be a man, consequently talk sense to you

      Women are stuck in a time where they are considered lesser beings to man. A female worker will receive less pay than a man because of who they are. A woman have a role assigned by man of what they can do and what they will do. Judged by appearance and even considered intellectually inferior. Why, women can have interest in science, but they always are convinced and learning rather than giving input. The man is always talking sense to you rather than it being a fair, equal conversation where both voices matter. This identifies many of the characteristics that socity claimed to sperate men and women.

    37. We are always dear—delicate fragile creatures, who should be immediately gagged with this sugar plum whenever we talk about that of which it is their interest to keep us ignorant.

      Should women be allowed to vote? How dare a woman speak out against a man. Men currently are the only ones worthy of making a logical just decsion. Why, if a woman did speak out, they might as well choke on a plum to silence their voice. Although, women disagree, saying it will enevr work and that they will be able to vote one day. Your times of hindering us will soon come to a close and we will be equal. We are just as qualified as you to vote.

    38. woman’s enlightenment is a man’s millenium.

      Fern uses a strategy of "straight forwardness" to help represent her persona. In this particular sentence that I've chosen to annotate, I get a hint of Fanny being somewhat sarcastic. The sarcasm could make her persona seem a bit more "fiery" and straight forward. Enlightenment, as defined by Merriam-Webster, (in a reference to Buddhism) is "a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering". Fern is basically saying that men can't, don't, and won't see a woman's "absence of desire to be equal to them and suffering from being oppressed for centuries" (enlightenment) in a man's millennium.

    39. Fourth of July. Well—I don’t feel patriotic.

      The Fourth of July is a holiday to celebrate American Independence, and here, Fanny is saying that she does not feel patriotic at all. She does not feel patriotic because she technically is not independent. She can't go out in the evening without a man at her side, and she can't run for office to be the next Governor of Vermont. She lives in the "Land of the free", and yet she has no freedom, therefore Fanny does not feel patriotic. This also seems to be Fanny resisting to the standards of authority men used to have over women.

    40. go into the country

      Going into the country is sometimes the answer when you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the city for the current time. It also can be a place to completely detach from one life to start another as there may be less societal pressures. Sara Willis here relates to Whitman's love of the country as it's a place where you may shed your aspirations, (clothes?), and inhibitions to be your relaxed, true self.

    41. Borgia-like

      The House of Borgia was an Italo-Spanish family who rose to power underhandedly during the Renaissance. Although they influence two popes being elected, they were suspected of many murders by poisoning, as this painting by John Collier "A glass of wine with Ceasar Borgia" shows the hesitancy in the young man about to have his wine glass filled with possibly poisonous wine. Sara Willis here relates to Thoreau's disdain for those who seek to destroy their opponents and obtain a majority who makes all of the important decisions.

    1. But never I mind the VAR 1: steepest—VAR 2: Bridges But never I mind the bridges, But never I mind the bridges, But never I mind the steepest— 10: And never I mind the Sea —

      To me, this appeared as a long wait to transcendence. I compared it to what happens after death. Such as some Christians believe in the state of purgatory or in a state where she must wait to meet her creator. The journey of "many a mile" (line 8), shows that seeing the bridges, the sea, and its everlasting race, is the time spent until she meets God.

    2. Good bye to the Life I used to live — Good-by to the life I used to live , Good-by to the life I used to live , Goodbye to the Life I used to live — 14: And the World I used to know —

      This section seemed as transcendence. She has fully accepted death, and is ready to say goodbye to the world she once lived in. She accepts handles it well. Often, people will be frightened as what is to come at death or be sad they they are no longer here. Dickinson is ready to move on and is at peace with her life, along with the assumption of no regrets based on her emotion.

    3. Tie the Strings to my Life , My Lord,

      This line gave me some imagery as to what this meant. To me, Dickinson is saying she wants God to connect to her life. She is accepting God and is giving it to him. He is the puppet master that now controls her and is now his. She says later how it is her choice, she chooses it is time to meet judgement, but it only begins when she gives her life to God.

    4. Poem 3 (J 279: 1861/1896)

      https://uniqueatpenn.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/lettice-volpage.jpg?w=464&h=377 This is a picture of a commonplace book taken from google. You can see the lines that sparate the different works that the author copied down.

    5. Poem 3 (J 279: 1861/1896)

      Socarides brings up another thing that could have influenced Dickinson's Fascicles. She makes note of the fact that in the 18th century it was very popular to bind the pages of a diary the way Dickinson bound her poems (78-80). Which could make sense, especially when looking at Poem 3 because it seems to deal with a daily event, possibly a type of moving or vacation since horses and leaving a life behind are discussed. The poem could also very well deal with death and moving on when looked at a certain way which is something Dickinson could have dealt with in her time.

    6. VAR 1: firmest VAR 2: tightest VAR 3: highest— side —

      One thing that could explain Dickinson's continual variations was due to a cultural practice called common place books. Women were specifically encouraged to copy down verses in these common place books in their own hand. They incoorperated dark lines to separate verse much like Dickinson did, and it was possible for verses to be rewritten or edited many times over while the book was being edited (Socarides 71-72). It is possible that Dickinson adopted this practice so popular in the times, which would explain the different variations, re-writes, and cross outs.

    7. Poem 3 (J 279: 1861/1896)

      "the fascicles aren't what we've always assumed them to be—books of lyric poems whose contents can be both extracted individually and read sequentially (Socarides 70)."

      The above statement says that due to certain binding techniques of the time, Dickinson had very limited resources to work with. Presenting the idea that the fascicles are not in fact books meant to be in sequential order but random works that were forced together in a certain way.

    8. Bibliography :

      Socarides, A. "Rethinking the Fascicles: Dickinson's Writing, Copying, and Binding Practices." The Emily Dickinson Journal, vol. 15 no. 2, 2006, pp. 69-94. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/edj.2006.0048

    1. Gay, Ghastly, Holiday

      The last line of Dickinson's poem solidifies the poem's setting/context. We can use contextual clues to infer the last line's meaning. Dickinson uses specific words like "gay" and "Holiday" to stress this infered meaning. The word "holiday", is not a traditional holiday as we would initially envision. Using textual clues of horror, captivation, and acceptance of death, we can hypothesize that the "holiday" is in reference to a apocalyptic catastrophe. This hypothesis makes contextual sense to various other poems, as well as her personal life, where religious affirmation, "damnation" and the spiritual afterlife are concepts frequently explored.

    2. It sets the Fright at liberty — And Terror's free —

      To Dickinson, by accepting death, one could ultimately transcend the perception of death as a "terror" or horror, allowing an individual to find a sense of subliminal freedom/"liberty".

    3. Others, Can wrestle

      Resist or "wrestle" with the factuality of death.

    4. Looking at Death, is Dying

      This is a very ambiguous/interesting line from Dickinson. To me, it is emphasizing Dickinson's belief that "seeing" the death of others encourages the subliminal experience of your own death. In other words, the closest we, as living humans, can expereice death is ironically by witnessing others die.

    5. Just let go the Breath

      Give in to, or accept death.

    6. Stop hoping, now

      The last line of the second stanza definetly empasizes the poem's ominous impression.

    7. Truth

      Dickinson uses the word "Truth" to represent death/afterlife. Perhaps she uses this word instead of the word "death" to emphasise the temporal "truth" of all life; that all living things must eventually die and that this "truth" is inescapable. In context of the poem, the word "truth" could also suggest the speaker's "situational" truth or reality.

    8. 'Tis so appalling — it exhilarates — So over Horror, it half Captivates — The Soul stares after it, secure — A Sepulchre, fears frost, no more —

      This first stanza by Dickinson personifies the paradoxical perspectives/feelings we as humans view toward death. To Dickinson, humans are equally horrified and captivated by the fear, uncertainty, and thrill of death/dying. The last line in particular, comments to an non-living object's inability to think or feel; like an individual who is dead.

    9. Torment

      Dickinson is using the word "torment" here as a verb as opposed to a noun. The meaning of "torment" in verb form, according to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is "to put to torment or torture; to inflict torture upon" or "to afflict or vex with great suffering or misery, physical or mental". Dickinson's word choice so far in the poem certaintly personifies a grim, pessimistic, bleak, and "dark" sense of contextual imagery.

    10. Gay

      Dickinson is using the word "gay" in this passage/context to describe, according to the OED, "something bright or lively looking" or something that is "brilliant", "beautiful", "noble" or "excellent/fine".

    11. Slumbereth

      Another way of saying "sleep".

    12. Sepulchre

      The word "Sepulchre" is a French term that, according to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is described as "a tomb or burial-place, a building, vault, or excavation, made for the interment of a human body."

    1. homely

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of agony as used by Dickinson could be defined as: Humble; simple; common; modest; ordinary; everyday.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    2. Anguish

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of anguish as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Expiration; cessation of breathing.
      2. Hurt; pain; severe discomfort from a wound; [fig.] torment; torture.

      3. Grief; tribulation; distress; extreme suffering of body or mind; keen distress from sorrow, remorse, despair, or similar emotion.

      1. Spiritual death; fall into mortality; separation from the presence of God; consequences of Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden (see Jeremiah 4:31).
      2. Extreme ecstasy; powerful transport; passionate feeling; painfully intense emotion.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    3. feign

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of feign as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      Imitate; counterfeit; fake; deceive; contrive; falsely represent; (see 2 Samuel 14:2).

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    4. glaze

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of glaze as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Become glossy; go hazy; lose focus; turn hard, cold, and sightless; shut down the capacity for vision; [lit.] become glassy.

      1. Turn to glass; [fig.] end; stop; freeze; .
      2. Overshadow; cover over; coat with something shiny.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    5. Throe

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of throe as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Deep feeling; intense emotion; profound response to an experience.

      1. Spasm; paroxysm; severe contraction; torturous pain; [fig.] stroke; cerebrovascular accident.
      2. Wince; frown; grimace; cringe; flinch; [fig.] struggle; fight.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    6. simulate

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of simulate as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Make oneself appear to have in order to deceive.

      2. Pretend to be different from what one really is.

      1. Imitate in order to experience.
      2. Imitate in order to attain to.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    7. Convulsion

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of convulsion as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Spasm; seizure; involuntary and irregular contraction of the muscles.

      2. Tumult; commotion; turmoil; upheaval; [fig.] agony; anguish; writhing caused by torture.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    8. sham

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of sham as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Fiction; illusion; pretense; trick; hoax; make-believe; fairy tale.

      2. Fraud; fake; imposter; deceiver; pretender.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    9. Agony ,

      According to the Emily Dickinson Archive Lexicon, the definition of agony as used by Dickinson could be of the following:

      1. Intense sorrow; severe suffering; deep trouble; prolonged grief; mental anguish.

      1. Christlike suffering; extreme spiritual and physical travail; anguish comparable to the desolation of Jesus in Gethsemane and on Calvary; (see Luke 22:41-44).
      2. Physical anguish; extreme pain; [fig.] death; dissolution.

      (Emily Dickinson Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2017)

    10. Death

      According to another scholarly author, Marcus Mordecai, Dickinson's preoccupation with death was not only true, but understandable. Her place in time often lead to young deaths, and in turn led to a psychologically pressing subject.

      (Marcus, Mordecai. Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems: Notes. Lincoln (Nebraska): Cliffs Notes, 1996. EBSCOhost. EBSCO Industries, Inc. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.)

    11. Death Comes

      According to V. Vasanthi, Dickinson had an on-going preoccupation with death. The conclusion was that it was based on three powerful aspects in her life (religion, love, and nature). The author also notes her lack of horror associated within her poetry which make note of themes of death.

      (Vasanthi, V. "A Biographical Study of Emily Dickinson's Preoccupation with Death." Language in India 12.5 (2012): 712-17. GaleGroup. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.)

    12. I like a look of Agony , I like a look of agony , I like a look of agony , I like a look of Agony , 2: Because I know it's true —

      According to the Zahra Ahmadi and Zohreh Tayari, Dickinson's death motifs can be seen in numerous ways. In this poem in particular, Dickinson's speaker seems to be accepting and natural - she seems to like it. This is likely due to the connections seen in later lines, where the speaker hints atthe idea that death is the only truth in human life.

      (Ahmadi, Zahra, and Zohreh Tayari. "Thematic Study of Death in Emily Dickinson's Selected Poems." Language in India 14.3 (2014): 130-134. GaleGroup. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.)

    1. Protected by their deeds —

      Wendy Martin suggests through a faith-based reading of the poem that some people have rights over others simply because of deeds that they have done. This might suggest that they will have no reason to fear what is to come in the afterlife, for their fate is protected by the deeds they have performed on Earth.

      Martin, Wendy. All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson's World. N.p.: ABC-CLIO, 2014. Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=9mmEAwAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    2. The smoke all cleared away from it —

      Expanding on Paula Bernat Bennett's reading of this poem through a Civil War context, the smoke could be clearing from a battlefield, revealing the aftermath. Other common readings of the poem sight the clearing of the smoke to represent clarity in more metaphorical ways, such as mental clarity.

      Bennett, Paula Bernat. "Fascicle 16 in a Civil War Context." Dickinson's Fascicles: A Spectrum of Possibilities. By Paul Crumbley and Eleanor Elson. Heginbotham. Columbus: Ohio State U, 2014. 106-29. Project MUSE. Web, https://books.google.com/books?isbn=081421259X

    3. Hills

      Dickinson uses hills to represent steadfastness and tranquility, according to Yanbin Kang. The "Sound ones" are as calm, collected, and sturdy as hills; their selves are sound and they have nothing to fear.

      Kang, Yanbin. "Dickinson's "Power to Die" from a Transcultural Perspective." The Emily Dickinson Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2013, Pp. 65-85, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/527137/summary

    4. Poem 8

      Bennett, Paula Bernat. "Fascicle 16 in a Civil War Context." Dickinson's Fascicles: A Spectrum of Possibilities. By Paul Crumbley and Eleanor Elson. Heginbotham. Columbus: Ohio State U, 2014. 106-29. Project MUSE. Web, https://books.google.com/books?isbn=081421259X

      Kang, Yanbin. "Dickinson's "Power to Die" from a Transcultural Perspective." The Emily Dickinson Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2013, Pp. 65-85, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/527137/summary

      Martin, Wendy. All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson's World. N.p.: ABC-CLIO, 2014. Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=9mmEAwAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

      Wardrop, Daneen. "Emily Dickinson and the Gothic in Fascicle 16." The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (2002): N. Pag. Literature Online [ProQuest]. Web, https://books.google.com/books?id=RKxkAwAAQBAJ&dq=Emily+Dickinson+and+the+Gothic+in+Fascicle+16&lr

    5. stand up —

      This variant contains more action and movement than the previous variant. The Sounds ones...stand up; they are actively standing up. On the other hand, it could be read as if they stand up against whatever is opposing them. As in the idea of "taking a stand" against something. Either way, there is more action involved here than with the first variant.

    6. shall stand

      This variant simply states what will or is already happening. The Sound ones...shall stand; either they already are standing, or they will be standing. It implies that they are immovable; they shall stand, despite whatever comes their way.

    7. tranquil

      a : free from agitation of mind or spirit b : free from disturbance or turmoil

      This is the most carefree of the three variants. This does not imply complete fearessness, but more of a peaceful state of mind. This implies that the lack of fear is more natural and less forced than the other two variants. To be tranquil is to be calm and stable, whereas dauntless and fearless are more daring and brave.

      "Tranquil." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

    8. fearless

      free from fear : brave

      This variant is in the middle ground in terms of fearlessness; it's just that. The fearless are free from fear, but it's less concrete than dauntless. It implies that it's a mometary feeling; someone who is brave is not always without fear, whereas dauntless is more of a permanent state; one who incapable of feeling fear.

      "Fearless." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

    9. dauntless

      incapable of being intimidated or subdued : fearless, undaunted

      Of the three variants, this appears to be the least fearful. The dauntless are not just free from fear, but they are incapable of feeling or being afflicted by it.

      "Dauntless." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

    10. VAR 1: go at Noon,VAR 2: walk at noon—

      To "go" implies that one has somewhere specific in mind; a predetermined destination. To "go" could also be taken to mean to leave somewhere, as in "I have to go." This variation is more direct/decisive than the following. To "walk" does not always indicate somewhere specific, and it comes across more leisurely than to "go."

      In this context, the poem is speaking of the imperfect ones that have fear. They not fearless enough to go or walk at noon.

    1. with many a flirt and flutter,

      Copy and paste as one line http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1832&context=etd<br> We are often startled by close, sudden, and unexpected encounters with birds when they fly away from their hidings spots. In a fraction of a second, the feeling is like the heart fluttering in rhythm with their wings as our minds try to contemplate where the bird is going next. This may be due to most birds having higher metabolisms that humans, as second to us might be like 20 seconds to them. Readers might not start to feel such sensory effects that Poe intended until they reach the purposefully capitalized "R" of the symbolic Raven as the bird figuratively flies over Poe's head and human senses and into his bed chamber, mind, and poem. Walt Whitman also uses similar bird mannerisms to produce heightening sensory effects in "A Word Out of the Sea": ...."From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting, As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing, Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly,".... "every day the he-bird, to and fro, near at hand"...."Over the hoarse surging of the sea, Or flitting from brier to brier by day, I saw, I heard at intervals, the remaining one, the he-bird" .... "O night! do I not see my love fluttering out there among the breakers?" Both authors are moved enough to "speak" to the birds which symbolize their both authors' states of despair and mourning. Adam Cunliffe Bradford touches on this in his book, "Communities of death: Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and the nineteenth-century American culture of mourning and memorializing", "Whitman’s songs, spurred to life by the mockingbird’s aria and sung in response to it, necessarily weaves the previous melodic elements of both of these songs into his own transcendent aria" Bradford, Adam Cunliffe. "Communities of death: Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and the nineteenth-century American culture of mourning and memorializing." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2010. http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/647. **

    2. Pallas

      The Raven is, ironically, sitting on the bust of Pallas Athena above the narrator's chamber door. This is symbolic because Athena stood for wisdom and reason; when the raven perched itself upon it, it has now corrupted the narrator's reason.

    3. Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

      The narrator is asking the Raven if Lenore has been accepted into heaven with God.

    4. balm in Gilead?

      Gilead used to be a resin used for healing, and this reference shows that the narrator desparately wants to know if if there is any, perhaps because he wants to heal from his loss of his beloved Lenore.

    5. seraphim

      Merriam-Webster defines a "seraphim" as "one of the 6-winged angels standing in the presence of God." This reference is a good contrast to the darkness brought upon by the raven: light (seraphim) verses dark (raven).

    6. beguiling

      Beguiling, as defined by dictionary.com is "to influence by trickery, flattery, etc.; mislead; delude. to take away from by cheating or deceiving." The raven, in this particular line, tricked the depressed narrator to smile. This is the second time Poe repeats "beguiling" in this way. This instance then makes the narrator wonder more about the ominous raven.

    7. purple

      The color purple stands for "mysterious." This is a good use of foreshadowing by Poe.

    8. Lenore

      Lenore is a Greek name, and it means "light." If the narrator lost Lenore, his light, he is now in a sorrowful depression which is confirmed by the visitation of a ghastly raven.

    9. From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

      It sounds like the narrator is really hung up on this Lenore. He must have loved her so much that he now keeps books, his "surcease of sorrow" to remind him of his lost love.

    10. bleak December

      "Bleak December" is a useful word choice because it helps put the setting into conext; December is a month that symbolizes "death".

    11. a stately Raven

      The author is morning over his lost love, when he hears a knocking on the door. He tries to talk himself out his crazy and terrifyng thoughts of what could be on the other side of his door, however, he opens it to find a raven. The raven takes it upon himself to fly inside his home and perch upon a statue. As this may seem strange and frighening, the raven is actually symbolic for it means the messengers of the gods, amens of fate, and friends of the world beyond. Given the circumstances and the author's mental state, and as he is mourning over the loss of his beloved, perhaps this could be a sign or a symbol of the women herself, coming to visit the author.

    1. 9He call'd on his mate;He pour'd forth the meanings which I, of all men,know.10Yes, my brother, I know;The rest might not—but I have treasur'd every note;

      http://library.globalchalet.net/Authors/Poetry%20Books%20Collection/So%20Long!%20Walt%20Whitmans%20Poetry%20of%20Death.pdf Harold Aspiz points out in his book, "So Long! Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death: Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death" that people spanning back as far as the Greek poets have desired to translate bird song into poetry. While they and Whitman didn't have tape players, CD's, or I-Pods to replay the songs, we can easily relate to both the happiness the mockingbird experiences when with its mate and the incessant but futile calls when it's mate disappears. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/2301 Aspiz, Harold. So Long! Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death : Walt Whitman's Poetry of Death. Tuscaloosa, US: University Alabama Press, 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 25 April 2017.

    2. From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,

      Various forms of symbolism are shared here between Poe's "The Raven", and Whitman. While the bird in this poem more directly symbolizes a lament for a lost former lover of Whitman's than the raven in "The Raven" represents the evil gloom of Poe's despair, "risings and fallings" of the Whitman's "sea of despair" relate to Poe's use of the eventual cresting of his despair when the raven arrives in his chamber, "Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore,— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" According to "The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism" by V. K. Chari, the sea in Whitman's poem, "acquires a subtle symbolic power by the suggested equivalence between its savage undertones and moanings, its * fitful risings and fallings ' and the inarticulate sobbings of the poet's heart."<br> Chari, V. K. “The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1971, pp. 173–184., www.jstor.org/stable/27670641.

    3. Demon or bird!

      Whitman's line here reminds me of the line "And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming," The raven ("The Raven") has eyes like a demon, according to Poe's narrator.

    4. the notes of the bird continuous echoing,

      This line hints at the echoing of the raven in Poe's poem when he continuously says "Nevermore."

    5. fluttering

      "Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter," The fluttering can be connected to the movement of a bird's wings.

    6. blending myself with the shadows,

      "And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; / And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor." Both Whitman and Poe use the shadow as a way to establish a connection between the two narrators in the poems. Whitman's narrator is "blending myself with the shadows", as in, he is blending himself with the darkness. Poe uses the shadow to show the narrator's dark soul that was floating on the floor.

    7. One forenoon the she-bird crouch'd not on the nest,

      "Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— / Perched, and sat, and nothing more." The line about this bird in this poem mirrors how the raven was perched upon the chamber door in the narrator's room.

    8. Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating.

      This line mirrors how Poe's narrator in "The Raven" was viewing the bird.

    9. Once, Paumanok

      Paumanok is the Algonquin name for "Long Island". While the meaning of the name is unclear, some scholars think that it means, "Land of Tribute", "Fish Shaped", or "land where there is traveling by water". Whitman is attempting to romanticize the area of his birth by setting it back to previous times unspoiled by European settlement.

    10. bird that chanted to me

      Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    11. Ninth-month midnight

      The mentioning of a "ninth-month" can symbolize the end of a pregnancy when a baby is about to be born. The "midnight" symbolizes the birth of a new day; a new day always begins at midnight. So, the "ninth-month midnight" could possibly signify the birth of someone/something in this poem.

    1. her

      here, the centenary edition changes "me" to her. i wonder why they would make such a big change on the edition?? alot of the pronouns in the centenary edition are different from her original fascicle 16.

    1. Motions

      why are some words capitalized in the original version?

    2. Eyes —

      Dickinson repeadedly uses these dashes in her writing, leaving us wonder what the original usage was for them. Are they signifying a run-on sentence? Or as punctuation like commas or a period?

    1. OUT of the cradle endlessly rocking,

      This line "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking," is also the title of this poem. The author is reffering to a memory of his childhood, when he would leave his bed at night and wonder alone on the shore, in search of the mystery of life and death. He is an adult now, yet he still finds himself on the shore, in the waves, asking the world, the sea, the same mysterious questions.

    2. Singing all time, minding no time, While we two keep together.

      Here, the author seems to be referring to the sun. Nature is recognized and appreciated in this piece, for its best aspects are mentioned thorughout. The author describes the sea, the birds. the moon, and the sun. The sun and the moon follow his theme of death and rebirth- for when the sun goes down, the moon comes out,, and the cycle will repeat again day after day. "Siinging all the time, minding no time," hw writes, meaning the sun does not have a limit- it is always there, and will always be there- in forever's time.

    3. Death, death, death, death, death

      The sea seems to be whispering the word "death, death death..." to the boy. As this word might usually send a message of darkness, or terror to a reader, this word in this poem means more than its expected meaning. As it does mean "death," which symolizes the loss or termination of somethng, here, it also symbolizes the rebirth- the renewal of life. As one thing ends, another begins.

    1. Poem 10 (J 608: 1862/1890)

      "Disapproval had been, after all, the motive for withdrawal from the world since the earliest eremitic and monastic regimens. But hers is not a reclusion attesting to interiority as a superior resource of meaning. Rather, Dickinson in reclusion protests the lack of design in the external world of phenomena and events, where she holds that intelligibility should (but does not) reside (444)." In most of these fascicles it is clear that Dickinson has a dark mindset with her poetry. By the time this poem was written Dickinson had most definitely removed herself from society. She lived as a recluse almost refusing to leave her home. I believe her poetry at this point, much like is explained above shows the issues that she had with a society she could not put herself in.

    2. Bibliography Cont.: Wolosky, S. "Emily Dickinson: Reclusion against Itself." Common Knowledge, vol. 12 no. 3, 2006, pp. 443-459. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/203120.

    1. We show them—prayer— We show them—prayer— 13: But we, who know, But we, who know, 14: Stop hoping, now— Stop hoping, now— 15: Looking at Death, is Dying—

      Dickinson grew up in a very religious household. Her family took vows to become a part of the chuch. Dickinson did not. A lot of her poetry hits me at home because it shows a clear struggle between faith and how you should practice it. These lines definitely show that struggle. Dickinson believed that you did not need to be a part of the church to practice good faith and that you could be faithful from home. A relatively new idea.

    2. prayer

      Gerlach brings attention to the fact that despite a certain rebelliousness, Dickinson does really include religion in to many of her poems (121-122). Which makes sense since she lived in an area where new scientific discoveries were at war with Christian beliefs, and Dickinson struggled with this as much as any good Christian would have at the time.

    1. I can’t read, but I can hear

      she's pointing out that she's not dumb. just because she cannot read doesn't mean that she can't comprehend what is spoken to her, specifically in the Bible here.

    2. he version that is most quoted was published in the 1875 edition of Truth’s Narrative (which was written by others) and in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s History of Woman Suffrage which appeared in 1881. Both versions were published 25 years after Truth spoke. However the Salem, Ohio, Anti-Slavery Bugle published its version of the speech on June 21, 1851.

      I'm of the mind that both versions were edited to fit a purpose, and that neither was the true account of what she said. The second version of the poem that was written right after her death makes her sound way too proper, but I think that the abolishonist movement did this to appeal to those that believed blacks were overly uneducated and couldn't fight for their rights because they couldn't speak or read. In the second one that was published later I believe they changed the speech to fit the stereotype mentioned above because they wanted to show that she did fit that stereotype. They wanted to make it sound like what the original was expected to feel like.

    3. [“Intellect,” whispered someone near.] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negro rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?

      Here, Truth is pointing out that the somone's level of intellect should not determine thier rights. Just because someone views someone else as below them, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else. She's bringing the injustice of these double standards in laws and government to light. A truly just government would ensure that men, women, and all races had equal rights regardless of intellect.

    4. kilter

      -out of harmony or balance.

    5. Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, because Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him….

      This is a very powerful sentence that made me stop and read it again. Sojourner is refering to Eve in this context. One can see her frustration when the man says that women can't have as much rights as men, because Christ wasn't a woman. Let that sink in for a minute, how would you feel if you were in her position?

    6. And aren’t I a woman?

      Sojourner uses this alot of repetition in her speech that puts emphasis to the words, perhaps even a larger meaning. This rhetorical question is just one way that she gets the reader to think about her or put themselves in her shoes.

    7. she dedicated her life to abolition and equal rights for women and men.

      Sojourner Truth fought emensley for equal rights. She was born into slavery and was determined to abolish it or at least in this case make a strong point. She did this through her famous speech.

    8. spurned

      According to the Marriam-Webster Dictionary, Spurned means to reject harshly. Truth uses this word along with the mentioning of Jesus. She mentions how Eve did make Adam sin and that she should be allowed to redeem herself. Well, she also mentions how many of you are a man of faith, and that Jesus has never rejected her and is always forgiving. In a way, she uses a persuasion through Christ claiming that if they follow Jesus, they should too be forgiving like him.

    9. I have heard much about the sexes being equal

      Truth says that, many believe that the current state they are in is fine. Oh yes, we are equal. If we are truely equal, then why many, like myself, notice that African American women are treated intellectually and physically overlooked? You should not fear us, we do not want too much. Such as when she says filling the pint and we won't take more than it can hold. In a way, it represents "baby steps" and take things slowly at a time. We ask for too much, we will be denied by stubborn man, We have our right to stand up and make us heard for what is right but do it slowly at a time. Man and women are not truely equal yet and question their definiton of equal.

    10. The poor men seem to be all in confusion and don’t know what to do.

      As the women's right movement continued to burn on in the 19th century, Sojourner Truth made the fire burn brighter. She was an orator, and with all of her speeches and Elizabeth Stanton/Susan B. Anthony's activism for women's right, men started to become worried. They became "confused" as Truth puts in, because women were starting to fight back about injustice. The men were at risk of losing their power (the control they've always had over women for centuries) and they "don't know what to do".<br> The picture I chose to add displays the authority/power men had over women in the 19th century.

    11. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

      Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a woman's rights activist, helped organize the very first women's right convention. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony also fought strongly to get women the right to vote. The reference to Stanton is important here because it shows how well known Sojourner Truth was during the 19th century. She managed to get her speech "Ar'nt I a Woman?" published in Stanton's History of Woman Suffrage. Truth's speech being published in the most well known activist's book (Stanton) shows her importance as an abolitionist and as an activist.

    1. head

      At first glance, the word "head" here is confusing or misleading as we initially think of it in noun form. However, the word "head" in this stanza is used as a verb to, according to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), implies "to surpass or outdo". In context with the whole stanza, Sojourner points out the hard, physical labor endured by countless African American women during the centires of slavery, and that gender has presidence over hard work.

    2. that little man in black there say a woman can't have as much rights as a man      cause Christ wasn't a woman

      This "little man in black" must be a priest, likely one from a better established or higher church position if he is in the traditional black robes instead of plainclothes. Flimsy justification has been used from positions of power to explain away blatant contradictions, and many religious institutions are historically notorious for this. It is reminiscent of Cotton Mather and his justifications of “moral slavery” in The Negro Christianized, where the use of some dubious logic and religious rhetoric sets up a precedent that can be easily abused. It appears to be the same in this case, where this priest puts forth the argument that men and women are not equal, no doubt using church literature to justify his point. Though these arguments seem easily open for debate, the unfortunate truth is that centers of faith were the corner stones of society for generations, acting as the main moral authorities for those they shepherded. Debating them would be like debating their legitimacy, practically questioning the words of god himself. If this priest were to say that women are second to men, it would be hard to argue without the massive backlash. In a way, it is a powerful form of self-fulfilling language, if it is to be said then the congregation will agree. Whether it is out of faith or out of fear, the reactions are still controlled by the “bandwagoning” logical fallacy, and it puts the dissenting argument vulnerable to attack. It should be noted that even today this very argument is still used in some of the more “extreme” religious sectors around the world, but as people open up to discussion and engage in proper argument, no doubt these discrepancies could be dismantled and the idea of equality could replace segregation.

    3.  none but Jesus heard me

      As an African American Woman, the only person that Sojourner Truth could talk to and feel heard was to Jesus Christ through her prayers.

    4. I have born 13 children      and seen most all sold into slavery and when I cried out a mother's grief      none but Jesus heard me...

      Many of Sojourner's children were sold into slavery, however she felt that her voice was never heard by anyone except Jesus. This gives us the impression that Sojourner was religious and attempted to keep her faith through these dark and troubling times.

    5. And ain't I a woman?      I could work as much and eat as much as a man —       when I could get to it —  and bear the lash as well      and ain't I a woman?

      Sojourner tells us here that she is equivalent to a man, she is capable of doing the same things or accomplishing task that they do. She basically states that what the slave owners are doing to her are unjust.

    6.  I could work as much and eat as much as a man —       when I could get to it —  and bear the lash as well

      Sojourner Truth, an African American woman, who can work, eat, and take the punisment same as a man but still overlooked. Men would favor white women and treat them more fair than an African American Woman. Truth can do all the task anyone else could, so why should I still be treated worse than you? This gives society the real view of how women are treated even based on their characteristics.

    7. turn it      rightside up again

      That seems like an overly tall order, but many people think that they have the strength, wherewithal, and power to do it. Sojourner Truth here takes an altruistic approach toward women redeeming what Eve and Adam had done to bring sin into the world. While humans are imperfect, the devil had the strength and guile to deceive Eve and Adam. This may be connected with Melville's main character, the head scrivener, feeling empathy and common humanity for Bartleby. "For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not-unpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. ! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam"

  2. Mar 2017
    1. with skirts to hold up

      Here's some perspective on the continuation of the Victorian-style dresses of the 1850's which aren't exactly puddle-stomping material (click "more" on bottom right to see other dresses): .

    2. you must not take my arm; you are a fellow. True, said I. I forgot; and you must not help me over puddless, as you did just now,

      Referring to how she was going to go outside derssed as a man. It is not socially acceptable for a man to be arm in arm with another man. Mr. Fern was also not allowed to treat her like a lady. He should not help her over puddles and such. When they are on their walk. Fanny also realizes that suits are much nicer to wear than a dress or skirt in the rain.

    1. Man, where is your part?

      The answer to this question is the part of St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary, as both Joseph and Mary followed God's orders to bring Jesus into the world, name him Jesus, and raise him properly. "20 "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins," he did as the angel told him and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:19-25).

    2. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they are asking to do it, the men better let them.

      Her intentions here seem to be in reference to Eve. Eve may been seen as "having turned the world upside down" because she sinned and hanged the world and humanity forever. If she, as one woman, can change that much of the world, then imagine what a group of women could do? It's a powerful idea.

    3. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, and he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.

      A similar notion as the idea of being "stuck between a rock and a hard place." There is no escape. There appears to be no answer. A hawk and a huzzard both represent two devestating outcomes - probably pain, hardship, or death (considering they are quite territorial, hostile, and overall dangeous birds).

    4. if woman have a pint and man a quart—why can’t she have her little pint full?

      She's speaking in abstrations here - her purpose seems to be that if men will always have more, then why can't what women have at least be fulfilling. I believe her comparison here was meant to make a bold statement, but hide it behind less intimidating words.

    5. And aren’t I a woman?

      Another rhetorical question, used to aid in her persuasion. It's interesting how she's using questions throughout the piece, giving her place as an orator much more intense. Hearing a speaker ask a question makes the spectator feel more obliged to listen, but also to think - I think that was her manipulative touch,

    6. But what’s all this here talking about?

      I think that her intention here is using this question to be rhetorical. She doesn't truly expect an answer, but rather expects the reader to actually analyze the place of a woman. Her place is no less than a man, and yet she finds her place below the man in most cases.

    7. first woman God ever made

      Referring to Eve. This is significant because she is saying that since the first woman created was able to do something so huge, "Turn the world upside down all alone." Women now should be able to do something big as well, becuase they are just as stong as men.

    1. And ain't I a woman?

      Sojorner is using this phrase repeatedly because she is emphasizing the fact that she is a woman. This is important because she said women can change the world, and she shows she is capable of being a part of that change. Also, she is saying this because she is stressing the fact that she is not treated in the same manner as other women of her time.

    2. sold into slavery

      This is referring to the law that children have to follow the condition of their mother. Since Truth was a slave, most all 13 of her children were sold into slavery.

    3. Nobody ever helped me into carriages

      Referring to how people (men) overlook African American women. Men would help a white woman into a carriage, over a mud puddle, or give her the best place, but not Sojourner Truth. This speaks strongly because it opens the eyes of women to the fact that not all women are treated the same even if someone is generalizing all women to include African American women.

    1. maledictions

      according to dictionary.com, this is defined as: "a magical word or phrase uttered with the intention of bringing about evil or destruction; a curse"

    2. First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger Nut.

      These 3 men are important to knowing the extent to which the lawyer admires Bartleby. He begins by saying why they are good, but still have their flaws. He uses this to introduce Bartleby.

    3. The same day I received the note I went to the Tombs, or to speak more properly, the Halls of Justice.

      "The Tombs" was a nickname given to the New York City penitentiary which was first opened in 1838, and is today the Manhattan Detention Complex.

      Bartleby is sent there after being arrested. The Lawyer tried to convince him that it wasn't such a bad place, but Bartleby knew better. The nickname is fitting because Bartleby ended up dying there. "Posts about The Tombs New York City on Ephemeral New York." Ephemeral New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

    4. Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.

      Passive resistance, or civil disobedience, is the non-violent practice of refusing to obey commands or comply with orders. Bartleby is practicing this every time he replies "I would prefer not to" to the orders of his boss.

      Henry David Thoreau advocated for civil disobenience in his essay, aptly titled Civil Disobedience. Thoreau himself practiced civil disobedience by refusing to pay his taxes to the government. He was arrested, but did not see it as a bad thing; he felt that he had more freedom inside the prison than those outside, who were slaves to the governemt. Bartleby is likewise eventually arrested for failing to participate in society.

    5. “I would prefer not to.”

      This is Bartleby's standard relpy to anything that the Laywer asks him to do. By saying he would prefer not to, he is not outright refusing, which would give the Lawyer reason to fire him. The calmness with which Bartleby repeatedly delivers this line is a bit unsettling and makes it seem like the requests of his boss are optional.

    6. Imprimis

      Imprimis, adv.: in the first place —used to introduce a list of items or considerations

      The lawyer uses this to begin the story of Bartleby.

      "Imprimis." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

    7. Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage

      Gaius Marius is a famous Roman general turned statesman who is considered to be “The Third Founder of Rome” for his infamous restructuring of the Roman armies to include the common Romans (known as the “Marian Reforms” that lifted the strict enlistment restrictions based around land ownership) and a long list of other populist reforms. Before his rise to fame and power, he served under the family of the Scipii, stationed with a massive army led by Scipio Africanus that would go to conquer the Carthaginians by sacking their capitol, Carthage. Though Marius would see Carthage in ruin as a common soldier, this is not what is being referenced by Melville. Marius would climb the political ladder over the years in order to achieve such fame, but his populist view alienated him from the other jealous (and wealthy) politicians, and he would see many of his reforms dismantled. A civil war broke out, and though Marius tried his best to defend Rome, he was forced to flee or he would face death at the hands of his opposition. This is when Marius would return to the ruins of Carthage. However, this time he was disillusioned, and was often found “brooding” by his few supporters assisting him in this form of exile to keep hidden from those who would see him killed. Bartleby finds himself in a similar situation; a grim form of imprisonment born of ideals, that stood for the greater good, only to be tested in contemplation by the jailer that is the opposition.

    8. dyspeptic

      Normally referring to indigestion, it can also be a synonym for irritability. In this sentence, “with a(n) ‘irritable’ nervousness” would be better phrased as “with anxiousness” or “with distress”.

    9. luny

      A shorter slang version of lunatic, which is an adjective meant to describe insanity or great foolishness. It is a sibling of the more commonly used adjective form of loon or loony. All of these words share an ancestor in luna, a Latin word referencing the moon. Lunacy and thusly lunatic are derived out of the old pseudoscientific belief that the phases of the moon controlled the mental states of man and beast, and these terms grew around this notion.

    10. Old age—even if it blot the page—is honorable.

      "Old age-even if it blot the page- is honorable." is a sentence that mirrors the meaning behind the saying "With age comes wisdom." Wisdom, according to many, is an honorable trait. A person of an older age is seen as having more experiences and interactions with life, therefore they have gained a lot of wisdom in doing so. The sentence could also be a metaphor to an old letter with stains of blotted ink. An older letter, even though stained from ink, could contain a lot of wisdom from its age.

    11. pursy

      Pursy, as defined by Dictionary.com, is an adjective to describe someone who is overweight in a "formal" sort of way. Pursy is also derived from the Old French word "polsif" which is meant to describe someone who has difficultly breathing. The usage of this word is important to the passage because it is a great way to describe Turkey. Turkey also shows off his "fullest beams", which confirms him being as "pursy".

    12. “Do you not see the reason for yourself,” he indifferently replied.

      Ah, answering a question with a question: either a deliberate rudeness or an apathetic request for attention. I think the latter is the case here.

    13. First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger Nut.

      The food names are incredibly important to the meaning of the story. Materialism is a huge focus in the story, all of the food references in the story represent that materialistic focus. The fact that Bartleby refuses the food and ultimately dies from lack of food is in a way a metaphore for the fact that he refused all things that were material. Melville makes the point that the view of the day was the less materialistic you were the less likely you were to survive.

    1. Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.

      Douglass is scolding the American people for rubbing salt in the wounds of slaves. How can they rejoice in freedom when they have imprisoned so many? Douglass is reaffirming his shift in argument: it is no longer a question of whether slaves are human. According to Douglass, it is a question of whether the country can keep human beings in slavery while spouting high moral values and not seem hypocritical. Douglass goes further to say that doing so is also "treason most scandalous and shocking". This accusation was especially poignant when connected to the Christian faith. Douglass is not shying away from calling out those that are in the wrong.

    2. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchres of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout — “We have Washington to our father.” — Alas! that it should be so; yet so it is.

      This reference to Biblical history is an extremely powerful metaphor. The Jews had a long history of undoing the blessings that their forefathers had gained them. This idea, and warning, is one that Douglass seems to be stating here. Like the Jews, the Americans' freedoms were won by men generations before. That revolution cost many their lives and those values that founded the country (life, liberty, happiness) are being destroyed by the actions of men today. By keeping slaves and making laws that kept people in bondage, Americans are making the mistakes of the Jews. Douglass wants to open the eyes of Americans to the hypocrisy of what they are doing.

    3. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it.

      A ring bolt is used to secure objects through the use of ropes or cables.

      Douglass uses this metaphor to tie the Declaration of Independence to the destiny of the United States. He insists that the principles in the document are "saving principles," that should be defended against all foes. The way in which the citizens uphold the principles in the Declaration will be linked to the destiny of the country.

    4. remonstrance

      This is a form of protest or a specific document outlining the reasons for protest/opposition, mainly used in political and theological context. Simply put, “the ‘protest’ of the Apostles” refers to disagreements the followers of Jesus had with human law that contradicted or attempted to supersede the rules put in place by God through Jesus as a teacher. These instances are found all throughout scripture, and they always point back to the holiest and highest authority as being the right and just ruler of the people.

    5. Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

      I could imagine that this made the crowd very uncomfortable. It is one thing to point out hypocrisies and injustice at the hands of the maliciously ignorant, but to bluntly point at the blissfully/well-intended ignorant and honestly put them in the positon where they can see their own missteps is presumably more effective. Taking a common concept and then turning it into an argumentative weapon is as simple as realizing a pre-existing level of cognitive dissonance. Douglass is correct, what does a day of freedom mean to a people that are not free? Why then would these people want to speak about it? A sense of shame is put upon the crowd not for their inaction, but for their assumption and their generalizations that, in all honesty, may have been unknowingly delaying the situation of slavery through their ignorance. It is sometimes the biting critique of the subtle action that makes for a lasting and thoughtful argument.

    6. ecclesiastical

      According to merriam-webster dictionary, the term "ecclesiastical" is best defined as "of or relating to a church especially". Douglass used this term to describe how churches among other other religous institutions are utilizing their powers wrongfully against many slaves.

    7. As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger, as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure.

      This is a fantastic metaphor used by Douglass to describe the determination of American men to separate from the King's rule during the Revolutionary War. The anchor, which symbolizes the American men, takes a firmer hold during the storm, which was the war against the King. Despite the war, the Americans took a firm hold and fought against the King. "...the cause of your fathers grow stronger," signifies the determination of the American men that grew throughout the war and eventually won them their independence.

    8. vociferations

      Douglass makes a comparison to the Revoultionary war and the current state they are in. He explains how people before did not appeal to change unless they made some profit like gold and silver. Also, he explains how the idea of breaking away from England back then was considered dangerous to some and questionable. Many were frightened and had vociferations towards it. According to Dictionary.com, it means to cry out, be loud, or noisy. People had angry arguments against it but the thought of being free from Britain continued along with the nation. Douglass implies that ending slavery can also move along with the country too no matter how harsh and cruel they are to us.

    9. infidelity

      As merriam-webster states, the term "infidelity" means a "lack of belief in a religion". Douglass uses this term to describe the United States, more so the slave owners, who would disapprove any slave who believed in any type of religion. Douglass mentions that it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

    10. To side with the right, against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

      This piece from the text stood out to me. Douglass provides motivation and an understanding to why others are the way they are. He tells the people to not give up, stand with those who know what it is right because it is right. Together, they might be the minority idea, but they can stand up to their oppressors and change the land. The reason they are like this is because of their fathers and the following of England's government. We can change that! We know what is moral and we can live in peace, but it will take time, so do not give up.

    11. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

      i like the metaphor that Douglass creates here, comparing the government to a parental figure, and its children the colonial people. i never put that comparison together until now, but it really paints a picture in my mind of the 'Big Bad Government' "retraining, limiting and deeming wisdom" upon its children, America.

    12. There is consolation in the thought that America is young. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

      Douglass refers to a metaphorical comparison between the United States and a river. After reading this passage, we can see that he was trying to say that America has changed much over time just like the current of the water in a river. Douglass says that America is young and that a change is needed but it won't be easy.

    13. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence.

      Douglass writes this line as a sign of hope. The people who hope for change may be angry with the current state they are in and give warnings to many through their acts and even writings like Douglass' but many think that all is lost since there is no change. Douglass says that you all have hope, there is a small fire within you knowing that America has a long way to go, and can still pick up new ideas with time. Nothing is set in stone yet, we can make a brighter future such as abolishing slavery.

    14. exordium

      According to merriam-webster dictionary, the word "exordium" means a beginning or introduction especially to a discourse or composition. This is represented in the passage by Douglass telling the reader that he has not prepared a highly enthusiastic or interestering introduction to his speech or letter.

    15. euphonious

      According to Google, the term "euphonious" can be defined as "pleasing to hear." I think that hhe is making a connection between the negative light shed on Tories in the past, and linking it with the views of some of the traditional politicians.

    16. slave plantation, from which I escaped

      These lines are making note of Douglass' history in slavery. He was born into slavery, as can be learned from his memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. This point makes his place as an abolitionist orator even more impacting in my opinion.

    17. Corinthian Hall

      Located in Rochester, New York, the Corinthian Hall was the physical embodiment of abolition. The beautifully decorated building, owned by William Reynolds, held some of the most powerful speeches during it's time. As an orator, Douglass would likely have been acquainted with or at the very least know of the building prior to having spoken here during this speech.

    18. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe.

      While reading, I came to this sentence, then stopped reading. Now adays, very sad and horrible things happen in the world. A lot of these things that happen, are caused by mischievient people who have figured out ways to work around and harm a system that they are unhappy with. The smarter, or more intelligent people become, the more opinions are formed and the more people find ways to express them. Therefore, when he says "Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe," he is saying that the intelligece of people sometimes is what causes some of the horrific things that happen in our world.

    19. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence, I will proceed to lay them before you.

      These few sentences that Douglass says before he starts his speech speaks a lot about his character. He is essentially saying, that he is aware he has little experience and has not had much preparation for what he is about to do, but stll he will speak from his heart and his true thoughts to those who are patient and generous enough to listen to him. As a reader, I appreciated reading this- becuase if I were to have been a person listening to Douglass say this, I would have been more interested and more inclined to listen to his speech, with much greatfulness and respect.

    20. i like the metaphor Douglass creates here with the government being a parental figure to America, with its "restraints, limitations, and it deemed wise." i never put this comparison together, but after reading this, i really like the metaphor "snapshot" in creates in my mind.

    21. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it.

      The Preamble of the constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." It is interesting that Douglass incorporates this Glorious Liberty Document at the end of his speech. I think that he brought this idea in at the very end because he wanted pepople to think about his questions after he was done speaking. Is slavery among the purposes of the preamble? Douglass's whole speech is framed around why July 4th isn't that same for slaves as it is for free white men. In talking about the constitution, he is asking the people, "Why do we still uphold the ideal of slaveholding if your founding fathers did not put that into the constitution?"

    22. forbearance

      Forbearance means showing patience and self-control. It also means to show restraint and tolerance. This is important in this passage because the founding fathers had to demonstrate this quality. They believed that only justice, liberty, and humanity were set in stone. They did not think that slavery and oppression were going to last forever. This concept is what Douglass is emphasizing in this paragraph.

    23. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

      Douglass is comparing the young United States with a river. He is saying this because a nation can change course, just as a river can over time. In this particular case, he is talking about how since the nation is so young, the hope that slavery can be abolished is not such a distant thought. He also says, if the nation were older, then there might be less hope, but since the nation is only 76 years old, there is much growing that can be done. Douglass was right in this assumption because 13 years later, slavery was abolished.

    24. Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

      Douglass brings up this unjust treatment of the forefathers of America as a sly comparison to what is currently going on in the anti-slavery movement. He wants his audience to agree with the fact that the forefathers had the right to rebell against the government in England because they are being treated unfairly. This allows him to make the audience question why they are making such a big deal about the anti-slavery movement. People pushing for the anti-slavery movement are basically doing the same thing that our country's forefathers were. Douglass just wants them to realize the comparison and juxtapositon between the two

    25. This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. I am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young.

      Douglass' choice of the word "your" is very important for the context of this passage. He uses "your" in these select few instances because slavery would not be abolished for another 13 years, and it was only 1852 when Douglass wrote this letter. He writes that the 4th of July is "...the birthday of your National Independence, and your political freedom" He is addressing the white supremacy and the power of white entitlement. Slaves, during 1852, would be lucky enough to own clothes or even a blanket. It was also preposterous to compare the equality of a white person verses a black person. Douglass' mentioning of the word "your" shows his recognition of a slave's place in the United States (during 1852) and of the power and right a color of skin held over another human being.

    26. placards

      A placard, as described by Merriam-Webster, is a sign that is used in demonstrations that can either be carried or hung somewhere for public display. The signs usually carry short messages and can also have catchy sayings to grab a passerby's attention during a demonstration. Douglass mentions "The papers and the placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July Oration" which suggests that people who likely carried placard signs at any sort of demonstrations wanted Douglass to speak at the oration on the 4th of July.

    1. Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

      Thoreau put actions to these words when he was imprisoned for not paying his taxes to a government he didn't believe in. This idea that the only place for a just person is prison because the government is unjust, but seems almost Biblical. John the Baptist was imprisoned for calling out the sins of a corrupt ruler and Paul was imprisoned for several years and wrote letters from jail encouraging other Christians. This act by Thoreau is lent legitimacy not only through his obvious conviction, but also from Biblical history: is Thoreau a modern day disciple for what is right?

    2. So is an change for the better, like birth and death which convulse the body.

      This imagery of "change for the better" being a death and birth is a very powerful. Thoreau is reiterating that change itself is destructive and "convulse[s] the body". Death and Birth are both painful, but necessary in the creation of something new. Thoreau seems to be calling for the death of the current government and the birth of a new, better one. He does not call for violence, like some abolitionists openly did, but he is not shying away from the destructiveness of revolution and change. His imagery seems to foreshadow the Civil War that was on the horizon.

    3. the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth — certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

      Thoreau is referring to the government as a machine, and the only way to stop it is to add friction. Friction is figurative in this paragraph. He is saying that in order to add friction, you might have to break the law. In the last sentence of this paragraph, he is saying that he DOES NOT in any way support the wrong in which he so adamantly disapproves of.

    4. If the injustice is part of the necessary friction

      Sample annotation on the word "friction" in a passage.

    1. How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also

      This statement by Thoreau, that a government that recognizes the legitimacy of slavery, cannot be his government and that anyone who associates with it should feel ashamed, seems to mirror similar statements that Douglass makes in his speech. Douglass, in his description of the "fathers" that succeeded in gaining freedom from England, never associates that freedom with himself, always using the word "your". Especially in lines like "Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success", Douglass is not associating the rights, successes, of benefits of the current government with himself. And why would he? He is an escaped slave and is not considered a citizen. Thoreau seems to be referencing this feeling in African American's at this time by stating that the government sees them only as slaves, so why should they or anyone feel loyalty to it.

    2. slut

      interesting how this word has become super derogatory throughout the centuries... it almost seems like part of the language and not at all inappropriate to include in this piece.

    3. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it. 

      Henry David Thoreau states that the United States government has gotten in the way of the American people. He says that it has been difficult for American people to become more successful while being independent at the same time without the interference of the government. Thoreau discusses these problems more in-depth throughout the passage.

    4. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate.

      Thoreau brings up how the current government, a soulless entity that cannot make just decisions, has not accomplished any good or helped others through its goals. He explains how it makes no attempt to try to solve current issues such as slavery, and the the war with Mexico. What good has our current government done for us? Should we still support it? The government is essentially out for itself and gain. This is why we need to stand up and create a change.

    5. "I am too high-born to be propertied,  To be a secondary at control,  Or useful serving-man and instrument  To any sovereign state throughout the world."

      This seems to be a reference to Shakespeare's King John. I think the purpose within Thoreau's piece is to show resistance against superiority. The words chosen to quote demonstrate a man's refusal to cooperate, because he feels as though he has no moral obligation to be used like an instrument. This theme overrides the entire piece of Civil Disobedience.

    6. "That government is best which governs least"

      These lines could potentially be a link to Thoreau's trancendentalist ideals. Another potential link could to to his friend and fellow writer Ralph Waldo Emmerson's essay on politics, published in 1844, four years prior to Thoreau's Civil Disobedience piece.

    7. It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.

      Thoreau says that a man is not to destory or harm anything, no matter the circumstances. However, if he engages himself in doing so, it is now his duty to wash his hands of this action, and forget about it.

    8. Oh for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through!

      He says here that a real man in the eyes of the country is a man who is strong in his beliefs and in his word. He says a man "has a back bone in which you cannot pass your hand through," again demonstrating that a man like this will stand his ground through his own beliefs.

    9. All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.

      Here, Thoreau discusses change through the power of voting. Only he questions whether voting is really making a difference. Voting is gambling and you think you are supporting the correct decision but will is succeed? The decision may be moral and just, but will it win against the majority? We should not waste time and allow the government to power more waiting for others to realize what is right. If we want to make a difference, we are going to have to do more which links to his protests.

    1. When I came out of prison — for some one interfered, and paid that tax — I did not perceive that great changes had taken place on the common, such as he observed who went in a youth and emerged a tottering and gray-headed man; and yet a change had to my eyes come over the scene — the town, and State, and country — greater than any that mere time could effect.

      Although not stated here, it is most likely that Emmer paid Thoreau's taxes, and bailed him out of prison. In this passage, he refers to the fact that he did not go to jail young and emerge as an old gray-headed man, so he did not see any great changes. But, he says that he became more aware of the state when he emerged from prison.