MA Comp Exam--American Literature: Beginnings to 1865

Period Reading List for Part One Exam

  1. Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
  2. Bradstreet, “The Prologue,” “The Author to Her Book,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment,” “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet,” “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House,” “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Anne Bradstreet,” “On My Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet”
  3. Brown, Edgar Huntly
  4. Davis, Life in the Iron Mills
  5. Dickinson, selected poems*
  6. Douglass, Narrative of the Life ...
  7. Emerson, “Nature,” “The Poet,” “The American Scholar,” “Experience”
  8. Fern, Ruth Hall
  9. Franklin, The Autobiography
  10. Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables
  11. Irving, “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
  12. Melville, Moby-Dick
  13. Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Purloined Letter,” “Ligeia,” “The Gold Bug,” “William Wilson”
  14. Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration ...   
  15. St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer
  16. Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  17. Thoreau, Walden
  18. Whitman, “Song of Myself” (1855 version)
  19. Declaration of Independence

Upcoming Texts for Part Two Exam

  1. Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Sp 17)
  2. Thoreau, Walden
  3. Douglass, Narrative of the Life…
  4. Franklin, The Autobiography
  5. Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration
  6. Melville, Moby-Dick

* Dickinson poems (numbers refer to Thomas H. Johnson collection):

(130) These are the days when Birds come back
(165) A wounded Deer—leaps highest— 
(167) To learn the Transport by the Pain—
(185) “Faith” is a fine invention
(193) I shall know why—when Time is over—
(199) I’m “wife” —I’ve finished that— 
(216) Safe in their Alabaster Chambers
(233) The Lamp burns sure—within— 
(249) Wild Nights—Wild Nights!
(258) There’s a certain Slant of light, 
(280) I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, 
(303) The Soul selects her own Society—
(305) The difference between Despair 
(314) Nature—sometimes sears a Sapling—
(324) Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—
(328) A Bird came down the Walk—
(341) After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
(398) I had not minded—Walls—
(406) Some – Work for Immortality 
(413) I never felt at Home—Below—
(414) ‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
(435) Much Madness is divinest Sense—
(437) Prayer is the little implement 
(444) It feels a shame to be Alive— 
(448) This was a Poet—It is That
(461) A Wife—at Daybreak I shall be—
(465) I heard a Fly Buzz—when I died— 
(467) We do not play on Graves—
(490) To One denied to drink
(501) This World is not conclusion, 
(508) I’m ceded—I’ve stopped being Theirs
(510) It was not Death, for I stood up, 
(512) The Soul has Bandaged moments—
(520) I started Early—Took my Dog—
(536) The heart asks Pleasure—first—
(565) One Anguish—in a Crowd 
(569) I reckon—when I count at all— 
(585) I like to see it lap the Miles—
(613) They shut me up in Prose 
(632) The Brain–is wider than the Sky— 
(642) Me from Myself – to banish—
(657) I dwell in Possibility— 
(668) “Nature” is what We see—
(670) One need not be a Chamber—to be haunted— 
(709) Publication—is the Auction 
(712) Because I could not stop for Death— 
(732) She rose to His Requirement—dropt— 
(754) My Life had stood—a loaded Gun—
(880) The Bird must sing to earn the Crumb
(952) A Man may make a Remark— 
(986) A narrow Fellow in the Grass 
(1017) To die—without the Dying            
(1072) Title divine—is mine!
(1100) The last Night that She lived 
(1129) Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—
(1540) As imperceptibly as Grief
(1545) The bible is an antique Volume—
(1551) Those—dying then,