The Machine in the Garden; Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Leo Marx
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Chapter Abstracts

Sleepy Hollow, 1844

• American settlers from the very beginning of colonization encountered America as a bountiful land where they would live in harmony with nature.

• Marx defines the sentimental pastoral ideal as the value of nature, in simple rural morals and way of life.

• Marx states that you can see sentimental pastoral ideal in Americans' preference for suburbs and parks and environmentalism and recycling.

• Complex pastoral ideology emerged in the 1840s, as industrialism placed pressure on individuals to find a way to resolve the pressure between industrialism and pastoral nostalgia.

• The railroad symbolizes, for Marx, the intrusive element that represents all of industry, and the primal scene was when it interrupted Hawthorne in his rural reveries in "Sleepy Hollow Notes."

Shakepeare's American Fable

• Marx cites Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' as a good place to start on pastoral ideal in America because it represents civilized Europeans arriving in an unspoiled bountiful...

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