Journal directory listing - Volume 47 Number 2 (2002/October) - Humanities & Social Sciences【47(2)】

The Environmental Imagination in Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha Author: Li-Ru Lu(Department of Foreign Languages and Literature,Huafan University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 47, No.2
Date:October 2002


After the successful outcome of the American Revolution, many American writers in the 18th and 19th centuries attempted to pursue cultural, intellectual and literary independence. These writers employed a literary strategy of "possessing" the land in order to establish a distinct literary tradition, thereby fostering a national literature. But what exactly was this strategy? And precisely how did they construct an autochthonous and independent cultural identity? This paper focuses on a 19th century writer-Henry Wadsworth Long- fellow-examining how Longfellow in The Song of Hiawatha appropriated the American primeval environment and its primitive inhabitants, the Indians, in order to shape a distinct national character and establish an indigenous tradition. But in his construction of a national mythology, Longfellow defined the American "self" and its "other." This here I am attempting to show how Longfellow appropriated the wild American nature and ("wild") Indians for the purpose of constructing the American "national ego," and how he depicted the destruction of the wilderness and of the Indians in order to convey the message of American expansionism and imperialism. Thus I am inquiring into the inherent ambivalence, or indeed contradiction, in 19th-century American cultural nationalism.

Keywords:Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Song of Hiawatha American cultural nationalism the American wilderness national identity

《Full Text》

APA FormatLu, L.-R. (2002). The Environmental Imagination in Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Humanities & Social Science, 47(2), 121-130. doi:10.6210/JNTNULL.2002.47(2).03