In the Work of Their Hands is Their Prayer: Cultural Narrative and Redemption on the American Frontiers, 1830-1930
Ohio University Press, 2003 - 299 ページ
Westward Expansion On The North American Continent by European settlers generated a flurry of writings on the frontier experience over the course of a hundred years. Asserting that the dominant ideology of America's Manifest Destiny embodied a tense, often contradictory union of Christian and secular republican views of social progress, In the Work of Their Hands Is Their Prayer investigates the ambivalence of the frontier as it was inscribed with redemptive, historical significance by a host of frontier writers. Enlisting canonical and noncanonical sources, Joel Daehnke examines the manner in which the imagery of the human figure at work and play in the frontier landscape participated in the nationalist, civilizing project of westward expansion. While he acknowledges the growing secularization of American life, Professor Daehnke surveys the continuing claims of the Christian redemptive scheme as a powerful symbolic domain for these writers' meditations on social progress and the potential for human perfectibility in the landscapes of the West. Whether discussing the Edenic imagery of women's gardens, the advocacy of an ethics of land use, or the affairs of fortune in the mining
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12 ページ - It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion...
8 ページ - ... eastern deep, Fills the savannas with his murmurings, And hides his sweets, as in the golden age, Within the hollow oak. I listen long To his domestic hum,' and think I hear The sound of that advancing multitude Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn Of Sabbath worshippers.
4 ページ - The wilderness masters the colonist. It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin.
6 ページ - The hand that built the firmament hath heaved And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes With herbage, planted them with island groves, And hedged them round with forests.
16 ページ - All these put their trust in their hands; and each becometh wise in his own work. Without these shall not a city be inhabited, and men shall not sojourn nor walk up and down therein.
16 ページ - The wisdom of the scribe cometh by opportunity of leisure; and he that hath little business shall become wise. How shall he become wise that holdeth the plow; that glorieth in the shaft of the goad; that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labors, and whose discourse is of the stock of bulls? He will set his heart upon turning his furrows; and his wakefulness is to give his heifers their fodder.
4 ページ - Iroquois and runs an Indian palisade around him. Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick; he shouts the war cry and takes the scalp in orthodox Indian fashion.