The Garden Containing Multitudes: Proto-Transcendentalism In Paradise Lost

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brianna Mitchell (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
David Orvis

Abstract: This thesis builds upon recent contributions to ecocritical Milton studies to explore the universe Milton is creating in Paradise Lost as it prefigures transcendentalist thought. By doing comparative analyses of various transcendentalist texts and Paradise Lost I highlight the moments in which the literary traditions they engage it overlap. Doing so allows the lineage between early modern literature and the transcendentalist movement to be increasingly visible. Additionally, by reading Milton's monism and vitalism as proto-transcendentalist, new perspectives on how material bodies operate in Eden arise. Specifically, this exercise emphasizes the relationship of the reader to Adam and Eve and how these representations of humanity exist in the Garden of Eden. This leads to an examination of Eve's femininity in association with the feminization of the natural environment in the garden. Finally, this provides insight into how life and death operate within human bodies as Milton conceives of them.

Additional Information

Mitchell, B. (2022). The Garden Containing Multitudes: Proto-Transcendentalism In Paradise Lost. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2022
Milton, Reader Response Theory, Transcendentalism, Ecocriticism, Materialism

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