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研究生:許玉長
研究生(外文):Yuh-charng Shu
論文名稱:美國民主心聲-從美國十九世紀早期文學探究其民主精神
論文名稱(外文):AMERICA'S DEMOCRATIC VOICE:EARLY NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERARY PERCEPTIONS OF DEMOCRACY
指導教授:歐司迪
指導教授(外文):Stephen Ohlander
學位類別:博士
校院名稱:國立高雄師範大學
系所名稱:英語學系
學門:人文學門
學類:外國語文學類
論文種類:學術論文
論文出版年:2006
畢業學年度:94
語文別:英文
論文頁數:217
中文關鍵詞:美國民主十九世紀民主精神早期文學民主心聲
外文關鍵詞:america''s democratic voicenineteenth-centuryamerican literatureliteratureperceptions of democracy
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論文提要:
本論文旨在探究美國十九世紀早期文學作家,如愛默生、梭羅及惠特曼皆在嘗試表達其新心聲,亦即美國民主心聲,以慶賀新國家與新經驗為主軸。論文分成如下數章,除引言與結論外,尚有六章加以分別細述。引言直陳美國民主背景與獨特格調,乃根源於其所創新之社會;然白種人移民最終所創建之民主體制,其與歐洲貴族社會體制截然針鋒相對。
第一章討論美國與歐洲之關係史,並解析殖民主義與後殖民主義之文學理論架構,其歷史與美國之形成有關,美國從前是大不列顛之殖民地。此新獨立之國家,需要不同之論述,俾使其與從前母國劃清界限。從其文學上成就以觀,不僅在其作品已改變並擴大美國文學民主,抑且均在討論當代重要理論之主張方式。
第二章闡釋新大陸之民主精神及其鼓舞新世界之方式,對新、舊大陸之價值觀詳加剖析比較。新世界之特質,亦即新心聲之形成,乃在於揚棄舊世界。愛默生論及美國需要一首新歌,因而惠特曼撰作此首新歌,期使形成新心聲,以本土心聲歌頌民主、平等、自由。舊世界保有常備軍,以執行君主意志。此不同於新世界之民主。在民主共和國絕不以常備軍執行其法律,因執行法律有賴人民支持。此即民主國家人民信賴政府,乃因政府權力取自人民。
第三章探討個人主權對美國民主價值體系之重要性。個人必須有自由選擇政府及其規範法律與生活規範。愛默生、梭羅及惠特曼皆有論述,其應莫屈從於政府,因其權力乃人民所賦予,此為民主之鑰。如盲從政府權柄,勢必將成其奴僕。依惠特曼之民主願景,政府必須熱忱為民服務;若受制於獨裁政府,則必將永遠失去自由。
第四章剖析美國詩人之匯聚民主精神,彼必為眾人平等,為國家實質內涵代言。詩人思想必須合乎民主精神。人人皆平等而博愛,除非有人自願放棄其地位;人不可以階級劃分。此諸般概念,為舊世界所無法比擬。由此可見其已脫離舊式、傳統之思維,此亦彰顯被殖民者與殖民者間之決裂因素。
第五章揭示民主共和國肇建之際一般輿論展現,知識份子認為美國有能力、且註定成為新強權,秉持新心聲,基於民主精神與個人自由理念之價值創立新傳統。惠特曼志在創造嶄新大道之新文學使命,以不受古代思想或外在成規之權威 所束縛。惠特曼強調個人主義之思索,其為美國與一般人所喝采,所有作品皆集中在探討建立新美國民主心聲之本位角色。
第六章專研三位作家愛默生、梭羅及惠特曼之信仰,其心聲均屬新大陸與新經驗。所有作品皆在歌頌嶄新事物、獨立思潮及未來願景。環觀歐洲天高地遠,不與邪惡舊世界有任何糾葛,僅將歐洲視為通往理想天地之踏腳石。
結論敘述本論文中,提及美國十九世紀早期文學作家,對其民主心聲之文學觀點,審視早期美國文學英才,不難發現其念茲在茲者,皆繫於美國文學傳統缺乏自己心聲。以廣泛使用外來工具,表達新世界經驗,令其震驚。因而愛默生、梭羅及惠特曼均一致認為經歷偉大事物,應有創立新世界之宏觀理念,欲自該經歷探求真理;若使用貴族傳統之方法與價值,則必將一無是處。總之,自由、平等、博愛(如同在法國一般)乃為美國十九世紀早期文學之民主心聲表徵,其一直廣為世人所歌頌流傳無遺。
This dissertation intends to address early nineteenth-century American literature, wherein we see writers such as Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman trying to provide a new voice, a democratic voice, to celebrate the new nation and the new experiences. This dissertation is divided into the following chapters including an Introduction and Conclusion, together with six intermediate chapters. The Introduction sets up the background of American democracy, the uniqueness of America as rooted in its innovative society. The democratic system that the white settlers eventually established stands in contrast with the aristocratic formulae of European society.
Chapter One discusses the history of the relationship between America and Europe and the ideas of colonialism and post-colonialism. Of course, this history has something to do with the formation of the United States, a former colony of Great Britain. It seems to me that the newly independent country needs a different discourse to differentiate herself from her former mother country. Her literary achievements lie not only in the fact that their works have changed and expanded American literary democracy, but also in the way they address significant issues that concern the theoretical assumptions of the colonial and post-colonial era.
Chapter Two elaborates on the spirit of the new land and how it inspires the New World. There will be a comparison between Old World values and New world ones. An elaboration on the nature of the New World, the newly formed voice, is actually a renunciation of the old. America needs a new song, argues Emerson. Later Whitman provides the new song. He wants to form a new voice, a new song to sing Democracy, Equality and Liberty in the spirit of the land and how it inspires the New World. The old World has kept a standing army to execute its monarchs’ will. That is not equivalent to liberty in the New World. A free republic will never keep a standing army to execute its laws. It must depend on the support of its citizens. So we can realize that in a free republic people trust their government because the government is empowered by the people.
Chapter Three addresses the importance of the Sovereignty of the Individual to the value system of American democracy. The individual must be free to choose his government and therefore the laws under which he lives. Do not allow yourself to be subjugated by the government you empower, argue Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. That is the key to democracy. Once you blindly follow the authority of the government, you are a slave to it. For Whitman in his democratic vision, the government must work for the people. To become enslaved by a despotic government is to lose your liberty forever.
Chapter Four focuses on the American poet, who must be the voice for equality amongst individuals who are great and give the substance to the nation. The poet must be democratic in his thinking. All men are equal and great and as such nothing can be excluded from a man but by his own choice; man cannot be ranked into a hierarchy. These ideas are incomparable to those of the Old World. Here we see that there is a break from the old and the traditional. It also marks a break between the colonized and the colonizers.

Chapter Five reveals that, at the beginning of the Republic, the climate of opinion and the intelligentsia hold that America should have the potential and be destined to become a new power, adopt a new voice and engage in a new tradition on the basis of democracy and the individual. Whitman aims to forge a new course, a new literary destiny that is free from antiquated and external convention and authority. Whitman contemplates intense individualism and a celebration of America and the common man. He focuses on his role in the establishment of a new American voice in many of his works.
Chapter Six concentrates on the beliefs of the three writers: Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. Their voices are certainly those of the new continent and the new experiences. Through their works, they eulogize the new, the independent and the hope for the future. They see Europe as a faraway place. They will not have anything to do with the evil Old World except as a stepping stone to a better world.
The conclusion summarizes each writer’s literary perceptions of American Democracy in the early nineteenth-century which has been already discussed in this dissertation. In one way or another, when we look at these early American geniuses, it is not hard to discern their profound preoccupation with the lack of an American voice in the artistic tradition of America. They are appalled at the extensive reliance on foreign tools to express the New World experience. They see the greatness to be experienced in the New World, and they see absolutely no benefit in using the methods and values of aristocratic traditions in their extrapolation of truth from that experience. To sum up, in the early nineteenth-century American literary perceptions of democracy are sung(as in France)liberty, equality, and fraternity.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………………i
CHINESE ABSTRACT…………………………………………...…..iii
English ABSTRACT……………………………….…………………..v
INTRODUCTION………………………………………….…………...1
CHAPTER ONE
America’s Place in History…….……………………………………….....11
Changing Views of “History”…………………………………………….11
The New World………………...…………………………...………...…32
Fusing of Past, Present ,Future and America as the Stage for This
Dynamic………………………………………………………………..…35
War of Independence…………………………………………………..…44
CHAPTER TWO
The Literary Nature of This New World…….……………………………49
View of Nature……...……………………………………………….….49
The Spirit of the Land &How It Inspires the New World …….……….…58
The New Breed of People That Will Inhabit and Develop a New
Society in That Land….………………………………………………..…69
Old World Values vs. New World Values………………………….……..78
CHAPTER THREE
Progressive Values and Beliefs of the New Democratic Nation/Society…95
View of Democracy ……………………………………………….…..…95
Democracy and Its Core Values and Beliefs……………………………102
Sovereignty of the Individual………………………………...…………109
CHAPTER FOUR
Progress in America...…………………………………………..……… 119
Growth of Democracy and Its Key Elements……………………………119
Equality amongst Men…………………………………………...………126
Comradeship…………………………………………………….……….130
CHAPTER FIVE
Role of the Individual in the New World…………………………….….135
Powerful Forces behind Democratic Government………………….…...136
The New Value Placed on the Individual Requires a New
American Voice…………………………………………………….……143
CHAPTER SIX
The New Emerging Voice That Inspires and Interprets America…….…149
Emerson Beliefs……………………………………………………...….149
Thoreau Beliefs………………………………………………...………..160
Whitman Beliefs…………………………………………………...…….166
Conclusion ………………………………………………….…187
Works Cited…………………………………….……………....201
Emerson. 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, Belknap Press, 1960-72.
Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass and Other Writings. Ed. Michael Moon. N.Y.: Norton, 2002.
White, William, ed. Daybooks and Notebooks. 3 vols. N.Y.: N.Y. UP, 1978.
Wilson, Edmund, ed. “Emerson and Whitman: Documents on Their Relations (1855-58).” In The Shock of Recognition. N.Y.: Doubleday, 1943.
Winters, Yvor. In Defense of Reason. Denver: Alan Swallow, 1943. Woodbury, Charles J. Talks with Ralph Waldo Emerson. N.Y.: Baker and Baker, 1890.
Woods, Tim. Beginning Postmodernism. Manchester & N.Y.: Manchester UP, 1999.
Yoder, R.A. Emerson and the Orphic Poet in America. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978.
Young Robert. Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race. London: Routledge, 1995.
Young, Robert. White Mythologies : Writing History and the West. London and
N.Y.: Routledge, 1990.
Zweig, Paul. Walt Whitman: The Making of the Poet. N.Y.: Basic Books, 1984.
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