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A Study of the Social Ecological Wisdom in H.W. Longfellow s Poetry

DOI: 10.4304/tpls.2.1.24-30

Keywords: eco-criticism , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , social ecological wisdom , “Environmental Niche”

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Abstract:

Under eco-criticism springing up as a literary, cultural and social criticism, which aims at exploring the relationships between literature, culture, society and natural environment to find out the ecological wisdom in literary works so as to awaken the ecological consciousness of the contemporaries, the present article mainly focuses on the great American poet and intellectual thinker, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poems on slavery to explore his social ecological wisdom. By reading Longfellow in the light of such eco-ethical ideas as everyman being equal: anti-slavery and the harmonious development between nature and human society: anti-anthropocentrism, it is not difficult to discover the legacy glittering with social ecological wisdom in Longfellow’s poetry. Such wisdom is highly connected with Longfellow’s “environmental niche”. Nowadays, with the increasing deterioration and decaying of the environment, and the smoldering social discrimination, the social ecological wisdom implied in Longfellow’s poetry is of tremendous significance.

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