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Wednesday, April 28

  1. page 2. An Imperative Duty Discussion edited William Dean Howells addresses nature versus nurture in his book, An Imperative Duty, essentially b…
    William Dean Howells addresses nature versus nurture in his book, An Imperative Duty, essentially by taking a Caucasian individual named Rhoda and turning her into an African-American. That is, Howells creates a person who looks white, has been raised to think she is white, and has been treated to accompany that race throughout her entire life, and then allows her to be informed that she has African-American blood. When she learns this information she is very nearly engaged, but the drastic change that her new heritage suggests makes her feel that she is no longer worthy of accepting a white man’s proposal. Rhoda's appearance, as well as her upbringing, is that of a white individual, but signs keep appearing that suggest her African-American heritage is dominant over her white upbringing. The question remains: is it nature or nurture that decides a person’s innate qualities? Howells seems to be advocating for nature.
    Howells' use of Mrs. Meredith:
    ...
    atavism. “Do you believe in heredity?...You know! The persistence of ancestral traitsDo you believe
    Although Mrs. Meredith spends much of the novel contemplating not telling Rhoda, hoping that the part of her that was raised white will mask the qualities that come from her African-American heritage, significant moments of interaction between her and Rhoda reveal that she must. In conversation with Olney, Mrs. Meredith states, “I can hear it in her voice at times—it’s a black voice! I can see it in her looks! I can feel it in her character—so easy, so irresponsible, so fond of what is soft and pleasant!” (73) This shows clearly that Mrs. Meredith believes that nature, or innate traits, plays a significant role in Rhoda’s character. Interestingly, Mrs. Meredith see’s these signs in Rhoda, yet still desires and hopes that the qualities she presents will disappear with her offspring, therefore concealing her secret. After much contemplation and hopeful ranting, Mrs. Meredith's conscience cannot take the chance that those natural qualities will pass to each of Rhoda’s children.
    Howells' use of Dr. Olney:
    (view changes)
    8:43 pm
  2. page 2. An Imperative Duty Discussion edited William Dean Howells addresses nature versus nurture in his book, An Imperative Duty, essentially b…
    William Dean Howells addresses nature versus nurture in his book, An Imperative Duty, essentially by taking a Caucasian individual named Rhoda and turning her into an African-American. That is, Howells creates a person who looks white, has been raised to think she is white, and has been treated to accompany that race throughout her entire life, and then allows her to be informed that she has African-American blood. When she learns this information she is very nearly engaged, but the drastic change that her new heritage suggests makes her feel that she is no longer worthy of accepting a white man’s proposal. Rhoda's appearance, as well as her upbringing, is that of a white individual, but signs keep appearing that suggest her African-American heritage is dominant over her white upbringing. The question remains: is it nature or nurture that decides a person’s innate qualities? Howells seems to be advocating for nature.
    Howells' use of Mrs. Meredith:
    ...
    atavism. “Do you believe in heredity?...You know! The persistence of ancestral traitsDo you believe
    Although Mrs. Meredith spends much of the novel contemplating not telling Rhoda, hoping that the part of her that was raised white will mask the qualities that come from her African-American heritage, significant moments of interaction between her and Rhoda reveal that she must. In conversation with Olney, Mrs. Meredith states, “I can hear it in her voice at times—it’s a black voice! I can see it in her looks! I can feel it in her character—so easy, so irresponsible, so fond of what is soft and pleasant!” (73) This shows clearly that Mrs. Meredith believes that nature, or innate traits, plays a significant role in Rhoda’s character. Interestingly, Mrs. Meredith see’s these signs in Rhoda, yet still desires and hopes that the qualities she presents will disappear with her offspring, therefore concealing her secret. After much contemplation and hopeful ranting, Mrs. Meredith's conscience cannot take the chance that those natural qualities will pass to each of Rhoda’s children.
    Howells' use of Dr. Olney:
    (view changes)
    8:42 pm

Thursday, April 22

  1. page home edited Nature vs. Nurture ... Chelsea Newman What What determines a “I can hear it in her voi…

    Nature vs. Nurture
    ...
    Chelsea Newman What
    What
    determines a
    “I can hear it in her voice at times—it’s a black voice! I can see it in her looks! I can feel it in her character—so easy, so irresponsible, so fond of what is soft and pleasant!” (Howells 73)
    The previous quote, written by William Dean Howells in An Imperative Duty, is depicting an outsider's perspective of a person who has been nurtured as a white individual in every sense. In suggesting this girl has a "black voice," in spite of her upbringing, is suggesting that by nature the girl is of African-American dissent, as is simply reverting back to her natural mannerisms. By making this statement, Howells supports the claim that nature plays a more significant role than nurture when deciding what determines an individual's innate qualities.
    (view changes)
    8:12 pm
  2. page home edited Nature vs. Nurture ... Chelsea Newman What What determines a “I can hear it in her voice…

    Nature vs. Nurture
    ...
    Chelsea Newman What What determines a
    “I can hear it in her voice at times—it’s a black voice! I can see it in her looks! I can feel it in her character—so easy, so irresponsible, so fond of what is soft and pleasant!” (Howells 73)
    The previous quote, written by William Dean Howells in An Imperative Duty, is depicting an outsider's perspective of a person who has been nurtured as a white individual in every sense. In suggesting this girl has a "black voice," in spite of her upbringing, is suggesting that by nature the girl is of African-American dissent, as is simply reverting back to her natural mannerisms. By making this statement, Howells supports the claim that nature plays a more significant role than nurture when deciding what determines an individual's innate qualities.
    (view changes)
    8:11 pm
  3. page home edited Nature vs. Nurture What By: Dane Dezellem and Chelsea Newman What determines a “I can hear i…

    Nature vs. Nurture
    WhatBy: Dane Dezellem and Chelsea Newman What determines a
    “I can hear it in her voice at times—it’s a black voice! I can see it in her looks! I can feel it in her character—so easy, so irresponsible, so fond of what is soft and pleasant!” (Howells 73)
    The previous quote, written by William Dean Howells in An Imperative Duty, is depicting an outsider's perspective of a person who has been nurtured as a white individual in every sense. In suggesting this girl has a "black voice," in spite of her upbringing, is suggesting that by nature the girl is of African-American dissent, as is simply reverting back to her natural mannerisms. By making this statement, Howells supports the claim that nature plays a more significant role than nurture when deciding what determines an individual's innate qualities.
    (view changes)
    8:11 pm
  4. page Wiki Rationale edited ... When drawing from sources that related to our topic and would benefit our Wiki viewers, we enc…
    ...
    When drawing from sources that related to our topic and would benefit our Wiki viewers, we encountered three sites that suggested our visitors would need in order to gain a more in-depth analysis of what is already covered in our Wiki. Essentially, it is imperative to understand the time period that Twain and Howells were writing in; thus, we created our 19th Century History Background page. This page gives what the reader an explanation of the types of events and ideals that were present during the 19 century, and allows readers to understand the context surrounding our Wiki. Although there are other historical facts that are pertinent to the time-period, comparing the writings of Howells and Twain in the context of race only required specific facts. By supplying the viewers with these facts, then providing a link to Innercity.org, readers are able to more extensively view all significant events of the 19th century, allowing them to have the opportunity to start from beginning of 1800, venture to end of the century, and see the progression of events that take place during the time period that Twain and Howells were writing from. Visitors who gain access to this site can cover more in-depth information if they feel necessary, yet, are not bombarded with unnecessary information as they visit our page, as it may not pertain to the topic of nature versus nurture. Furthermore, this site, when compared to others, included more history that is significant to our discussion than many of the other sites; other webpages excluded significant dates and laws that were passed that pertained to race. Yet, in the end, the timeline feature of Innercity.org was the deciding factor for inclusion in our Wiki project. Other sites that talked about history in a paragraph fashion did not portray the events in the useful and efficient manner as did this site. Ultimately, all sites used in our Wiki were selected for efficiency and information-reliability.
    When providing background on the authors or the texts chosen, we chose sites that rendered information both factual and useful to our purposed topic. The site purposed for Howells' information provided information which allowed us to focus less on his general biography and more on facts that were significant to our topic. Knowing that Howells did not focus all of his work on the nature versus nurture question that An Imperative Duty addresses, we chose a site that addresses the topic, as well as analyzes other pieces of his work that pertain to similar ideas that he addresses in this book. By providing this site, the reader is able to gain better understanding of Howells' works that do coincide with our thesis, and has the opportunity to dive deeper if desired. Ultimately, the site that Dr. Campbell created was chosen because it portrayed the information in a clear, informative, and concise manner, contrary to the other options we considered. The website listed as an informational outlet for Twain's page was selected for similar reasons to that of Howells; we included important pertinent to our topic on our Wiki, and provided a link that allows the reader the option to further inquire if desired.
    Essentially, Mark Twain and William Dean Howells were innovators. They took a topic of controversy and dismay during their time period, and transformed it in a way that allowed readers to question the very standards that were imposed upon their daily lives. Although the two revolutionary authors were in obvious disagreement on what they believe an individual's race implies, it can be gathered that they were looking ahead to a time when race was a candid topic, as opposed to one which is rarely discussed. Through this Wiki project, we were not only able to better understand each of these authors stances, but were able to acknowledge the progressive strides societal standards have taken since the 19th century, and can better appreciate what the continuation of modernism may bring.
    (view changes)
    8:04 pm
  5. page 9. Pudd'nhead Wilson Text edited ... But he was ill at ease. He had changed back to Roxy's dress, with the stoop of age added to th…
    ...
    But he was ill at ease. He had changed back to Roxy's dress, with the stoop of age added to the disguise, so that Wilson would not bother himself about a humble old woman leaving a neighbor's house by the back way in the early morning, in case he was still spying. But supposing Wilson had seen him leave, and had thought it suspicious, and had also followed him? The thought made Tom cold. He gave up the raid for the day, and hurried back to the haunted house by the obscurest route he knew. His mother was gone; but she came back, by and by, with the news of the grand reception at Patsy Cooper's, and soon persuaded him that the opportunity was like a special providence, it was so inviting and perfect. So he went raiding, after all, and made a nice success of it while everybody was gone to Patsy Cooper's. Success gave him nerve and even actual intrepidity; insomuch, indeed, that after he had conveyed his harvest to his mother in a back alley, he went to the reception himself, and added several of the valuables of that house to his takings.
    After this long digression we have now arrived once more at the point where Pudd'nhead Wilson, while waiting for the arrival of the twins on that same Friday evening, sat puzzling over the strange apparition of that morning—a girl in young Tom Driscoll's bedroom; fretting, and guessing, and puzzling over it, and wondering who the shameless creature might be.
    CONCLUSION
    (pages 165-167)
    It is often the case that the man who can't tell a lie thinks he is the best judge of one.—Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar.
    October 12.—The Discovery.—It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.— Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar.
    The town sat up all night to discuss the amazing events of the day, and swop guesses as to when Tom's trial would begin. Troop after troop of citizens came to serenade Wilson, and require a speech, and shout themselves hoarse over every sentence that fell from his lips—for all his sentences were golden now, all were marvellous. His long fight against hard luck and prejudice was ended; he was a made man for good.
    And as each of these roaring gangs of enthusiasts marched away, some remorseful member of it was quite sure to raise his voice and say :
    ' And this is the man the likes of us has called a pudd'nhead for more than twenty years. He has resigned from that position, friends.'
    ' Yes, but it isn't vacant—we're elected.'
    The twins were heroes of romance now, and with rehabilitated reputations. But they were weary of Western adventure, and straightway retired to Europe.
    Roxy's heart was broken. The young fellow upon whom she had inflicted twenty-three years of slavery continued the false heir's pension of thirtyfive dollars a month to her, but her hurts were too deep for money to heal; the spirit in her eye was quenched, her martial bearing departed with it, and the voice of her laughter ceased in the land. In her church and its affairs she found her only solace.
    The real heir suddenly found himself rich and free, but in a most embarrassing situation. He could neither read nor write, and his speech was the basest dialect of the negro quarter. His gait, his attitudes, his gestures, his bearing, his laugh—all were vulgar and uncouth; his manners were the manners of a slave. Money and fine clothes could not mend these defects or cover them up, they only made them the more glaring and the more pathetic. The poor fellow could not endure the terrors of the white man's parlour, and felt at home and at peace nowhere but in the kitchen. The family pew was a misery to him, yet he could nevermore enter into the solacing refuge of the ' nigger gallery '—that was closed to him for good and all. But we cannot follow his curious fate further—that would be a long story.
    The false heir made a full confession and was sentenced to imprisonment for life. But now a complication came up. The Percy Driscoll estate was in such a crippled shape when its owner died that it could pay only sixty per cent, of its great indebtedness, and was settled at that rate. But the creditors came forward now, and complained that inasmuch as through an error for which they were in no way to blame the false heir was not inventoried at that time with the rest of the property, great wrong and loss had thereby been inflicted upon them. They rightly claimed that ' Tom' was lawfully their property and had been so for eight years; that they had already lost sufficiently in being deprived of his services during that long period, and ought not to be required to add anything to that loss; that if he had been delivered up to them in the first place, they would have sold him and he could not have murdered Judge Driscoll, therefore it was not he that had really committed the murder, the guilt lay with the erroneous inventory. Everybody saw that there was reason in this. Everybody granted that if' Tom ' were white and free it would be unquestionably right to punish him—it would be no loss to anybody; but to shut up a valuable slave for life—that was quite another matter.
    As soon as the Governor understood the case, he pardoned Tom at once, and the creditors sold him down the river.

    (view changes)
    7:52 pm
  6. page Wiki Rationale edited Wiki Rationale ... of literature. Analysis allowed us to determine that both authors, through t…
    Wiki Rationale
    ...
    of literature. Analysis allowed us to determine that both authors, through their writing, are on opposing sides of the nature versus nurture spectrum. Twain masterfully creates a scenario that analyzes the level nurture's effect has on an individual by having a Caucasian and African-American boy raised in settings contrary to the societal standards of their heritage. On the other hand, Howells analyzes the level an individual's natural characteristics have on their overall behaviorisms by creating a setting allows the breeding of an African-American under white standards.
    Ultimately, studying these texts allowed us to decipher that different conclusions can be derived on the issue of nature versus nurture, depending on which author's writing you choose to advocate. We selected passages throughout both of these books that addressed the setting, treatment, and breeding-qualities that were imposed upon both African-American and Caucasian individuals in the books, and, essentially, how these factors effected their behaviors and determined their personalities. Focusing on these points allowed us to draw parallels to how the characters were treated, while also depicting how each author asserts their opinion on what determines one's overall being.

    Initially, we approached the project as would any individual searching for a point of analysis; we deeply read and analyzed the texts of these two authors, while more broadly searching and identifying other sources and works previously published on the authors and texts that might serve as beneficial. Once information was gathered and textual data was dissected, it seemed a clear and pointed argument had taken form, and a pathway for our project was essentially placed before us. With a foundation of historical background framing the 19th century (the time these two authors lived), much comprised of racist beliefs and concerns with heritage, it seemed to be no coincidence that each of these books was written for the purpose of racial analysis. Twain, commonly known to have an obsession with twins and similar identities, wrote a novel that depicted the lives of two similar-looking boys, though one of Caucasian descent and one of African-American descent, swapped after birth and destined to live each other's lives. Yet, as the plot of the book thickens, it seems Twain's emphasis is not based on his harboring obsession with similar identity, but instead works toward one that is highly concerned with society's view and treatment of racial differences. Throughout the book, Twain creates a number of characters who find themselves in situations that are largely due to the social standards of their racial background, and struggle with the inevitable effect these standards have on their lives. Howells, in An Imperative Duty, seems concerned with the same societal effects that are imposed upon individuals of African-American descent. Yet, the closer we analyzed the texts of Twain and Howells, the more we noticed the opposing approaches on the issue; Twain seemed to be asserting that the form of nurture an individual received determined their behavior, while Howells was solely concerned with atavism, and the idea that heredity is impossible to escape. Interested in the contradicting opinions of these two prodigious novel writers, we chose to create a Wiki which comparatively analyzed these two stances.
    I would now like to explain why we selected the text that we did to support our thesis. Each of these authors depicts different sides of the nature versus nurture issue. Twain creates a scenario that puts people’s nurture to the test by having a Caucasian and African-American boy raised in the opposite setting. Howells puts a person’s nature to the test by creating a setting that raises an African-American in a white home. These similar settings lead to different conclusions as the authors take a stance on out debate. We selected passages that addressed the home setting, the treatment, and the innate qualities that each of these books addressed. By focusing on these points we were able to draw parallels to how the characters were treated but also show how each author portrayed their innate qualities differently.
    When
    When drawing from
    ...
    Although there isare other historical
    ...
    facts. By supplying the viewers with these facts, then providing a
    ...
    from beginning of 1800, venture to end of the century, and see the progression of events that lead totake place during the time
    ...
    with unnecessary information,information as doesthey visit our page, as it may not pertain
    ...
    the other sites. Othersites; other webpages excluded
    ...
    efficiency and reliability.
    The
    information-reliability.
    When providing background on the authors or the texts chosen, we chose sites that rendered information both factual and useful to our purposed topic. The
    site giving facts about Howellspurposed for Howells' information provided information which allowed us
    ...
    more on the partsfacts that were
    ...
    our topic. Obviously,Knowing that Howells did
    ...
    Imperative Duty addresses. Yet, there areaddresses, we chose a site that addresses the topic, as well as analyzes other pieces
    ...
    this book. It was importantBy providing this site, the reader is able to us to address thesegain better understanding of Howells' works that do coincide but also givewith our gueststhesis, and has the abilityopportunity to dive deeper into all of Howells work. Theif desired. Ultimately, the site that Dr. Campbell created didwas chosen because it portrayed the information in a better job of this thenclear, informative, and concise manner, contrary to the other options we had.considered. The selection of Twainswebsite listed as an informational outlet for Twain's page has verywas selected for similar reasoningreasons to that of Howells. There is information that is moreHowells; we included important pertinent to our topic that we thought was worth including inon our biography. But we still wanted our visitors to haveWiki, and provided a link that allows the reader the option of learning about Twains entire biography.to further inquire if desired.
    (view changes)
    7:49 pm
  7. page Wiki Rationale edited Wiki Rationale ... intended purpose tied ties much deeper ... these books were was writte…
    Wiki Rationale
    ...
    intended purpose tiedties much deeper
    ...
    these books werewas written for
    ...
    their racial background....
    We chose three sites that could gave our visitors a more in depth analysis of what we cover briefly in our Wiki. It is important to us that they understand
    background, and struggle with the time period that Twain and Howells were writinginevitable effect these standards have on their lives. Howells, in thus we created our 19th Century History Background page. This page gives whatAn Imperative Duty, seems concerned with the reader an explanation of what was occurring during the 19 century. But it only covers major detailssame societal effects that are important toimposed upon individuals of African-American descent. Yet, the nature versus nurture question. There is other history that is useful when trying to understand why this question was so important thatcloser we were not able to include. The Innercity.org site goes intoanalyzed the further detail that a person could use. This site includes all significant eventstexts of the 19th century. With this available people can start from beginning to end and see the progression that lead to the time period that Twain and Howells were writing from. The advantage that we gain by giving our visitors access to this site is that we can cover more in depthHowells, the material at hand, namely nature versus nurture, and allow the visitor so go further into the history as they see fit. This site also included more of the history that is significant to our discussion than many of the others that we found. The other sites excluded significant dates and laws that were passed that pertained to race. The timeline feature of this site isnoticed the final reason that we chose it. The sites that talked about history in a paragraph fashion did not portray the events in the useful manner that the timeline site did. The other sites we chose were selected for similar reasoning.
    The site giving facts about Howells allowed us to focus less on his general biography and more
    opposing approaches on the parts that were significantissue; Twain seemed to our topic. Obviously Howells did not focus all of his work on the nature versus nurture questionbe asserting that An Imperative Duty addresses. But there are other pieces of his work that pertain to similar ideas that he addresses in this book. It was important to us to address these works that do coincide but also give our guests the ability to dive deeper into allform of nurture an individual received determined their behavior, while Howells work. The site that Campbell created did a better job of this thenwas solely concerned with atavism, and the other options we had. The selection of Twains page has very similar reasoning toidea that of Howells. Thereheredity is information that is more importantimpossible to our topic that we thought was worth includingescape. Interested in our biography. Butthe contradicting opinions of these two prodigious novel writers, we still wanted our visitorschose to have the option of learning about Twains entire biography.create a Wiki which comparatively analyzed these two stances.
    I would now like to explain why we selected the text that we did to support our thesis. Each of these authors depicts different sides of the nature versus nurture issue. Twain creates a scenario that puts people’s nurture to the test by having a Caucasian and African-American boy raised in the opposite setting. Howells puts a person’s nature to the test by creating a setting that raises an African-American in a white home. These similar settings lead to different conclusions as the authors take a stance on out debate. We selected passages that addressed the home setting, the treatment, and the innate qualities that each of these books addressed. By focusing on these points we were able to draw parallels to how the characters were treated but also show how each author portrayed their innate qualities differently.
    When drawing from sources that related to our topic and would benefit our Wiki viewers, we encountered three sites that suggested our visitors would need in order to gain a more in-depth analysis of what is already covered in our Wiki. Essentially, it is imperative to understand the time period that Twain and Howells were writing in; thus, we created our 19th Century History Background page. This page gives what the reader an explanation of the types of events and ideals that were present during the 19 century, and allows readers to understand the context surrounding our Wiki. Although there is other historical facts that are pertinent to the time-period, comparing the writings of Howells and Twain in the context of race only required specific facts. By providing a link to Innercity.org, readers are able to more extensively view all significant events of the 19th century, allowing them to have the opportunity to start from beginning to end and see the progression that lead to the time period that Twain and Howells were writing from. Visitors who gain access to this site can cover more in-depth information if they feel necessary, yet, are not bombarded with unnecessary information, as does not pertain to the topic of nature versus nurture. Furthermore, this site, when compared to others, included more history that is significant to our discussion than many of the other sites. Other webpages excluded significant dates and laws that were passed that pertained to race. Yet, in the end, the timeline feature of Innercity.org was the deciding factor for inclusion in our Wiki project. Other sites that talked about history in a paragraph fashion did not portray the events in the useful and efficient manner as did this site. Ultimately, all sites used in our Wiki were selected for efficiency and reliability.
    The site giving facts about Howells allowed us to focus less on his general biography and more on the parts that were significant to our topic. Obviously, Howells did not focus all of his work on the nature versus nurture question that An Imperative Duty addresses. Yet, there are other pieces of his work that pertain to similar ideas that he addresses in this book. It was important to us to address these works that do coincide but also give our guests the ability to dive deeper into all of Howells work. The site that Campbell created did a better job of this then the other options we had. The selection of Twains page has very similar reasoning to that of Howells. There is information that is more important to our topic that we thought was worth including in our biography. But we still wanted our visitors to have the option of learning about Twains entire biography.

    (view changes)
    7:18 pm

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