ERIC Number: ED283769
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May-16
Reference Count: 0
A Conceptual Model for a Holistic Approach to the American Sea Experience: American Seafaring Songs as Maritime Expressions of the Unique American Experience.
In explorations of American literature in high school, the tradition of sailormen and the sea is generally not considered independently or distinctly because the sea is not viewed as a separate region of thought. Songs of the whalers and sailors of the sea and the inland waterways are frequently related to the historical and spatial context of their regions rather than to a transcending "American Spirit." A closer look at the folk-songs of the sea and the inland waterways reveals a special blend of the national concept of self, the national psyche, the historical experience, and the liberating, egalitarian, and transcending qualities of the sea. It can reveal a basic unity appropriate for a new literary approach. Particular characteristics of the American experience which can serve as analytic guides for developing a holistic view of the seafaring experience are listed under the following headings: Pragmatic, Freedom, Jeffersonian Democratic, Jacksonian Democratic, Protestant Ethic, the Puritan Tradition, Manifest Destiny, Search for Democracy, Make the World Safe for Democracy, Search for the Good Life, Pluralistic Society and Heritage, and American as the "New Man." After other features relating to traditional sea songs in general are sifted out, these constructs can be seen as the unique characteristics of the American Spirit in seafaring songs. Also included is an original poem in folksong style called "Melville's Moby Dick as a Metaphor of the Human Experience; The White Whale," and "Some Types of Seafaring Folksongs to be used For Analysis" (A chart). (BZ)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Mystic Seaport Museum Teachers' Institute Conference, (Mystic, CT, May 16, 1987).