Might Benjamin Franklin’s aphorisms, Walt Whitman’s catalogs, Emily Dickinson’s “brief flashes of insight,” and Edgar Allan Poe’s insistence that a poem be short enough for the reader to apprehend its “totality of effect” in one sitting be considered precursors to modern American culture’s ever-shortening attention span and “thirty-second soundbite” mentality? If so, what are the connections?
Might Benjamin Franklin’s aphorisms, Walt Whitman’s catalogs, Emily Dickinson’s “brief flashes of insight,” and Edgar Allan Poe’s insistence that a poem be short enough for the reader to apprehend its “totality of effect” in one sitting be considered precursors to modern American culture’s ever-shortening attention span and “thirty-second soundbite” mentality? If so, what are the connections? If not, what are the fundamental distinctions? In your response, be sure to cite specific examples from the works of at least three of the authors we have studied as well as from current American practices and trends. Outside Sources: For Essay3 integrate into your text information and/or ideas from two secondary scholarly works of literary criticism pertaining to the author(s) and or text(s) in question.
Following correct MLA format, you must cite (quote and/or paraphrase) each source at least once in the body of your essay and document each source at the end of your essay on a separate Works Cited page.
Here is a list of the authors and the pieces, that we have studied so far. Pick the ones that you think fits best with what you have in mind for the essay. Some have links to their pieces.
John Winthrop; “A Model of Christian Charity,” 1630
Anne Bradstreet; “Before the Birth of One of Her Children,” 1678
Samuel Sewall; “The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial,” 1700
Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth,” 1757
“Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” 1782
“Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America,” 1784 (462-466)
The Autobiography [Part Two], 1783
From An Account of the Montauk Indians, on Long Island, 1761
A Short Narrative of My Life, 1768
Hector St. John de Crevecoeur
From Letters from an American Farmer, 1782
From The Declaration, 1776
From Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787
First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1801 (
Letters Between Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury Baptist Association, 1801 (
Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, 21 April 1803 (
Letter to John Adams, 28 October 1813 (
“Farewell Address at Springfield,” 1861
“First Inaugural Address,” 1861
Matthew Pinsker: Understanding Lincoln: First Inaugural Address (1861)
“Second Inaugural Address,” 1865
Frederick Douglass: From Slave to Statesman
Frederick Douglass: From Slave to Presidential Advisor
Frederick Douglass: From Slave to Abolitionist
Narrative of the Life, Chapters I-IX (pp. 1-58)
A Guide to Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”
“Leaves of Grass,” Still Growing After 150 Years–Billy Collins
Preface to Leaves of Grass
“Song of Myself”
U of Penn Lecture on Song of Myself
I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, let me know.
While it is true that the aphorisms of Benjamin Franklin, the catalogs of Walt Whitman, the brief fl
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Additionally, it is worth noting that attention spans and cultural values are complex and multifaceted, and cannot be reduced to a single cause or influence. While it is possible that these writers contributed to the development of a culture of brevity and immediacy, it is also possible that other factors, such as technological advancements, economic and political changes, and social and cultural shifts, have played a role in shaping the way we consume and process information today.