American Literature -Williams’ “To Elsie”

 Re-read the following lines from Williams’ “To Elsie”: The pure products of America go crazy— mountain folk from Kentucky or the ribbed north end of Jersey with its isolate lakes and valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves old names and promiscuity between devil-may-care men who have taken to railroading out of sheer lust of adventure— and young slatterns, bathed in filth from Monday to Saturday In a response between 500 and 700 words, demonstrate how you can focus on one or two specific examples of the literary structure of this passage—that is, the words it uses, the emphasis it places on them, its way of arranging them, particularly in relation to metaphor and the images and feelings such words generate. How does such literary language shape—indeed, make unique—the idea the passage is conveying? By answering this question, you will be doing a close reading of the passage: an analysis that pays sustained attention to the language of a text and the way such literary language produces effects. To weave your discussion together, relate the passage to the concept of America as we discussed it in our first lecture. What kind of America is being imagined here?

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