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The American Notion of Freedom: Freedom as a Central Element of American History and its Reflection in Literature.
Název práce v češtině: Americké pojetí svobody: Svoboda jako ústřední prvek americké historie a její odraz v literatuře
Název v anglickém jazyce: The American Notion of Freedom: Freedom as a Central Element of American History and its Reflection in Literature.
Klíčová slova: svoboda|politická svoboda|transcendentalismus|abolicionismus|anarchismus|pragmatismus|generace bítníků
Klíčová slova anglicky: freedom|political freedom|transcendentalism|abolitionism|anarchism|pragmatism|Beat generation
Akademický rok vypsání: 2018/2019
Typ práce: bakalářská práce
Jazyk práce: angličtina
Ústav: Ústav anglofonních literatur a kultur (21-UALK)
Vedoucí / školitel: David Lee Robbins, Ph.D.
Řešitel: skrytý - zadáno a potvrzeno stud. odd.
Datum přihlášení: 28.11.2018
Datum zadání: 28.11.2018
Schválení administrátorem: zatím neschvalováno
Datum potvrzení stud. oddělením: 29.11.2018
Datum a čas obhajoby: 18.06.2020 00:00
Datum odevzdání elektronické podoby:17.05.2020
Datum proběhlé obhajoby: 18.06.2020
Odevzdaná/finalizovaná: odevzdaná studentem a finalizovaná
Oponenti: doc. Erik Sherman Roraback, D.Phil.
Zásady pro vypracování
Freedom and its importance for Americans is deeply rooted and can be dated as far back as to the first half of the 17th century when Puritans were leaving Britain, where they were prosecuted, to start a new promising life in the New World. The thesis will therefore begin with explaining this historical context and will introduce the first impulses leading to the independence on Britain. What will be namely presented is the Mayflower Compact which is considered to be the first governing document in early colonial days and whose establishment later led to a want for a greater political freedom.
The notion of political freedom will be explained on the background of the events and situation leading to the War of Independence, mainly as reflected in the work of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Major ideas discussed are; as first, the idea of Thomas Paine claiming the independence of the colonies as a logical solution and secondly, the notion of liberty by Jefferson who believed liberty to be given to people by God.
The thesis will gradually move on to the period of the 1830’s and will point out a diversion from the earlier notion of freedom. It will be explained that the earlier Jeffersonian notion was rather wider, including society as a whole, whereas the new Transcendetalist views of freedom focus mainly on the liberty of individuals. This part of the thesis will therefore present the ideas of Transcendentalists, particularly their views of people’s self-reliance and the concept of creating a purely American cultural identity.
In the next step, slavery and its reflection in literature will be dealt with until its abolishment in 1865. Referring back to Jefferson’s words from the Declaration of Independence, it will be stressed that freedom was not granted to everyone against which it was fought by the Abolitionists. Further discussion will include the abolitionists’ views on liberty which will be presented on exact examples of the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Lysander Spooner.
Furthermore, Spooner’s later “anarchist” approach and ideas will be contrasted to the ones of Transcendetalists. Particularly, his opinion on self-reliance, reflected mainly on promoting self-employment and representing a liberty in one own’s business. Another major point which will also be discussed will be his rejection of government interventions and the comparison of this attitude to the anti-institutionalism of the Transcendetalists.
In the following part of the thesis, Spooner’s earlier notion of liberty will be compared to the newer pragmatist approach of John Dewey whose first work was published in 1887, the year of Spooner’s death. The emphasis will be put on Dewey’s claims of liberty being one of the essential elements determining human nature and his belief that human nature is mainly culturally determined and love for freedom is one of the crucial means of this determination.
The last part of the thesis will overlap the period of the 1950’s known as the Beat generation and its ideals. Particularly, one of their key beliefs which was free love and sexual liberation, straying from the Christian ideals of American culture at the time. The focus will also be on that period’s sexism and underestimation of women authors.
Seznam odborné literatury
Dewey, John. Freedom and Culture. New York: Putnam, 1939; London: Allen & Unwin, 1940.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The American scholar. Washington: United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa,
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self-reliance”, Essays: First Series (1841).
Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and other poems. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1959.
Kerouac, Jack. On the road. London: Penguin Books, 2000.
Paine, Thomas. Thomas Paine Collection: Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason, An Essay
on Dream, Biblical Blasphemy, Examination Of The Prophecies. USA: Forgotten Books, 2007.
Spooner, Lysander. No Treason (1867-1870).http://www.lysanderspooner.org/works/.
Spooner, Lysander. The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (1845,1860).
Spooner, Lysander. Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty (1875).
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's cabin. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

The Constitution of the United States: and The Declaration of Independence. Washington:
Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, 1991.
The works of Lysander Spooner: http://www.lysanderspooner.org/works/.

Note: Additional sources may be added.
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