In the 1800’s, America was the subject of many romantic visions and musings. The British and East Coasters alike saw everything west of Appalachia as a wild wonderland: home to cowboys, adventure, and opportunity. Oscar Wilde, a renowned British author and satirist, voyaged across America to test the truth of these claims. Afterwards, he published his findings and opinions in a piece known as Impressions of America. In the piece, he makes it clear that America did not live up to his expectations, and would disappoint his readers as well. Through this satirical writing, Wilde uses comparison of beauty and industrialism and juxtaposition between compliments and criticism to paint American social values as backwards and unappealing in order to dispel the glamour of a romantic American culture. …show more content…
He praises some aspects, but doesn’t like others. Looking more deeply, however, it’s easy to see how this sentence is more of a backhanded compliment than anything. Wilde doesn’t value comfort or efficiency in the slightest, and neither do his readers. So when it appears he is lauding Americans for some aspect of their culture, the emphasis is on the criticism and he and his audience are looking down upon the Americans. Since Wilde and his audience share the same values, he is trying to show he has the same disappointment as the reader would when reading the piece. The air of superiority Wilde emits is also something he would wish to share with his audience, given that they no longer see America is a land of adventure, but as a land of reality and
In the persuasive letter to his wife, John Downe uses several rhetorical devices such as diction, hyperbole, and juxtaposition as well as several tones to convince her to emigrate to the United States. In the first paragraph, Downe uses diction and an inviting tone using words like ¨welcome¨ in order to describe what life in America is like. Downe uses long sentences to list examples of specific inexpensive items. He conveys America as a land bountiful in opportunity using the hyperbole
He raises Bostonians as “most noble citizens,” claiming that they are set as an example for the world, and as a hopeful case study for the rest of the American colonies. Putnam believes that the glory contemporarily held by Great Britain will, in due course, be transferred to America because of its bountiful land and industrious people. This idea that America had boundless potential as a nation served as one of the cornerstones of the burgeoning American
The American dream and the myth of the frontier dates back to early European immigrants escaping poverty and religious persecution to come to the unknown lands of now America. This is apparent in explorer John Smith’s A Description of New England.
With the coming and going of the American Civil War, the way of life, thinking, and culture of the country was radically changed. This change that many believe occurred only in the southern portion of the United States instead took place across the country as a whole; the south being the place that is most discussed when looking at pre- and post-civil war differences. The Antebellum South that once was a thriving community was no more. Instead everything was turned on its head. Before the Civil war, idealism was this idea of the Antebellum South portrayed in popular culture; the quintessential example that we use for the Antebellum South is the movie, Gone with the Wind, in which everything was viewed through rose-colored glasses.
Feelings towards a certain object, subject, or topic differ from person to person. The authors of “America” and “I Hear America Singing” express their feelings about the United States very differently in their writing. In “America,” the author constantly refers to the fact that America could be both a utopia and a dystopia at the same time. In “I Hear America Singing,” the author highlights the vast amount of jobs and chances at happiness that is in the land. Though both poems discuss the same topic, it is described dissimilarly and the authors present two different messages to the
Valerie Valdez AP English Period:4 3/4/17 The national distrust of the contemplative temperament arises less from an innate Philistinism than from a suspicion of anything that cannot be counted, stuffed, framed or mounted over the fireplace in the den. Men remain free to rise or fall in the world, and if they fail it must be because they willed it so. The visible signs of wealth testify to an inward state of grace, and without at least some of the talismans posted in one’s house or on one’s person an American loses all hope of demonstrating to himself the theorem of happiness. Seeing is believing, and if an American success is to count for anything in the world it must be clothed in the raiment of property.
Compared to those who lived in Europe, Americans had a much greater lifestyle in the new and beautiful America. In J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s narrative “Letter III What Is and American?”, he writes about the incredible lifestyle an American lives from the point-of-view of a farmer who had previously struggled in Europe. According to the farmer, being an American comes with the ideal life, something not offered in Europe. In What Is an American?, Crevecoeur presents a prideful and shameful tone as he describes his feelings towards America and Europe. Crevecoeur sees America as a beautiful place to live in, and describes it with a prideful tone.
How Mark Twain and Others Established an Identity for Southern Life The United States of America is a nation unlike any other on Earth. Although it stands as one united nation, the United States also includes many subcultures and distinctions within it as well. These distinct peculiarities make certain regions completely unique and detached.
Oscar Wilde toured the United States and Canada in eighteen-eighty-two giving lectures as he traveled from city to city. During his time in America, he surveyed the ways of the people who resided there and the many things the country had to offer. Wilde had an appreciation for the American dream and the pursuit and the fight for freedom and liberty and noticed distinct differences between America and the countries of Europe he grew to know and understand. Wilde met many people and learned many things and appealed to charming men rumored to be rough and dangerous, his curiosity was met with large machinery meant to intimidate and young people willing to sell anything to earn a penny. America has advanced through the centuries since Wilde’s visit, yet the country has maintained most of its central morals and ways of living he took note of.
The lines following line 44 are given in the tone of Salman Rudshie. He gives readers the tone that Americans are poor at adapting to the world, and they must learn from modern migrants who “make a new imaginative relationship with the world, because of the loss of familiar habits”. Rudshie’s critical tone goes on in lines 59-62, using the analogy of forcing industrial and commercial habits on foreign ground is synonymous if ‘the mind were a cookie-cutter and the land wer
A friend of Bryant, Thomas Cole, is moving from the vast nature filled plains of America to the crowded streets of Europe. Bryant is telling his friend to enjoy the new scenery and opportunities, but to not forget his home. It seems that the poet almost puts a negative connotation on Europe, calling it “fair but different,” showing his penchant for American transcendentalism (Bryant 554). Thomas Cole’s move to learn about new things and gain knowledge can almost show the abandonment of transcendental ideals and the shift to modern American life, where most people pursue jobs and social opportunities. He is leaving behind the nature of America and joining the hustle and bustle of the cities of Europe.
“Art for arts sake” was the motto and aestheticism was exemplified in both The Importance of Being Earnest and Oscar Wilde's own life. The usage of a dandy in the play is used to exemplify the love toward fashion during the time period, as well as to add comedic release through speaking in sarcasm and epigrams (Walker, 1). Wilde himself could be identified as a dandy in that he had an infatuation with interesting fashion and dressing well, as was he was often recognized as witty and quick on his feet in his conversations and his writing. Wilde was also known by many to be greatly interested in decoration and interior design, as displayed through his North American speech tour “A House Beautiful.” This exemplifies the Victorian eras high standards in appearance and visual
Oscar Wilde’s satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest, set in the late Victorian era, London, is a portrayal of British upper class society and its conventions surrounded by a strict code of conduct. In 1890’s class society, earnestness was desired; to follow the moral code and social obligations in order to keep up one’s appearance. Besides, there was a huge gender disparity between men and women. In the play, Wilde criticizes the social inequality and Victorian upper class standards. He characterizes Victorian personae making fun of their qualities; hypocrisy, arrogance and absurdism, ultimately the very vital state and lifeline of not being earnest at all in Victorian society.
The consequences of the aestheticism movement and more specifically, self-indulgence, are not only prominent in the novel but also in Wilde’s own life.
To understand Wilde’s message it is first important to at least try to diminish the skepticism that shrouds the beliefs on which it is based. The picture of Dorian Gray can be interpreted as an allegorical work to support biblical concepts, yet ironically enough it was used as evidence against Wilde at his trial for indecency. Allot of what was claimed to be homoerotic sub textual suggestions to the detrimental corruption of the audience were actually quote the opposite. They are frank examples of reality; part of what makes the novel so valuable in its defamation of indecency because they resounded with Wilde’s refusal to masquerade (use literary devices to cowardly conceal truth instead of add depth of meaning to it). In doing this he had to treat the more ambiguous beliefs on which the novel is based as more than personal perspectives.